Setting Up Home Wireless Network

Home wireless networks have a vast array of benefits: you can share files between computers and with your family members, share printers throughout your house, and best of all – browse the internet whether you’re laying in your bed or sitting out in the backyard. Many internet users enjoy the extreme freedom that a home wireless network provides, as well as the convenience. However, it may seem extremely difficult to get such a project underway…

The first and most important part of the process is choosing the proper equipment. There are a number of different wireless types: 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g. The last of the three undoubtedly offers the highest level of performance, best level of compatibility, and the greatest range. Now, to use a wireless network you will need to have a broadband internet connection – such as cable or DSL. Additionally, you will need to purchase a wireless router. Your computer should either already have support for interfacing with a wireless router, otherwise you will need to get a network adapter as well. Newer computers come equipped with wireless support by default, however, if yours does not, look for a USB Wireless Network Adapter while you’re shopping. (Note: If you’re using a laptop, you will need a Wireless PC Card, rather than a USB Adapter.)

The wireless router has the most important job: It is responsible for taking your broadband internet connection and transforming it into wireless internet, which it then broadcasts throughout your home. A network adapter is simply something you insert into your computer which accepts the signal being transmitted by your wireless router.

The next step is to actually connect and setup your wireless router. During this part of the process you will not have internet access, and you may wish to write this down to help guide you along the way while you are isolated from the internet world. Begin by disconnecting your modem from its power supply. Continue the process by connecting your modem and your router. It is recommended that this is done with an Ethernet cable, rather than a USB cable.

If your computer was previously connected directly to your Cable or DSL Modem, you will simply need to take the cord you used and keep one end plugged into your PC, while putting the other end into your router. This will directly interface your computer and the router and will allow you to have internet access. Follow that process for any computer that is within cord-reaching range of the router, that will not be using the wireless capabilities.

Next, reconnect your modem to its power supply, wait a minute or two, then plug in your wireless router. If your router or network adapter included any CDs or DVDs with software or drivers, please make sure you install them. You will now need to configure your router by accessing it with your browser. To do this, simply open it up and type the IP Address of your wireless router into the address bar and click Enter. Each brand of router has its own address, and will be located in the instructions provided with your equipment. However, as a basic point of reference, here are the details for the most popular brands:

You will most likely not have to alter any of the default settings put in place by your wireless router’s manufacturer. However, for security purposes, you should edit a few options. Start by using Wi-Fi Protected Access, otherwise known as WPA, or Wireless Encryption, commonly referred to as WEP – these are two great security features to prevent unauthorized parties from utilizing your internet connection. Fortunately, you will not be required to memorize your password after it has been set and configured on your PC, and therefore you can make it a little tricky. It is also advisable to change the password to your admin account. You will need to remember this password in the event that any settings need to be changed.

At this point, everything should be working properly and you now have full internet access. If something is not working correctly, make sure you followed all the steps in this guide and if problems persist, consult the troubleshooting guide included with your wireless router or network adapter, if applicable. Enjoy your new-found wireless freedom!