If your wireless router came with complicated instructions, this simple how-to guide will have your wireless router up and running in a matter of minutes. Be sure to follow all of the directions carefully in order to avoid any unnecessary problems.
First, shut down or turn off your computer and remove any wired network cables (the one that looks like a big telephone line) that are attached.
Next, plug in all of the cables provided with the router as the enclosed instructions describe. If you want to connect one or more of your computers directly to the router with a wired/ethernet connection, you may do so now (you are required to connect at least one computer with a wired connection).
Now connect your cable or DSL modem to the router using a wired connection (most routers will have one of the plugs in the back labeled as “Internet” that you’ll need to plug this cable into.
At this point, turn on your cable or DSL modem, then after about 20-30 seconds, turn on your router, and then turn on the computer that you plugged into the router with a wired/ethenet connection. You will need to use this wired computer to set up any required router settings prior to being able to use your wireless connections.
Now you need to configure your computer to obtain an IP address automatically (DHCP). You will usually have instructions for doing this in your router’s manual, but here are the basic steps:
First, open your Control Panel and right-click on “Network” or right-click on “My Network Places” and select properties.
Now right click on your connection (there may be several, make sure you’re getting the wireless one by selecting the one that is actually connected, others will show as disconnected) and select properties again.
Now you need to double-click on the Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) option in the window.
Now make sure “Obtain an IP address automatically” has been selected.
You can click OK on both windows to close them and save your new information
You will now configure your router with the computer you have connected to it using the wired connection. Open Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another browser of your choice and in the URL field, type the IP address of the router (generally 192.168.1.1 or try 10.1.10.1 if that doesn’t seem to work). Just fill out the basic information for the router setup, you won’t need to do much in here unless you want to set static IP addresses for things like remote connections or servers, something most home users never bother with.
You can also take this opportunity to set up your security encryption to keep your neighbors from using your connection. To set up the encryption, there is usually a “Wireless Security” tab in the router setup. Select the encryption type that you prefer, 128-bit is generally recommended. Once you do this, you’ll just need to give each computer or wireless device (printers, ipods, etc) the code that’s generated, or that you choose.
Once you’ve completed all of the previous steps you just need to make sure that all of your computers are on the same workgroup – that will make it easier for you to share files and printers. If you’re setting the computers up for the first time, most of them will probably pick the same workgroup name by default, though Windows 7 uses a new feature called Homegroups that make this step even easier. Just check each computer by right-clicking on “My Computer” and selecting properties, then looking at the workgroup name. If some of them are different, just change them to match the other computers on your network. While you’re in there, make sure that all of the computers have a unique name, otherwise you’ll get an error saying “Duplicate name exists on the network.”
Now you should be able to connect all of your computers with wireless ability to your router with no problem. Most routers usually have a few ports in the back so you can hook up a few computers with wired connections if you choose.
Keep in mind that all routers are slightly different. These general instructions should give you some guidance if you’re having trouble setting up your router or you’re just browsing around to see how complicated it is. Good luck!