Setting up a wireless router and configuring a home network does not have to be a time-consuming chore and hassle. In fact, the task can be accomplished in just a few easy steps, and this guide shows you how to configure a router quickly and easily.
Assuming you already have your router purchased, you are ready to get started configuring the router. The first part of the process involves establishing an Internet connection.
To do this, turn off your modem and unplug the modem’s Ethernet cable that is connected to your computer. Now, take that connected cable and connect it to the port labeled WAN or Internet port on the router you will be configuring. Once that task is accomplished, you can simply power up the modem, and after waiting for a couple of minutes, you can power up the newly connected router.
Again, wait for a few minutes after powering up the router. Then, take another Ethernet cable and connect the PC — you will be connecting the Ethernet cable in the same location that you disconnected the modem’s Ethernet cable from — to your LAN port on the router. At this point, you are ready to turn on your PC.
Modern routers are almost always set up to automatically assign an IP address by using DHCP protocols, meaning that you should be connected to the Internet automatically. If you do not automatically connect, that probably means the router you are using is a router from your Internet service provider. Overall, ISP routers and modems are not ideal for a variety of reasons, but you can still handle the online setup process without too much fuss. Often, a simple call to your ISP will help you get connected since the ISP can get you online remotely from their end.
Either way, your router should now be online and ready for the next step of the configuration process.
While some routers today allow for mobile apps to be used in the setup process, using your PC is still the easiest and most ideal way to handle the configuration. To start configuring the router, you will want to enter your IP address into your browser. This will bring up the router’s management interface, allowing you to configure the router.
If you are wondering how to know what your IP address, you can simply look in the information provided to you with your router purchase. Alternatively, you can type ‘cmd’ with a Windows search. Once the command line window pops up, just type ‘ipconfig’, and your router’s IP information will be given to you. The IP address of your router will be listed under the Default Gateway address. With the IP address in hand, you can now get back to configuring the router itself.
You will need a username and password to log in to the router interface, but again, this will be in your user documentation or can be found through a quick Google search for your router’s login credentials.
Once you are into the router interface, your router likely has an easy setup wizard of sorts. This is a great way for a novice to quickly and effortlessly set up the router, but if you would like a more advanced walkthrough of additional configuration options, read on.
For starters, you are going to want to change the default admin password into something that is more easily remembered. This can be easily done in any router interface. Next, you will also want to change the SSID (also known as Wireless Network Name in many routers) to avoid any confusion with other nearby networks. To do this, just access the Wireless Network Settings, and change the Wireless Network Name into whatever suits your naming preferences.
The next step is crucial since it gives you manual control over the router’s security. The security mode, also commonly referred to as the encryption mode, should be set to the option entitled WPA2. This is the best way to ensure secure wireless Internet use without introducing any unnecessary compatibility issues.
Last, you can complete the wireless setup process by selecting the 802.11 mode. The default settings are almost always best left untouched, especially if you are unfamiliar with what the advanced settings do.
If you have a newer router, you likely have wireless modes at both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz alike. Make the 2.4 GHz connection a mixed mode so that older devices incapable of connecting to the newer 802.11 format can still connect to the network. After you have completed these essential tasks, that is all there is to set up a router that will hopefully provide you with a great home network for years to come.