How to Set Up Your Wireless Router

How to Set Up Your Wireless Router

Setting up a wireless router is one of the useful skills for you to have today in order to achieve bigger convenience in your own home. Doing it is pretty easy, and router makers have been working on making it even easier.

Just to make sure that there is no confusion, we will provide you with some tips on how to do it. And, additionally, we will also add some advice on how to make your network even more secure.

Many router makers also offer apps for your phone and tablet, and you can even use them for making original installations easier. Some companies even prefer this method, and they don’t even bother with browser-based interfaces. The final decision should still belong to you, as a user.

Place your router

The first step for you to do is to place your router in the right spot. The best choice is a center of your home, preferably an open area. It will cover the most space evenly that way, which makes for an excellent advice which manufacturers often give.

However, this is often a problem for many people. The issue comes when you need to connect the router to the broadband gateway, which is installed at a perimeter wall. So, if you can’t put it in the middle of your home, at least make sure that it is not hidden somewhere.

It will limit its range, and make it less convenient for you. Instead, try to use a longer CAT5e or CAT6 cable. With it, you can connect the gateway’s ethernet port and your router.

Another option is to use the mesh-style router. That way, one node can stay where the gateway is, while the other ones can go to different rooms. Basically, your data will travel from one of them to another, and you will have equally good signal in your entire house.

Just don’t put the node in a dead spot, or it won’t be able to receive a signal.
There are some routers that have a Wide Area Network (WAN) port which you can use to connect to the gateway. Others might use auto-sensing ports, which will configure themselves automatically.

Configure the wireless router’s gateway

Perhaps your ISP has given you a modem with a router that is built into it. Using those is a bad choice, because of their often bad quality. Standalone routers are much better,

However, if your gateway has a router built in, you will need to disable it. Then make your network traffic go to a new one, that you should acquire. It is necessary to disable the original one because if you don’t, you could end up dealing with different issues like double-NAT.

You will need your IP address, which is written down on the gateway. When you find it, enter it into your browser, and you will access a screen that will let you configure your gateway’s settings.

Some gateways can work with your other router via bridge mode, while others use different methods. Also, some ISPs won’t allow you to configure your gateway by yourself. Because of this, you will have to ask for their help.

For example, AT&T U-Verse will provide their users with a modem that has both gateway and a router. If you want to modify that device to work with a secondary router, you must first log into the gateway, and then go to Firewall menu. Only then can you change the settings to ‘passthrough mode’. Next, you would have to set the mode to DHCPS-fixed, and also provide the secondary router’s Media Access Control (MAC) address.

After that, you will also have to turn off the gateway’s WiFi access point. There is no point in having it run a useless, second WiFi network. After making all of these changes, reboot the gateway.

Connect the gateway to the new router

In order to do this, you should start by turning off the gateway. If there is no on/off switch, do it by unplugging it. Unplug the ethernet cable if it is plugged into the LAN port, and then plug it into the secondary router’s WAN port. If you can’t tell which one it is, then the ports are probably auto-sensing.

By doing this, you will connect the gateway to the new router. You can now turn the gateway back on, and wait for it to boot up. When that is done, plug in the new router as well, and make sure to turn it on. You should wait for this one to boot as well.

Change the router’s admin password

If your new router comes with an app, you can use it to change the password. Sometimes, that is pretty much the only option you have. If you don’t have an app, then the browser-based interface will do. Simply connect your router to the PC via an ethernet cable, and type in the router’s IP. The address will look like a seemingly random bunch of numbers. Most likely, it will be like this: 192.168.1.1.

Log into it with admin login and password, which is probably also printed on the router. If not there, you will surely find these credentials in the manual. Once you enter the settings, immediately change the password.

Make sure to use a unique password, and either write it down or use some sort of password manager. Whatever you do, don’t forget it, since you will need it later in order to make further changes. If you do forget it, you will need to do a hardware reset. That will mess up all of the things that you have done so far, as well as those done in the meanwhile.

Update the router

The new version of firmware will probably be released by your router’s manufacturer on regular basis. It might carry fixes for newly discovered flaws, or maybe some security updates.

Increasing your security is important, which is why you must always check for updates. Most routers will get their updates automatically, but you can always check just to stay safe.

Think of a password for the WiFi

Most routers will come to you with a pre-set password which you can find on a label. Others might ask you to set up a password yourself, while they won’t have any previously set up.

Make sure set your encryption to WPA2, which is a much better choice than WEP.  WEP is old, and you shouldn’t use it anymore. New routers don’t even use it by default anymore, but they still have it as an option, because some devices only respond to that one.

Still, in most cases, you will have no issues with WPA2. Now, the process of setting up a password might differ between models, The thing you need to do is find settings that will allow you to do it.

If you have a dual-band router, you will have to enter two passwords. Making them the same is easy, and making them different is safer. The choice is yours.

When it comes to choosing a password, it should have numbers, letters, and even symbols and other special characters. The more complex, the better for you. Password managers will help a lot here as well, but the choice is, once again, yours and yours alone.

Conclusion

And that is it. If you have done everything right, you should now have completely safe private WiFi network that you can use for enjoying the internet.

Setting it up is not difficult if you follow these instructions, and you will do it in five minutes. It is easy even if you have never done this before, and you will figure it out easily. Hopefully, you won’t have any issues, and this guide was useful to you. Enjoy.

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Ali is a freelance journalist with 5 years of experience in web journalism and marketing. He contributes to various online publications. With a master degree, now he combines his passions for writing about internet security and technology. When he is not working, he loves traveling and playing games.

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