Easy Setup Guide on How to Connect a Wi-Fi Router
If you want the best performance out of your Wi-Fi router, then you are going to have to go beyond the basic default setup and delve a little deeper into your router’s advanced configurations. Don’t worry though, because we are about to show you step-by-step how to connect a Wi-Fi router, so it performs at its best.
Setting up your new router is a bit like unboxing a new PC; you wouldn’t expect to be able to turn your computer on and be up and running right away as there are a few things you need to do before that can happen.
A router is the same because you are essentially putting together a home network, which is not the most trivial thing in the world. With that said, many router brands go to great lengths to make the process as painless as possible.
How to Use a Wi-Fi Router
1. Find the Perfect Location
The best location for a Wi-Fi router is an open area as close to the center of your home or office as possible because this is where you will get the best coverage.
Unfortunately, while it’s excellent advice, it’s almost impossible to centre a router in every building perfectly. The most central area of your home is probably nowhere near where you have situated your broadband modem or have an available connection to the outside world.
In most cases, this won’t affect the performance too much, unless there are a lot of walls between the router and the device which is furthest away.
If you are unable to receive a strong signal, then a mesh-style router which uses nodes will provide greater coverage at full strength. Powerpoint adapters which adapt your electrical wiring into network cabling is also a reasonably affordable option.
2. Connect Your Router
Make sure the router is turned off and plug the ethernet cable from the PC into the LAN port of the router. Use another ethernet cable to connect the internet port of the Wi-Fi router to your broadband modem.
Switch the PC, modem, and router off, and then on again and wait while everything reboots.
3. Access the Management Console
Log into your PC and fire up your browser. Type your router’s IP address into the browser bar. It will most likely be an address like http://192.168.0.1 or http://192.168.1.1 depending on your model and brand.
Some router manufacturers will provide a URL such as http://routerlogin.net (a default Netgear address). Check your instructions for the correct address to use. In most instances, this information will be included on a sticker somewhere on the router. You will also find an admin id and password here as well - if not, check your documentation.
4. Change the Password and update the Firmware
Changing the password should be your first job after firing up your Wi-Fi router. Most security breaches are because people leave the password at the default, which makes a hackers job much easier if they can gain access to your router. Many manufacturers are shipping routers with unique passwords these days, but you can never be too careful.
5. Setup DHCP
Some routers don’t have this set by default, but you will need it if you don’t want to set up static IP addresses for every device. What this setting does is assign an IP address from a pool of available addresses to each device which connects to the router. It also ensures every device has a unique IP to avoid conflicts which can stop the network from working correctly.
6. Wireless Setup
Most of the time your wireless network will be set up by default but if yours isn’t then you will need to turn it on from the management console.
Go into wireless settings. If you have a dual-band router, you will see settings for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Leave the channel setting of each section to auto.
Change your encryption options (labeled security options in some brands) to match up with the security options in your connected devices. Most often this will be WPA2-PSK [AES]. If you have a WEP option, don’t use it as it is now an outdated and insecure security protocol vulnerable to brute force attacks.
Choose a passphrase that is hard to guess and hard to crack by using a mix of numbers, upper and lower case and special characters.
The SSID is the name of your network which will be displayed on each of your devices when you go into Wi-Fi settings to connect them to the router. It’s a good idea to set this to something other than the default for an extra layer of security.
Now you just need to save your changes and reboot the modem. On each device select your SSID and add in the password to connect them wirelessly to your router. That's it; you have now learned everything you need to know about how to connect a Wi-Fi router to your network.
Extra Security Measures
Most modems broadcast their SSID to every device which comes in range. For extra security, I like to turn broadcast to off. It does add a few more steps to connect each device as you now must manually enter your Wi-Fi SSID details. However, if the SSID doesn't get displayed on every device which comes within range, then it’s harder for gadgets you don’t want in your network to connect.
As you have probably guessed, this is a relatively short introduction on how to use a Wi-Fi router. There are many more settings and configurations you can use, but the above tutorial should be enough to get you up and running quickly.