Networking

How to Setup a Wireless Network

One of the most common types of things that most individuals want to do or setup with their computer is setting up a wireless network. Nowadays, many families have mulitiple computers that may include a laptop in the mix. Most laptop users like to be able to roam around the house and browse the Internet and still be able to access files on maybe another home computer they have up and running. Wireless capability is usually handled by a home router of some type or design.

Two of the big manufacturers of home routers are Linksys and Netgear. Both brands of routers usually consist of the same types of capabilities. Usually these are able to mediate your connection to your broadband link such as Cable or DSL. They hand out addresses on your home network that allows you to have an IP address to communicate with other devices on your network as well as browse the Internet via the routing capability of the router.

Most routers have a web interface configuration utility that allows you to setup and access your wireless options that are available to you at home. The default address for many Linksys routers which we will be using in this tutorial is 192.168.1.1…some are 192.168.2.1....read your documentation that comes with your particular router to be able to connect successfully to your router for configuration.

Setting up wireless at home usually involves:

  • Making sure your wireless is turned on
  • Selecting the band or bands of wireless
  • Choosing an SSID
  • Selecting your wireless security

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Above is a screenshot of the administration page on a Linksys router. The Wireless tab is activated above and you will notice the choices of the wireless mode as well as the SSID. The SSID is what you will see broadcast that your laptop or other device willl “see” it and be able to connect to this. There are ways also to mask this which is a very good idea to keep others from being able to see your SSID. This will be covered more in the wireless security how to document.

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The above screenshot is of the wireless security tab which allows you to setup various methods of security for your wireless network.

Wireless provides convenience for home users as well as extended functionality and productivity for business end users allowing them the freedom to roam about without the limits of the wired network.  There are limitations and concerns however with wireless Internet.  We will look at the ins and outs of securing your wireless network and some good utilities and products out there to do just that in an upcoming blog.

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