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Setting up a wireless router

Do you want to set up your wireless router but do not know where to start? You are not alone. This can be confusing. Due to the range of cables, ports and other components, most people scratch their heads. To make it all harder, each router is different, and the specific steps for setting up depend on your model. However, the general steps in this guide can help you clarify things. They apply to most routers on the market today and can also help if you try to set up a used router.

Quick Note: This tutorial assumes that you set a wireless router as the primary router in your home. We assume that you already have a modem – whether it is cable, fiber optic or DSL ̵

1; that is set up and working properly. Finally, we assume that you have a laptop with an Ethernet port, or that you are setting up a wireless router with a desktop. Let's get started with these comments.

Step 1: connect your router to your modem

Do not plug your router in yet. Instead, the first thing you will do is connect your modem to the WAN port, with an Ethernet cable.

  Netgear Nighthawk AC2600 router
Bill Roberson / Digital Trends

Bill Roberson / Digital Trends [19659008] Not sure what the WAN port is? Most consumer routers have a group of Ethernet ports, several of which are referred to as the local area network (LAN) and another to the wide area network (WAN). The WAN port looks the same as the LAN ports, but is often of a different color and remote from each other. For example, in the photo above, the WAN port is yellow and indicated with & # 39; Internet & # 39 ;. Sometimes it is indicated with & # 39; WAN & # 39 ;. This port is intended to connect your router to the modem and the outside world from there. The LAN ports are intended for connection to local devices.

Connect an Ethernet cable to your modem and the other end to the router's WAN port. Then connect the power adapter of your router to the wall.

Step 2: Download the app and connect

  Nighthawk app

Give your router a minute to start up and network. In the meantime (if another connection option is available), download the app that is linked to the manufacturer of your modem. Today's modems can usually be set by a mobile app that automatically guides you through the installation process. It is the most effective method, but you must ensure that you choose the right app. Linksys has its own installation and management app. Netgear uses the Nighthawk app. Google has its own setup app. Instructions for the app to use must be in your manual.

  Router information label

Now connect to your latent WiFi network. This is usually a simple process: go to the settings on your phone or computer and choose the Wi-Fi / network option (Google just lets you scan a QR code, so this process may vary slightly). Find the name of your router here: your router must have a standard SSID name printed on the back of the router, along with the standard network key. Use the key to log in to the network.

Start a connection with the router management app to start the installation!

Alternative method : If your router does not have an app, connect a computer manually to the router using an Ethernet cable. Once you are connected, go to the configuration page of your router. This is actually a website that is hosted on your router and it is a traditional way to configure your router's settings. How to find it may vary, but it almost always means that you type into the address bar of your preferred browser and then press Enter .

<img src = "data: image / gif; base64, R0lGODlhAQABAIAAAAAAAP /// yH5BAEAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAIBRAA7" data-dt-lazy-src = "https://img.digitaltrends.com/image/router-login-20x720x7 .png "onerror =" dti_load_error (this) "class =" size-large wp-image-958249 dt-lazy-load dt-lazy-pending "alt =" router-login-password [19659012] If you find a page, go ahead and jump forward to the next step.If that address does not work, your router can use a different address completely, which may vary depending on your router, so consult your router's official documentation as the address does not work.

You can also simply view our list of standard router IP addresses and passwords.

Step 3: Create a username and password, or search for the existing

  Linksys -app

Your router app should automatically guide you through the installation procedures, so answer the questions and fill in forms if necessary. Your routers will be asked to create an app name (again, this is called an SSID) and password. Make sure this password is unique and secure, because everyone who has it can do all kinds of nasty things in your network.

WPA2 encryption is currently the standard for security and you should always choose this when you get an option for your security protocol. Make sure you also choose a long password, a password that is different from the administrator password that you set earlier, and ideally contains no dictionary words or an easily guessed name (such as your pet's name). Then keep it in a safe place.

However, a used router may already have a password and must be reset. Most routers have a recessed reset button on the back. If you hold the "Reset" button for at least 30 seconds with a paper clip, that is enough. Turn on the power and wait for the router to rest. It should use the default settings when it restarts, which means that the default username and password now give you access to settings.

Step 4: Continue to set up your router

  Linksys Setup Router

The router app must also allow you to set other settings such as parental controls, automatic updates, and more. You can adjust these settings and more later from within the app, but watch the walkthrough and everything you learn. You must learn about guest access, surveillance activity and more. When you are done, the app will configure network settings and set up your network. You can now explore the app at your leisure for more information.

Optional: set up mesh routers

  wifi router deals

A growing number of routers are today & # 39; mesh routers & # 39 ;, such as the Google Wi-Fi router. Mesh routers use a group of Wi-Fi devices that all work together – usually two or three. One device is connected to your modem and works just like a traditional router. The other devices work more like automatic repeaters that connect to the first device and provide a secondary source for the signal. This can significantly increase the range of the router and allow users to remove dead zones or ensure that a particularly large house or property has full coverage.

This also means that you have to take another step and place the secondary devices in your house. Here are a few tips to help you position mesh routers correctly:

  • Try to set up additional router devices in open spaces where they can broadcast the network as freely as possible. Remember that with these access points you don't have to be connected to a modem! However, the routers require access to a power outlet.
  • Move the extra router points far away, but not too far . All routers must work together. Aim approximately two rooms away from the original router on average.
  • You can also choose to place your router points in particularly important zones in your home. For example, if you have a playroom where you use WiFi, you may want to ensure that one of the satellite models is placed there for maximum effect.
  • Usually you can easily connect additional router pointers to the router app on your phone (for example, Google has only kept your phone with the router to add it). You have to connect them to have them expand your network, so don't forget this part.

And you have left!

With these steps out of the way, your router should be ready for use. Start connecting your devices and enjoy!

Of course you can configure much more when you view the settings. Setting port forwarding can be useful, and real power users should consider replacing their firmware with DD-WRT to access a variety of settings that would otherwise not be offered. However, for most users working with WiFi and secure access to the administrative backend is a great place to start.

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