While you might have already set up your security cameras, did you know that the night…
Internet connectivity has become a daily necessity of this era. People are now at need to remain connected to the virtual world with multiple devices. If you have more than a single device used at different places at your home and you want to use them via the same broadband line, the only thing you can think of is setting up a wireless router. Not only will it reduce your hassle of paying several ISPs, but will also connect your phones, laptops and all other devices beyond walls, doors and even beyond your apartment.
But setting up a wireless router is considered troublesome to many. Even the manufacturer’s manual may seem Greek to them. But, believe me it’s an easy task and it won’t take more than an hour or two to set up, even if you are a newbie. In this article, we shall discuss how to setup a wireless router step by step in detail – from buying the suitable one, to securing its password.
Step 1 : Buy a suitable router
The first thing you need in the setup process is obviously a wireless router. There are various models in different shapes and sizes available. You have to choose the most suitable one for your home. If you have to cover a large area full of obstacles such as walls, curtains, doors, you must buy a modern version that covers a good chunk of area. It may sometimes need an antenna to intensify the emitting signal for better performance. Make sure the router can give you optimum speed using the latest 802.11N network instead of the older ones (like 802.11g). You may prefer buying those with SIM card slots, USB Modem slots or those with wifi extender function – the choice depends upon the type of broadband you will use and the medium your ISP reaches it to you.
Step 2 : Connect it to your Modem & Computer
Hopefully, you have the router of your choice by now. It just needs to be connected with your modem and computer. Unpack the router and find out any document or guideline inside. If there is any, do as it tells. If there is none, don’t worry. Most routers have the similar type of setup method with slight variation based on their configurations.
Broadband Internet providers (ISP gateway, to put otherwise) usually gives you a modem to share the connection. Keep the router near the modem. Take an Ethernet cable. You shall find it in your router package. But if there is no cable, then you have to buy one from an electronics shop. Then connect your modem with the router. Both devices have an Internet port or WAN (Wide Area Network). These ports are usually of different colour or they are separated from the rest of the ports. If the connection is successful, you will find tiny rays or similar sort of indicators blinking out of the router.
Next you have to connect with a computer or laptop. (Though without a laptop / computer you can set up your router. How? It will be discussed in the later part of this post) Use the same sort of coaxial Ethernet cable or CAT5 cable to connect the router to your PC. Once the router is successfully connected, your PC will give you a notification.
Some routers can readily access the modem’s network wireless, as it has a wifi built-in receiver too, and thus can act as a wifi extender. For this,read the section How to setup a wireless router without modem below.
Step 3 : Register the MAC address
After that you need to register your router’s MAC address (Media Access Address) to your Internet service provider’s website. Search your ISP’s website and fill the MAC address there. You can find the MAC address on the router’s pack or documentation. If successfully connected, the router can get Internet connection from broadband and wirelessly transmit data elsewhere. And now you need to configure your router. But how to configure it? Let’s discover just that.
How to configure your wireless router
The hardware part is done now. It’s time for crucial configuration. Before you start it’s recommended to restart your PC or laptop. It will refresh the device. Make sure that in the configuring process, there’s uninterrupted power and Internet supply. Weak signals can result in making up troubles.
Step 4 : Find out the IP address
Every network device has an IP address of their own. Your router also should have one. While unpacking, you may find out in the documentation. Or in some routers it is printed on the router itself in the form of stickers or other means. If there’s none whatsoever, you can easily find them on the Internet. Search for detailed information of the particular model in Google. You shall find out the IP. (Microsoft uses 192.168.2.1 address. You shall find a similar kind for your router.)
Now copy the IP on the browser address bar and give it a search. You shall find a page that wants username and password. Give anything you like, since it’s not of much importance for now(we shall change it later). Many brands often use “admin” and “password” by default. After logging in you shall find yourself in the webpage of the configuration menu.
Step 5 : Change the Settings
In this webpage you can find a bar named “wireless setting”. Click on that. Then you shall find yourself on another page. Now you have to change the settings from here. First of all, find out the line “Enter a wireless network name” or SSID name. You must choose a dynamic, complex as well as comprehensive name here, since it will be visible by the other devices when they will search. (Even you can humorously put CIA Agent or MI6. Hackers will be intimidated) Then turn on the SSID broadcast. By turning this on you are allowing other devices to connect to your router.
Next comes the crucial part, i.e., choosing the security method. You must choose WiFi Protected Access encryption used for the second generation. It is commonly known as WPA2-PSK encryption (WPA3 is even better). Believe me, it’s literally a hard nut to crack. That means it is much more difficult to be hacked by any wayside intruder or your next door neighbour.
Another security involvement that you shall find here is setting up a password. You should carefully choose a complex username here. But most importantly, you must set a passphrase (password+phrase). This passphrase should be the combination of numbers, letters(both uppercase and lowercase if possible), different symbols etc. That means you must make it as complex as you can, because your WiFi security depends mostly on it. For connecting new devices, you need to remember this passphrase. Perhaps you will forget it soon ; so it’s recommended to write it down to your diary or somewhere else.
Step 6 : Block Unexpected Sites
Before we finish configuring, let’s focus on a critical issue. From the setting bar here you can block unexpected sites that you don’t want your devices to browse. Especially conscious parents are concerned to protect their children from adult sites. Because they don’t want their children to unexpectedly browse something wrong when they are in another room. From the settings menu, find out the blocking option. You can block either writing the website’s name or by mentioning particular keywords. After you do this click the Save/ Enter key to save the changed setting.
Warning : Don’t share the passphrase to anyone. They can easily intrude and hack your valuable information using this code. If anything goes wrong don’t press hard. Simply reset the router and commence the setup method from the beginning.
You have successfully configured your router now. It’s ready to be used. Now you can easily connect other devices within the range it covers. But let’s learn the simple process of connecting devices.
How to connect (devices) to a wireless router
Now your router is ready to serve your purpose of sharing data. All settings are perfect. But one thing we would like to mention here: where to put your router for best performance? Most people have more or less knowledge about the placement. Yet, we shall cover it briefly for better understanding.
Step 7 : Placing and Turning on the router
If you have broadband connection in one end of the apartment and you want to connect another device at the other end of your haven, you should put the router in between somewhere. If you put it in the middle the weakened signal will be intensified. Through this way your device can be connected.
So, for best performance put the router at the centre of the devices. That means putting it in the middle of your home or office. Remember, any obstacles will hinder its wave flows. It thereby should be placed in an open place. Also try to keep it a bit higher than the intended devices since its microwaves spread and fall gradually. If it needs to cover a great distance, you should use antenna(s). After you place your router at the right position, turn it on for use.
Step 8 : Connecting to the devices
Make sure both your broadband connection and your router is on. Then turn on WiFi on the other devices that you want to connect. Then find out the scan button and scan for a network. If everything goes well, you shall find the SSID name that you have set earlier appearing on the screen. Tap on the name. It shall ask you for a security key or the passphrase. Put the same passphrase you have given during configuration. Then click the connect option and you shall be connected. The network name will be saved into the device’s memory and the next time it will connect automatically after you open your WiFi.
Now feel free to roam in the realm of Internet. However, we shall explore another interesting things about router setup. Do you know, you can set up your wireless router without any computer or laptop devices. How? Lemme explain to you.
How to setup a wireless router without computer
It is possible that your laptop is conked out somehow or it is not working for some reason. So you don’t have a workable PC to set up a router. But you can easily set it up using your smartphone, tablet or this sort of device. You just need to follow these steps. (Though older routers may not be set up without any computer.)
Whether your device is Android or IOS, make sure it has uninterrupted power supply or enough charge before you start doing any setup process. It should also contain enough data and a suitable browser like Chrome (and not unsuitable like Opera Mini) to proceed smoothly. Now you need to install any app for network discovery. These apps must include Ezscan or anything equivalent to continue your setup. Download an app containing such features from play store or apple store (based on your device). Let’s now proceed further.
Turn on your router and give it some time to work properly. Then find out the WiFi option in your smart device. Turn on the WiFi. Search for a new network. You shall find the ID name ( known as SSID name also) of your router. If you don’t know the name then search it in the documentation or at the back of the router. Most companies simply use the device name (or “admin”) for this ID name. When you click on that network, it shall be asking for a password. You shall get the password from the same place you found the name. If you can’t get it, don’t worry. You can always Google the model name and find the password and ID name.
Now you need to know the IP address as usual. IPs are written on the back or on some stickers or in the documents. But if you fail to find it, open the app you have downloaded before. Every single detail of any network can be found via this app easily. Get the IP and copy it. Then open any browser and paste the IP in the search bar. You shall find yourself in a login page here (similar to the setup with computer).
Login here with the username and password (you should change this later). Then change the settings as you want. Choose the WPA2 security system, give a strong passphrase and save the settings. Now your router is ready to connect. Connect other devices with the passphrase to check whether it is working or not. In this way, you can set up a wifi router without a laptop or computer.
How to setup a wireless router without modem
Many people often ask whether they can complete the setup process without taking help from any modem or not. The answer is yes they can. If you are among them, then you need to know that you can surely set up the wireless router without a modem. The modem doesn’t transmit signals to the devices connected to the router, rather the modem connects your router to the broadband.
So, what you would need in this case is a router which has a built-in sim card slot, that enables it to directly connect to the broadband of your ISP, without the mediation of modems.
Now, for uninterrupted use, it is important to address the security issues of your router.
How to secure your wireless router
Security of your personal data is of prime importance, isn’t it? You may have heard hackers infiltrating into other people’s network off and on. That’s why you need to secure your wireless router and make it hack-proof. In doing so you need to follow some steps.
Step 9 : Changing Configuration
Needless to say that you should choose WPA3 or at least WPA2 encryption instead of older WEP (acronym of Wired Equivalent Privacy. As we have said earlier, you have to set an SSID name using complex or random words. Make the passphrase a lengthier one with various symbols. These are difficult (though not impossible) to crack.
Active the firewall setting of your router. It will keep your router in stealth mode. As you go incognito in your smartphone sometimes to avoid detection, this firewall setup will make your router invisible to any devices, safe for the connected ones. However, if your visiting friends want to connect with your router, they won’t find it. So you have to change the configuration again to be visible.
Step 10 : Using personal VPN
VPN stands for virtual private network. It can ensure optimum level of security for your wifi. VPN keeps you anonymous by using false location and fake IP. No one can detect that it is you over there. You can use premium quality VPNs by spending only a few dollars a month (10-50). After buying them you should use the VPN software to browse the Internet. But it’s best to use a router built-in VPN. Modern routers use this sort. You have to find it in the configuration setting. If there’s none, you have to set up the VPN in your devices.
Step 11 : Disabling wireless Admin
This is really interesting. If you disable admin from the setting of your wireless router, no one in the virtual world can login to the router. It can be accessible only using an Ethernet cable to your computer. So you can disable admin via wireless devices to secure yourself. After taking these measures you can successfully ward off any wayside hacker or neighbour’s naughty teen from infiltrating your secured wall.
Finally, you got to know how to set up a wireless router. That was all of your setup journey. Was it very difficult for you? Hopefully not. Now you can literally connect various devices at the same time. Here’s a last piece of suggestion for you.
Router companies often upgrade their network with various firmware (as we have versions of apps). Whenever they release a new firmware, you should upgrade it for the best possible performance and speed. Especially the older routers are outdated today and are incompatible with many functions and advanced uses. To keep pace with the new world you should check firmwares from the brand’s website or you can contact the seller. So that’s all for today. It’s your turn now to set up the wireless router.