The process of configuring and setting up a wireless router has gotten a lot simpler over time. However, using the advice I’ve provided here to setup a router will make things even easier. Additionally, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your home network is protected to the fullest extent possible.
Using a smartphone or tablet, you can complete the initial setup and any necessary tweaks to your router’s settings. Using a browser-based user interface is becoming less and less common among businesses. It’s in your best interest to have both options available to you so you can make a decision (personally, I prefer using the browser because the display connected to my PC is bigger and easier to see).
Routers exist in a variety of versions, which you should be aware of. You might ask some of your friends for recommendations on the best routers available in the market. Every router comes with a manual that will guide you through the configuration process and help you set up a router. Still, if you can’t figure out how to configure a router. Don’t worry, this article will guide you on how to set up a router without hiring anyone to install it at your home or office.
Step 1: Place your wireless router
The best place for your wireless device is in the middle of your house suggested by all router manufacturers. As a result, there will be the evenest distribution of coverage. It’s also nearly impossible for the majority of people to accomplish because your router must be connected to your broadband gateway (ISP) of an internet service provider. A cable modem, DSL modem, or even a fiber gateway—if you’re lucky—is always mounted on a perimeter wall.
At the very least, try to avoid installing your wireless routers in a closet, which will reduce its range. You don’t have to move the gateway, but you can connect the router to the gateway’s ethernet port using a longer (and very cheap) CAT5e or CAT6 cable.
This allows you to put the gateway out in the open. A more ambitious approach would be to run a pair of ethernet cables through your walls to the ideal central location (one cable connecting the gateway and a second cable connecting the router—possibly in the gateway’s closet) if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.
A mesh router, on the other hand, is a simpler solution. This system allows you to place one node in the room where your gateway is, and then additional nodes throughout your home. With wireless data hopping, you’ll have a strong Wi-Fi signal almost everywhere in your house. Nodes will wirelessly hop. Our favorite mesh system on a budget is the TP-Link Deco M5 three-pack, which costs $150.
Keep in mind that wireless nodes cannot connect to the network any better than any client device in a Wi-Fi dead spot. Instead, put the node in a location where the dead spot can be reached by its wireless signal.
Other models use auto-detection ports to detect whether they are on the LAN or the WAN and automatically set the router to use one or the other when a connection is made. Don’t disconnect or turn anything off just yet, because you’ll have to go through a few steps first.
Step 2: Configure your wireless router gateway
WAN IP addresses (the unique Internet Protocol addresses that your ISP assigns to your account) and all network traffic will need to be routed through your new router if your gateway has an integrated router.
You’ll need to know the gateway’s IP address (which is usually printed on a label on the device). A web browser window will open with the gateway’s configuration screen accessible via the IP address you typed in.
There are gateways that work with a secondary router in “bridge mode,” and there are others that don’t. Some ISPs won’t let you set up the gateway on your own, so you’ll need assistance from your ISP.
I have a Motorola NVG510 DSL gateway/router. Passthrough mode can be enabled by logging into your router and going to Firewall > Passthrough Mode > Setting it to “passthrough.” The passthrough mode is then changed to “DHCPS-fixed” and the router’s MAC address (Media Access Control) is provided.
As previously mentioned, DHCPS stands for Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol Server, and it assigns IP addresses dynamically to the devices on your network Routers can only have one MAC address, and no two are the same. Even if your gateway goes through a different process, the end result will be the same.
The Wi-Fi access point on your gateway should be turned off so you don’t have a second, pointless Wi-Fi network. Restart your gateway after you’ve finished making these modifications.
Step 3: Connect your gateway to your new router
Turn off your gateway (if there isn’t an on/off switch, unplug the power supply). Unplug the ethernet cable from the gateway’s LAN port and connect it to your router’s WAN port instead (once again, some routers have dedicated WAN and LAN ports; others have auto-sensing ports).
You should have received an Ethernet cable with your router if there isn’t one plugged into the gateway’s LAN port already. This is how you connect your gateway to your router using a WAN cable. Restart your gateway and give it a few minutes to finish loading. Put your router’s power supply in the slot and turn it on. Give it a few minutes more to finish loading.
Step 4: Change your wireless router’s admin password
For configuring routers, many router manufacturers offer smartphone apps. If your new router has one, make use of it (in some cases, that might be the only way you can configure the router). Otherwise, you can use an Ethernet cable to connect your PC to the router and use the browser-based user interface.
In the address bar of your web browser, type in the router’s IP address and press the Enter key. The router’s IP address is usually printed on the device itself and will appear as 192.168.1.1 or a variation of that value.
You’ll need the admin username and password for your router to log in. Depending on your router, this information may be printed on the device itself or in the user manual. Press Enter after entering the necessary login information to access your account. The default admin password is insecure, and you should change it right away. Write it down or use a password manager program to keep track of it.
Later on, you’ll want to make adjustments and updates, so keep it handy. If you lose your admin password, you’ll have to reset your computer, which will erase all of your customizations.
Step 5: Update the router’s firmware
Firmware updates are frequently made available after the router has been shipped by the manufacturer. Keep an eye out for critical bug fixes in the new firmware, as well as security and performance enhancements. Although most routers will check for new firmware updates. Users must use the router configuration app.
For more information, consult the manual that came with your router. After a router firmware update, you’ll have to restart it.
Step 6: Establish a password for your Wi-Fi network
Some routers come pre-configured with a Wi-Fi password when they leave the factory (they might even put it on a label on the router itself). When you first set up your router, many of them will at the very least prompt you to create one. As a minimum, set the router to use WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access, second-generation).
WEP (Wired Equivalent Password), a much older security protocol, is dangerously insecure and should never be used. Although it is no longer used by default on most new routers, older models may still support it if you have devices that can only communicate using WEP. This category of wireless devices should be retired because even a casual hacker can compromise your entire network if you continue to use them.
Different router models have different procedures for configuring your Wi-Fi password. The configuration options are normally found under the Wireless and Connectivity tabs (but not the Security tab, which is where you might expect them to be).
If your router is a dual-band model, you’ll have to create separate passwords for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. While they can be different passwords, using the same one for each will make you happier (and it won’t make you any more secure either).
It’s best to use a password that’s at least eight characters long, preferably more. If you don’t have a great memory, a password manager will come in handy once again in this situation. You’ll also have to create a password for any guest networks you run.
Step 7: Enjoy your Wi-Fi network!
With luck, you should be able to use the new Wi-Fi password you just generated to access your new home network now! You should use your router’s guest network if it has one if not. Your guests can still use the internet service, but they won’t be able to connect to other computer systems or storage devices on your network.
What is the difference between a wired connection and a wireless router?
To use a wired router, you’ll need a cable to connect it to the devices you want to power. There is no need for a cable with a Wi-Fi router. If you have a lot of people in your house using a lot of different devices, you’ll want to make sure your house is Wi-Fi ready.
What does a router do and how does it work?
An internet router allows you to connect multiple devices to your modem at the same time by splitting the internet signal. One wired device, such as a desktop computer, can only be connected to the active internet connection at a time if you have a router.
Can I change the router login username and password to something other than admin?
No, the router login username cannot be changed. Only the admin password can be changed.