How to Set up a Linksys Wireless Router

Clone MAC Address

How to Set Up and Optimize Your Wireless Router
Be sure to not put any personal information in your network name, as the name will be public. Once you have your network configured, you should change the username and password that you use to access your router. Setting up a wireless network will allow your devices to connect to the internet from practically anywhere in the house, without the need for messy wires. If the computer or mobile device does not already have an IP address, it will request one from the network's DHCP server, which is on the router. The IP address varies a bit by manufacturer, but most are the same or very close.

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Home networking explained, part 5: Setting up a home router

Make sure you have enough Ethernet cables to connect the modem to the router and the router to your computer. Even though the router is wireless, a wired connection is must for the setup process. Start by setting your router next to your modem and plugging the power supply into the wall socket.

Let it completely power up. Before you start using the router's wireless connection, connect one of the router's numbered ports to your computer using an Ethernet cable for the set-up process. Don't connect to the wireless network until your security settings are configured. Cable Internet connections usually require a Media Access Control or MAC address to identify a subscriber's computer and establish the connection. Start up your preferred Web browser and enter " After the number is added, click "Save Settings" to save the changes.

So if everything worked right, you should now be online. If you are using an ISP-supplied router instead of a modem, things are a bit more complicated. First, you reconfigure the ISP's router to operate in bridge mode before you connect it to your new router. Bridge mode means the old router doesn't do anything to the network traffic and just passes it along to your new router for processing.

While you can do this on your own, some providers will do it for you remotely once you make the request. Once the ISP supplied router is in bridge mode, just follow the above steps to get your new router online. With the router and PC physically connected, you can now begin customizing the router's configuration.

Most routers these days are managed via a web browser or a mobile app and are shipped using a default IP address, administrator account, and password. This default IP address will vary from vendor to vendor, so check your documentation to find out yours. Once you have that information, accessing the management console is easy. The very first thing you should do is change the router's default password.

This may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how many people don't do this. Keeping the default password compromises the security of your entire network and can leave your router exposed to anyone.

The next thing to do is to make sure your router is running the latest firmware released by the manufacturer. This is a good practice because you never know how long a product has sat on a shelf before it made it into your hands. Also, firmware updates can address many potential issues before you ever encounter them.

This process will vary by vendor; check your documentation for details. Next it's time to focus on your router's LAN configuration. As I previously mentioned, DHCP , which manages all the IP addresses on your network, is typically enabled by default on most consumer routers. Your router uses the IP address , a numeric identifier, to locate your PC and route the correct network traffic. If the computer or mobile device does not already have an IP address, it will request one from the network's DHCP server, which is on the router.

When the device disconnects from the network, or a certain amount of time has passed referred to as a lease the IP address returns to the DHCP pool. Certain devices, such as servers and printers, need to always have the same IP address.

They can't have their addresses change periodically. If you are in that situation, you need to assign a static IP address, an IP address that never goes in the DHCP pool and is assigned to the device permanently. Now that you have some IP addresses available, you'll need to manually assign them to devices that need static addresses. What you need to do is to provide the network adapter of your device with a unique IP address, the network Subnet Mask, the Gateway address and a DNS server address.

Based on the above example, you could use any address between Just be sure to keep a list of the static IP addresses you've assigned already so that you don't reuse them again by mistake. The process for assigning a static IP address to a network adapter will vary based on the device you're trying to configure, so check your documentation.

With your network now properly configured you can move on to setting up your wireless network. As you surf the internet, the address bar automatically displays the current address of the web page you're looking at, whether you typed in the URL or got to it by clicking on a link, such as one from within an email or from another web page. This web page address is called a uniform resource locator URL. You'll find at least one of these browsers on any computer, tablet, or smartphone, and any of them can be used to manage a router's web interface.

When you get a new router, setting up the hardware is very simple. If this part of home networking is new to you, check out part 1 of this series first. All you need is a computer that has a network port most computers do and two network cables a new router comes with at least one network cable. Follow these steps, regardless of what the router's included setup guide might say:. Also note the reset button, which brings the router's settings to default value. The next step is to use the web browser to display the router's web interface.

Basically, you will need two things: You'll find this information in the router's manual, and sometimes it's printed on the underside of the router, as well. Most, if not all home routers on the market have a default IP address in this format: For example, routers from Trendnet almost always have a default address of And the log-in information is also quite predictable.

The username if any is almost always admin and the password if any tends to be one of these: Once you have gotten these two pieces of information, just type the router's IP address in the address bar of a browser on a connected computer, press Enter, and then enter the log-in information, after which you'll be greeted with the web interface.

You can quickly find out the router's default address by using the ipconfig command on a Windows computer. Also, from a connected computer, you can always find out what the current IP address is of the local network's router. This is helpful if a router's default IP address has been changed.

On a Windows computer do this:. Though the design of the web interface is opened varies from one vendor to another, most of them have granular menus. Listed below are typical main menu items and what they do.

This is where you can start a step-by step guided setup process. Many routers' interfaces show the wizard when the web interface is accessed for the first time. You just have to go through and set up a few of the routers' settings, such as its log-in password to be changed from the default -- you should definitely do this to keep your network secure and the name and password for the Wi-Fi network or networks, for dual-band routers.

Some wizards also ask for your time zone, the current time and date, and so on. With most routers you can skip the wizard and set up the router manually, if you want to, or you can finish the wizard and get back to the interface to further customize the network.

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