Today having a small wireless home network is a necessity. Every single user is using multiple devices to access the huge World Wide Web. But having a different network connection to every device is a challenge. Moreover, why have multiple connections on multiple devices? Now with a simple Wi-Fi router, you can set up your own home network effortlessly. It is as easy as eating a pie.
In this article, I will try to guide you all step-by-step to set up a small wireless home network. Yes, most of us know that already, buy a router, connect it to modem and BOOM!! You are good to go. But actually, it is not that simple. To do it perfectly, certain steps needed to be followed. Without following these steps you can also get your Wi-Fi running. But you will not be able to reach the full potential of your router effectively.
We will jump right into the steps now and later on this post we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of wireless setups. Yes, I feel you, there are some certain dis-advantages too that you should know of.
Components You Need For Wireless Home Networks
- First and foremost is a Wi-Fi router. It will connect all devices to the internet.
- Ethernet Cable has become a short one that may be a long one. Check here which one you need.
- Power Extension Cord (optional)
These are the basic items you are going to need. The extension cord is an optional unit that you might need depending upon the router placement.
Finding the Optimal Position
Your Wi-Fi connectivity speed and quality depend 70% on your router position. You have to choose a good position for your router where all your devices can get connected. Avoid placing it near any metal surface. Thin walls and in the middle of your room will be a good location. If you are setting it up on your ground floor, try putting it on the ceiling. That way you will get good signal strength on your 1st floor too.
The router positioning is a must do before configuring your router. You can also do the initial setup at the desk, but after the setup put it back to its optimal location.
Do not worry much about wall sockets for power. In 80% of cases, you will not find a wall socket near your optimal position. That is where the power extension cord comes in. Use it to put power juice in your router. Similarly, you might not be able to place your router next to your modem. In such cases you will need a bigger Ethernet cable, the one provided with the router will not suffice. You can refer to this guide also to find out your optimal position too.
Connect the Wi-Fi Router to Your Modem
This is a step in judgment. If you are doing the initial setup on your desk then it will be easier. Connect your modem LAN-out port to your router’s LAN-in port. Make sure you push the Ethernet cable properly. Do not use excessive force, you might break a clip of Ethernet.
This is the time you will also be able to test if your Ethernet cable is working fine or not. For the router, to modem connection, we recommend using a CAT-6 LAN cable. If the distance of the router from your modem is short then a CAT-6. But if the distance is too far, then using a traditional LAN cable as CAT-6 is more expensive.
Turn on your router at this point of time. After that, turn off your modem and turn it on to ensure that the router recognizes it properly. If every light of your router is blinking and the Wi-Fi light is stable, check your phone. Check if the new Wi-Fi device is shown on the list. If all is ok, you are set for the next step of the setup.
Connect Your Computer Laptop
Now we will move on to the setup of the router itself. We are not going to set up the router wirelessly as those are the settings we are going to change. Use an RJ-45 LAN cable (the one that comes within the box) to connect your router to your computer/laptop.
If the computer connects properly, we are going to begin the following setup. But if your computer is not properly connected then set your IPV4 to “Obtain an IP address automatically”.
Step 1: First you need to enter the login screen of your router. Open a browser like Internet Explorer or Mozilla and type in your router gateway IP. (Typically: 192.168.0.1).
**Please Note: If your router gateway IP is different it will not connect. In that case please check your router box for the gateway IP and login details.
Step 2: Login to your router’s administrator page by providing credentials. Use ‘admin’ as the username and ‘admin’ as the password is the default credentials for most of the routers. But if you are unable to login with the given details, read your user manual. Your router’s user manual should contain all the necessary login details.
**Please Note: We will change our default credentials for better security after the setup. Changing these credentials is a MUST.
Connect to the Internet
Step 3: You need to provide your internet configuration details to set up the router.
- Like if you are using a DSL connection then setup as PPPOE. PPPoE requires the username and password to login to your internet.
- If you are using fiber connections then directly select bridge connections.
- But some service providers also provide you with a static IP. In such a scenario, you need to set up your static IP in the router.
Step 4: This is an optional step. You need to update your router mac or spoof it if required. Some Internet providers bind your IP with your device MAC. They do it to provide better security so no one else can connect through your Internet. But sometimes it might be a drag to call them and ask them to reset. If you do not want to ask them every time you switch router, you can change your MAC. Even budget Wi-Fi routers have this ability.
SSID and Password Setup
Step 5: Now time for the important things, your SSID and Wi-Fi password. Every router comes with a default SSID and password given by the manufacturer. You really want to change them on your own. Give a unique SSID (Service Set Identifier) (Wi-Fi Display Name) to personalize your network even more. Then choose a hard enough password to give you an extra layer of security. If you are very skeptical about your Wi-Fi access then you can generate a random password (https://passwordsgenerator.net/).
Step 6: This is also an additional step you can omit. Like I said before if you are skeptical about your Wi-Fi access you can set up an ACL (Access Control List). An Access Control List contains all the MAC’s that you want to give access to your network. Or all the MAC ids you want to restrict from your network. Most recent routers have this option.
**Please Note: You have to manually add each MAC in the router configurations. Afterward, you cannot simply share your connection by giving your Wi-Fi password. Strangers or friends can only connect if you add their MAC to your ACL.
Step 7: Now this is the moment of truth. You need to check if your LAN, or the computer you are using, is getting a valid IP address. If you are receiving IP within the valid DHCP pool and you are able to connect with the internet then you are good to go. Test with some additional devices like your mobile and tablet to check internet connectivity. If everything is working fine, you are done with the initial setup.
Step 8: Now disconnect your router from your computer (If you are using a LAN to set up). And put your router to a proper place. The proper place you found at the beginning will be the most appropriate. Connect the power cord to the router, connect it to the modem if disconnected and tested again. If everything is right then GREAT.
You are done with your first wireless home network. Enjoy browsing.
After the setup is done there are some basic security protocols you should follow. You can read your Wi-Fi routers manual for all the available options. Similarly, to MAC filtering, you can also assign static IPs to different devices. You can disable SSID broadcasts and use your router’s inbuilt firewall for an extra level of security. If your router does not have any inbuilt firewall you can ignore that step also.
This is the whole guide to setting up a small wireless home network. If you face any difficulties during your setup or anything I have missed in this guide. Then please let us know through the comments. You can also contact us through Facebook or Twitter. We will be happy to get your suggestions.