How to Set Up a Wireless Router

How to Set Up a Wireless Router
Setting up a wireless router is straightforward as long as you have a PC with a wireless network adapter, as well as an active high-speed Internet connection. You might also need a computer with a wired network adapter and router-specific setup software, which is typically included on a disc packaged with your router or available for download on the router manufacturer's support site.

If you have a router labeled with a Windows 7 logo and you are using Windows 7, setting things up should be quick if you follow the steps below.

Set Up Your Wireless Router on a Windows 7 PC

1. Connect the wireless router to your modem using an ethernet cable.

2. Connect your wireless router to a power source. Wait about a minute, and then continue to the next step.

3. Click the network icon in the notification area; the icon should look like a series of vertical bars, or a tiny PC with a network adapter alongside it.

4. Select your wireless network from the list of available networks to complete the setup process. By default, your network name will be the name of your router manufacturer.

Although newer routers connected to Windows 7 PCs are generally simple to set up, some problematic wireless routers might require a little more attention. If you can’t set up your wireless router as explained above, follow the directions included with it. Chances are, you'll need to use one of the following two strategies.

Set Up Your Router Using the Setup Software

1. Make sure that your wireless router is completely disconnected from the modem, the computer, and the power source.

2. On your PC, insert the disc that came with your router, or download and run the latest version of the router's software from the vendor website.

3. Follow the on-screen instructions. The setup routine will ask you to connect components (including your modem and PC) in a certain order, and it may request that you temporarily connect your wireless router to a computer via an ethernet cable. You will also create a wireless network name and password at this point. If something goes wrong, you may want to consider manually configuring your wireless router.

Manually Configure Your Router Without Setup Software

1. Connect your wireless router to the modem, using an ethernet cable.

2. Connect the wireless router to a power source. Wait about a minute to ensure that your router is fully operational.

3. Connect the wireless router to your computer using an ethernet cable.

4. Log in to your router’s Web interface by opening a browser and entering the IP address of your router into the address bar. The IP address should be listed within your router’s documentation; if you can't find it, most routers use a common IP address such as http://192.168.1.1, http://192.168.0.1, or http://192.168.2.1.

5. Enter the default username and password, which you should find within your router’s documentation. Alternatively, visit Port Forward’s Default Router Passwords page.

6. Use the Web interface to set up a network name and password.

7. Disconnect your computer from the wireless router and then reconnect wirelessly. Finally, check out our router tips to speed up your wireless connection.

Caution: Be sure to use a password to protect your wireless network. Unauthorized parties can easily connect to an unprotected network, stealing your bandwidth as well as your personal data. Include a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers to build a better password, and don’t use words found in the dictionary. Don’t worry about memorizing your password; just write it down and file it away. The one-time minor inconvenience of connecting a computer to a password-protected network is worth the huge security advantage.

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