Setting up Wireless Networking : Guide to Secure Wi-Fi

Setting up wireless networking does not mean installing a router, rather it is an elaborate step wise series of actions taken to create a solid home network.

Still, there are many queries while setting up wireless networking like, how to choose the right router, how to go about setting it up? Follow the easy step-wise guide to get the right router configured for a secure wireless Wi-Fi network.

Process of Setting up Wireless Networking

  • Installing the Router
  • Configuring the Router
  • Connecting to the Router

Installing the Router For Setting up Wireless Networking

Buy a wireless router.

  • There is a wide range of factors that will influence your choice of a router or which one is best for you. These may include
    • distance
    • signal interference
    • transfer speed
    • security
  • One of the most crucial factor to take into consideration while buying a router is the distance between the router and the devices which you need to connect via wireless. More expensive routers typically have more antennae, that make them have a more stable connection at larger distances.
  • Another key factor to look into is the amount of signal interference. If you wish to connect multiple devices that operate on the 2.4 GHz band, like microwaves and cordless phones, these are definitely going to interfere with the Wi-Fi signal. Newer routers are operational on the 5 GHz band, that is considerably much less crowded and thus less prone to interference. The biggest drawback is that 5 GHz signals do not travel as far as 2.4 GHz signals.
  • Transfer speed is a key feature to consider while buying a router. Newer routers have claims like they are able to transfer data up to 450 Mbps. While this specification may be helpful while moving data between two computers thru a network, it will never increase the general Internet speed, because this is set by your Internet Service Provider. Generally , there are three main router speeds available in the market:
    • 802.11g (54 Mbps)
    • 802.11n (300 Mbps)
    • 802.11ac (450 Mbps).
  • It is also important to understand that above given speeds are virtually impossible to attain as there are lot of factors affecting them in any environment with a clean room free of signal interference.
  • Finally, ensure the router you are buying consists of the latest form of wireless encryption, WPA2. This is pretty much standard specification in all new routers, but actually it is something to think about if you are buying an older second-hand router from a senior room mate in a hostel or a dorm who is moving out. Older encryption algorithms are less secure. A WEP key can be cracked and pestered into, in just a few minutes.

Connect the router to the modem.

Once you’ve bought the router, you will be required to connect it to the modem. The router will have a port labeled WAN/WLAN/Internet in the back. Connect the port to the modem using a standard Ethernet cable. Ensure to properly power on the router before turning it on.

Connect a computer via Ethernet cable.

  • This step is optional, but can be very useful in case you wish to set up the wireless router before connecting any wireless devices to it.
  • Connecting a computer through a physical cable allows you to tinker with the wireless settings without losing the connection to the router.
  • While setting up the router, plug it in next to the computer while adjusting the settings, for optimum efficiency. You can place it where it will normally stay after you have finished configuring the router.

Configuring the Router For Setting up Wireless Networking

Install the router software.

  • Install the software on a computer that is connected to the router via an Ethernet cable, if yours did come with one of such software.. although not every router comes with software to install. It makes the setting up of a router much more convenient than going in to the configuration menus using the bundled software.
  • Designate the name of the wireless network, and the type of security that you wish to use while using the software. It is better to choose WPA2 for the most secure network. Choose a strong password and continue.
  • Generally router software automatically detect the internet settings, which is the information that the router requires to translate your internet connection and transfer it to all of your wireless enabled and connected devices.

Open the router’s configuration page.

You will be required to connect to the router’s configuration page through the web browser in case your router did not have any installation software with it. For this, just open the web browser of choice and enter the web address for the router which is typically 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. YOu may even see through the documentation that came with the router to find the exact address. You will be asked for a username and password to continue into the router configuration. This information is also present in the documentation that came with the router. Typically username: admin and Password: password or admin, is set thru factory, still you may check the documents.

Enter Internet connection information.

The information includes the IP address and DNS information from the internet service provider. Most routers have a general sequence which gets filled in this section automatically. You may contact ISP for the information that you are required to enter, in case, it does not attempt to do automatically.

Set the wireless settings.

  • Typically,, Wireless Settings section is placed towards the top of the router’s menu. You can enable or disable the wireless signal, change the network name, and set the encryption using this section.
  • To set the name of the network, select the SSID field which is the name that will be displayed on any device that detects the network. Avoid putting any identifiable information in the SSID, as anyone with a wireless device can see it, in case, you are residing in an area with a lot of public traffic,.
  • Ensure setting up the encryption to the latest version allowed by the router. Generally this will be WPA2 and it operates with a single password. A strong password is recommended although you can use whatever you’d like. Stronger passwords consists of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.

Apply your settings.

Always click the Apply or Save Changes button in the router’s configuration when you are done changing the settings. The router will process for a moment, and the new settings will take effect.

Perfect Place for the router.

Place your router in a central location in order to get the best possible signal. Keep in mind that any obstacles like walls and doors will degrade the signal. You may want to consider multiple routers to ensure that you have the coverage you need in case of multiple floors. Remember that it must be physically connected to your modem limiting your options while placing the router.

Connecting to the Router For Setting up Wireless Networking

Connect a device to the network.

You can test the connection by scanning for wireless networks using a Wi-Fi device like another computer, a smartphone, a tablet, once the router is broadcasting a wireless signal.

Scan for new networks.

  • For Windows
    • Click the network icon in the system tray in the lower-right corner of the desktop.
    • Select Connect to a Network.
    • Check for your SSID.
  • For Mac
    • Click the AirPort icon in the menu bar.
    • Looks like 3 curved lines.
    • Select your SSID from the list of available networks.

Enter the password.

  • You will be required to enter your password to connect to the network if you have enabled WPA2 encryption.
  • You can disable the hidden characters on some systems to let you see the password you are typing easier if you are using a personal and private computer.

Test the connectivity.

Once connected to the network, wait a moment for the IP address to be assigned. Open a web browser of your choice and connect to a website you don’t normally visit to ensure that you aren’t loading the website from cache memory. This step will help you check the connectivity of the network.

Hope the above article will take you through a guided step-wise journey for setting up wireless networking. Happy Networking!!!

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