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How to Set Up Router
You need Internet, but if you’ve never set up your own home network before, then the process can seem intimidating. Here’s the good news, though – it’s actually pretty simple! Once you’ve ordered your Internet service from the provider of your choice and got your cable, DSL, satellite, or fiber Internet modem in hand, you’re ready to spread all the magic of the Internet throughout your home with a wireless router.
Just follow our step-by-step instructions and you’ll be surfing the web in no time at all!
Step 1 - Purchase a Router
Maybe you’ve bought your own router, or maybe you’re renting one from your Internet service provider, but it’s an indispensable device for getting online. The router is a central device of any home network, essentially taking the Internet connection from your modem and communicating it across all of the multiple devices tapping into your home network.
A wired router does this by running (a limited number of) physical cords from the router to your devices. On the other hand, a wireless router creates and hosts a Wi-Fi network that a nearly-unlimited number of your devices can tap into.
Step 2 - Connect All Devices to Each Other and to the Internet Provider’s Network
Now that you’ve assembled all the pieces, it’s time to physically connect them.
First, take the cable company’s coaxial cable, the phone company's DSL phone line, the satellite company’s data line, or the fiber optic company’s data line and plug it into your modem.
Second, take the Ethernet cable from your modem and plug it into your wireless router.
Third, plug in the power cords of both devices, turn them all on, and let them calibrate themselves and communicate with each other for a few minutes. You’ll see the lights on both devices flicker back and forth for a little while.
Nowadays, many Internet service providers also offer combined modem/router units, so you might even be able to plug all your cords into a single piece of equipment, making getting connected even easier.
Step 3 - Set Up Your Wi-Fi Through the Web Interface
Once everything is all plugged in and communicating with each other, you should be able to pull up the router’s web interface. And while you can call up your Internet service provider, the best way to set up most Wi-Fi routers is through the web interface. It’s like a pre-internet portal that allows you to create and maintain your home’s wireless network.To do so:
Either look in the router’s manual (or on its underside) and grab the device’s default IP address and default log-in information.
Next, open up a web browser – such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari – and type in the characters of that web address you just discovered.
Chat with the set up wizard. Go through the menus and change a few of your new Wi-Fi network’s settings such as its log-in password (to keep your network secure) and its name (feel free to make it something easily recognizable).
After you complete the set up, the router itself then receives a single public Internet Protocol (IP) address on the web. Servers on the backend of the Internet communicate with your wireless router, and the router routes that information traffic to the appropriate devices on your home network.
Step 4 - Start Surfing the Web!
That’s it! You should now be online and ready to enjoy all of the web from the comfort of your home. And to make sure you’re getting all the speed you’re paying for, perform a speed test of your brand new home network.
If you have any troubles with your wireless router after set-up, be sure to call up your Internet service provider and let them know so they can help resolve the issue for you.
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