How to self-install your own Spectrum internet
Spectrum is the third-largest internet provider in the country. If you’ve chosen the ISP as your service provider, follow these steps to successfully complete a Spectrum self-install.
Purchase Spectrum internet
Your first step is purchasing your Spectrum internet plan. Allconnect makes it easy to learn more about Spectrum, find out if it’s available in your area and purchase the plan that’s right for you. When you buy your plan, you will indicate if you want to rent or buy your modem and router, as well as if you want a technician to install your technology or do a Spectrum self-installation yourself.
Setting up your Spectrum compatible modem
Find your coax cable connection for modem setup
If you decide to do your own Spectrum internet setup, you should receive your install kit in the mail. It will contain the following:
- A modem, if you are renting one from Spectrum
- A router, if you are renting one from Spectrum
- Two power cords, for the modem and router
- An Ethernet cable
- A coax cable
When you receive your Spectrum self-installation kit, find the coax cable so you can do the Spectrum modem setup. Find the cable outlet in your home, which should accept the coax cable. The outlet may be anywhere — in a kitchen, living room or basement, for example — or you may have multiple outlets. If that’s the case, choose the one that is closest to where you want to keep your modem. This outlet will allow your internet connection to go live.
Buying your own modem vs. renting a Spectrum modem
Take the coax cable and attach it to your home’s cable outlet. Connect the other end to the modem.
Find the appropriate power cord and attach it to the modem, then place the other end in a regular wall outlet. You should see a light begin to flash on your modem at this point.
After two to five minutes, the Online Status light on your modem should remain on without blinking. This indicates that you have successfully made the connection. If your modem needs an update, this step could take longer, so don’t worry if it’s still flashing for 15 or 20 minutes.
You have now done everything needed to connect your equipment to Spectrum internet. For Wi-Fi access, you still need to install the router, which we’ll go over next. You’ll need to install the router unless you have a gateway device, or 2-1 modem, which is a modem and router combined into one box.
Spectrum router setup and connection to modem
The router is what allows you to run multiple devices in your home without a cable connection to each of them, via Wi-Fi. It sets up a LAN (local area network) that you tap into with your computer, tablets and other devices.
The Spectrum router setup is fairly simple. First, find the Ethernet cable in your self-install kit and connect one end to the modem and the other end to the router.
Then locate the power cord and plug one end into the router and the other end into a wall outlet or extension cord. You’ll need to wait until the Wi-Fi Status light on the router turns blue. This could take up to 10 minutes.
Connect your devices to your wireless network
Now you’ll need to connect your wireless devices. On any device that’s connected to the internet, find your Wi-Fi settings window.
Now look on the back of your router, where you should find the Spectrum Wi-Fi network name (SSID) and the default password. On your device, select either the 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz network, and enter the password.
Once you’ve established a connection, change your password and network name to something that will keep your connection private and safe, known only to you and those in your household. You can safely share your Wi-Fi password from your iPhone if you have one.
All that’s left to do is to connect your home devices to your new wireless network and perform a Cox activate. You’ll need to log in to your router.
- Open the Wi-Fi settings from a computer, smartphone or tablet.
- Connect to your network using the network name (SSID) and password located on a label at the bottom of the modem.
If you’d like to personalize your SSID or change the default router password, the easiest way to change it is through the Panoramic Wifi App. Or you could enter the router’s IP address into a browser’s address bar. The two most common addresses are 192.168.1.0 or 192.168.1.1, depending on the router you have. You could also find the IP address on a label at the bottom of your router.
Once you’re at the router’s login page, most routers use the word “admin” for the user and password. In other cases, the user may be “admin” and the password could be the word “password.” After you log in, look for a tab or section labels as “wifi” to change your router’s SSID and password.
Spectrum activate your internet connection
Finally, you will need to activate your internet connection. To do a Spectrum activate, go to the activation website. This website URL is also located in the materials included with your installation kit. It should come up automatically the first time you open a browser on the computer you’ve connected to your network.
The activation website will give you step-by-step instructions. You’ll start by making sure all your equipment is connected and turned on. Then, you’ll create a username, and sign in to your Spectrum account to activate your equipment. Have your account number handy, which you can find on your order slip or in the self-install kit.
You will also enter your contact information and an authorization code that will be sent to you. You can then create a password and pick security questions to keep your information safe.
If you have problems at any step, you can open a chat window on the Spectrum site to talk to a customer service agent or you can call the tech support number at (833) 780-1880.
Expert tip: Use your own equipment to speed up the Spectrum internet setup
Your ISP provides modems and routers that are optimized for use with your Spectrum service — for a small monthly rental fee, of course. If you wish to use your own equipment, however, you can find a router and modem that have the features you wish, or can purchase a modem-router combination, or gateway device, that combines the functions of both in one unit.
If you do have equipment that is not supplied by Spectrum, the installation process may be slightly different, but if you follow the instructions that come with your devices, a self-install shouldn’t be difficult. Note, however, that if you are using equipment that did not come from Spectrum, the company will not be able to service it if something goes wrong.
The bottom line
Doing a Spectrum self-installation on your own will save you some money since the company will charge you for a technician to come to your home to do the setup. There are other tasks you can accomplish without a technician, too, such as determining your Spectrum internet speed. These tasks are not difficult and can have you online and Wi-Fi accessible in very little time.
If you move or change providers, it’s easy to cancel your Spectrum service and return your equipment to the company, if you are renting it.
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Written by:Mary Van Keuren
Mary Van Keuren is a freelance writer. Over the last five years, she has covered home and auto insurance, and has written numerous other service and product reviews at Reviews.com, Bankrate.com, TheSimpleDollar…. Read more
Edited by:Robin Layton
Editor, Broadband Content
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