While many people can remember the days of dial-up modems and being shackled by physical wires, wireless Internet has become the standard for new home networks. Advancements in networking over the past two decades have provided the ability for more than one computer in a home to connect to the Internet at a time. Wireless networks also allow users to connect from anywhere within range of the router’s reach, giving users the luxury of checking their e-mail from their favorite spot on the couch.
Setting up a home wireless network is easier than ever. Here is a quick guide to get you started.
1. Check that your computer’s operating system supports wireless networking. The new Windows 7 operating system comes prepared to support wireless networking. Windows Vista and Windows XP users will be able to set up a wireless network, but it is recommended that users first consult Microsoft’s homepage and download the applicable service packs in order to make the process easier. These updates should be free if you already have the operating system installed.
2. Sign up for broadband Internet service. Most Internet service providers (ISPs) will provide wireless options such as Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) or cable internet. They’re generally sold on a monthly subscription basis.
3. Purchase a wireless router, DSL modem, or cable modem. Check with your ISP as they may provide this as part of your subscription fees.
4. Plug one end of a network cable into your modem to connect it to the port labeled Internet, WAN, or WLAN on your router. Some newer modem models come with networking technology built in. Make sure the router and modem are turned off when you connect them.
Once connected, turn on both devices.
5. Connect your computer to an open network port on your router. Your computer will not stay directly connected to the router, but this step is necessary in order to set up the network. Make sure not to plug your computer into the Internet port, WAN port, or WLAN port. If your computer is turned on, it should automatically recognize the router and establish a connection.
6. Visit the URL indicated in the router’s packaging to configure your router. Different routers have different instructions for this configuration, so follow the directions that accompany your model.
7. Establish your network name and security settings. You can decide whether to add password protection to your connection.
8. Disconnect your computer from the modem. Your wireless internet should now be correctly configured and ready to use.
9. Connect your other computers, printers, and gaming systems to the network. This should be as easy as following the device’s configuration settings and selecting your established network. Consult your device’s specific instructions, as necessary.
By following these easy steps, your home wireless network will be up and running in no time.