3. Installing the router
- Power off your cable modem or your phone company DSL modem Use an Ethernet cord (looks like a fat phone wire) to connect the modem to your router. If you already have a wired modem attached to your computer, now’s the time to disconnect it.
- Next, turn your cable/DSL modem back on. The on-off process tells the modem to look for new devices. At this point, the wireless program on your computer can probably find your new router and start using it. But don’t until you’ve added some security.
4. Setting up Security
- Until you set up the software and security for your new router anyone within range (that could be hundreds of people in an apartment building) can see what’s on your network including all of your files.
- If your router came with a CD, you’ll want to pop it into your PC and following the instruction.
- Change the name of the network. Very often the network is the name of your router, like “Netgear”. Change it to something that you’ll remember, but not something that will identify the network to others nearby. So, for example don’t use something like “Davis Family net”. Instead pick something you might remember like “Blue Rhino”.
- Most routers also come with a program that controls who can change settings. For the most part the user name is “admin” and the password is also “admin”. Change those too.
- The next thing you’ll want to do is add an encryption key. That’s a password that will protect the data on your network from prying eyes. Many people don’t bother. That’s a mistake. It’s a little like broadcasting your credit card numbers and hoping no one hears it. Set that key. Most of the routers either start with a suggested key, or let you set your own. If you use the manufacturer’s key, be certain to write it down and put it someplace you’ll remember. Resetting a lost encryption key is a real pain.
Now you’re ready to use your network. Go to your computer and look for network connections on the home screen for either Mac or Windows. In Windows it’s a tiny icon on the bottom right, or you can find it in the Contol Panel. On the Mac, it’s a fanlike icon on the top right, or you can find it in “settings”. By clicking on it, you should see your network, then it will give you the opportunity to join it, and enter your password. You should check the box that says “connect automatically” so you don’t have to re-enter the password every time you log on.
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