How to Set Up a Wireless Home Network

I spend most of my time at home! There, I’ve said it! But as bland as this may sound to you, working from home has its benefits. To make the most out of it, though, you will need Internet access. Wireless Internet access, to be more precise. Read this guide find out how you can set up a Wi-Fi network in 30 minutes.

Begin by purchasing a good broadband router. It’s a device that connects to your Internet service provider (ISP), and then is able to broadcast data wirelessly, allowing your devices to connect to the network. Pick a router that supports both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands; this way, you will be able to get the best of both Wi-Fi worlds (range and speed).

Also, it is wise to purchase a router that utilizes detachable Wi-Fi antennas. This way, it will be easy to replace them in case that their coverage isn’t good enough for your needs. In addition to this, you can easily connect antenna cables into the router plugs, and thus be able to position the Wi-Fi antennas anywhere you want them – not necessarily close to each other.

Let’s begin by choosing a suitable location for the router. Ideally, you should place it near the center of your home, as close to the ceiling as possible. Don’t worry, it’s not a crucial decision, you can move the router to a different position anytime you want to. We are only interested in getting the things running for now.

Connect the power source to the router, and then plug it in. Then, connect your modem or cable to the router. I am talking about a cable that connects the little box you’ve gotten from your ISP to the router. You will need an inexpensive Ethernet cable, which may have already been included in the router box. In fact, you can even build one! Just kidding 😉 Here’s a picture of an Ethernet cable, in case that you’ve never seen one before.

Sometimes your ISP isn’t providing a modem, so you will have an Ethernet cable that can be plugged straight into the router. One way or the other, the Internet cable has to be connected to the router’s WAN plug; otherwise, you won’t be able to set up the network. Here’s a picture of the WAN port, in case that you get lost.

Now that everything is set up, it’s time to turn on the router using its power button. Routers are able to broadcast wireless signal, but they also include plugs for cable-based network connections. We will use the latter version of the connection (the wired one) for now, because it makes things much easier on our end. We need to use another Ethernet cable to connect the router to the computer; you can purchase one, because it’s really cheap.

Don’t worry, after we are done with the setup process, you can also connect your computer to the network wirelessly, if you prefer that option. In this case, the computer will need an inexpensive PCI-based Wi-Fi card; the good news is that most laptops already include one.

It’s time to check out the router manual. Go to the page where it tells you how to connect to the router’s admin console. Most routers can be accessed by typing into the browser address bar, for example. It’s best to look up the needed information into the manual, though.

If all works well, you will be greeted by your router’s admin login page. You will need a username and password, which are often times “admin/admin” or “admin/1234”. Once again, the needed info can be found in the manual.

Now that you have logged into the router, it’s time to set up the Wi-Fi network. Go to that router admin page, and then choose a random name for the network name (often times called SSID). Pick a strong password that consists of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.

In the unlikely event that your router doesn’t suggest it, be sure to pick the WPA2 data encryption protocol, the only one that’s powerful enough to keep other people away from your network.

Open your tablet or smartphone, and then try to connect to the Wi-Fi network by making use of the password you’ve set in the previous step. If everything works great, it’s time to celebrate with a big cup of hot coffee 🙂

Of course, if your computer includes a wireless adapter, you can now connect it to the Wi-Fi network as well. That Ethernet cable you’ve bought is not needed anymore, so now that I think about it, it may be wiser to borrow it from one of your neighbors, rather than buy it. You won’t need the cable for more than half an hour, after all.