Tech Tip: How To Set Up A Wireless Network [Windows]

A wireless network is a great option if you want to connect computers without running many cables or if you want to maximize the mobility of your laptop/notebook computer. Setting up a wifi network isn’t that hard.

Requirements

  • Wireless router or wireless access point
  • Wireless Network Inteface Card or Wireless LAN Adapter (one for each computer)
  • Ethernet Modem

Putting It All Together

If you have not set up an internet connection with an internet service provider you need to do that first. The following steps will assume that you already have an internet connection up and running.

  1. Do not plug or unplug anything yet. You should follow any instructions that came with your router very carefully. These instructions are usually fairly simple and tell you when and how to plug everything in.
  2. Insert the setup CD that came with your router and run the setup program following the instructions that came with your router.
  3. At some point in the setup you will be required to connect your modem to the router’s internet port and connect the router to your computer via one of its other ports. You will also be instructed to connect the power supply to the router and then to plug it into an empty socket.
  4. After the router has configured your internet settings you should be able to use your wireless network. However it is greatly recommended that you set up some security measures first. You should be able to access your routers configuration via an IP Address (usually in the form of 192.*.*.*) where you can change various settings. Specific instructions should be in the documents that came with the router or on the setup CD. Basically you need to first give your router configuration utility a password then look in the settings for something such as “wireless security”. Here you should select security standard such as WPA (recommended) or WEP. You can then select a pass phrase that users must enter to gain access to your wireless network.Tip: Make your pass phrase exactly 5 or 13 characters. This will prevent you from getting error messages about your pass phrase’s length from Windows.
  5. You should now be able to unplug your router from your computer and use your wireless network interface card or your wireless lan adapter to connect to your router. They should immediately detect your wireless network. If you set your network to use WPA or WEP you will be asked for the pass phrase the first time you try to connect to the wireless network otherwise you should connect automatically.

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