You can create a network of wireless-enabled devices such as laptops, smart phones, PDAs, gaming consoles and HDTVs by establishing a wireless LAN. Once the network is set-up, all devices under the range of the wireless router will be able to communicate with each other and access the Internet through a connection to a modem or desktop computer. You can create different types of networks, depending on the type of wireless router.
Shut down all networking equipment, such as the modem, wireless router and computer. Unplug the power cords of the modem and router.
Connect the wireless router to the modem. If you have a computer that is currently connected to the Internet, unplug the network cable from the back of the computer and plug it into the back of the router in the port labeled "Internet", "WLAN" or "WAN." Depending on the manufacturer, wireless routers will have any one of these labels. If you do not have a computer connected to the Internet, plug in one end of the network cable (that usually ships with a new router) to the back of the modem and the other end to the router's "Internet", "WLAN" or "WAN" port.
Switch on your modem and wait for it to connect to the Internet. Wait up to ten minutes and then switch on the router. Wait for the LED light above the "Internet," "WAN" or "WLAN" port on the router to light up. This shows that the modem and router have been successfully configured and that the router is receiving signals from the modem.
Install the router's driver software from the manufacturer's CD. Insert the disc and follow instructions to configure the network and apply network settings.
Secure your wireless network. As soon as the router is installed, it will start to wirelessly broadcast Internet signals. Restrict unauthorized access by activating the router's security features. Type in the network's SSID and WPA to secure the network when prompted by the router's installation CD. The SSID is the name of the network you have just created and the WPA is a security measure to protect your privacy and restrict unwanted access. Finally, password-protect your network from the router's software.
Check that the network is properly set-up and working, using a WiFi-enabled laptop to connect to the Internet. Click the wireless icon from the system tray (bottom-right of the screen on Windows systems) and view available networks. You may see a list of names, usually private networks created by neighbors. Select the one you created and click "Connect." Type in the password when prompted.
- Different types of network equipment, such as modems, routers and wireless cards, tend to support each other better when they are from the same manufacturer. When buying, purchase compatible equipment if possible.
- Secure your wireless network as soon as it is established. Anyone with a wireless device in the vicinity may easily access your network.
- adsl router image by Christopher Meder from Fotolia.com