How to Setup a wireless router
Alright, so you have a wireless router and you are ready to get your WiFi working but you aren’t quite sure how to set it up. That’s OK because in this article I cover all of the important things that you need to know about how to setup a wireless router. We will explain everything from the best places to install your router, to the initial set up and various configuration options including setting up your WiFi name and password.
Where to Place Your Wireless Router
Deciding where to install your wireless router is very important. Besides picking out the correct wireless router for your home, this is honestly the most important step.
Here are some important things to consider when you are deciding where to install your WiFi Router. If you already have your location picked out then you can skip past this section.
- Where is your internet service installed?
- Where do you need the most WiFi Coverage
- The size of your home or office
- Are there any obstacles that could block WiFi signals?
Where is your internet service installed?
If you are getting internet service from an ISP such as Comcast or Frontier then the technician should ask you where you want your internet installed. If the install technician is any good then they will help you decide a good location for your WiFi router. My advice is to consider the info that is listed below. I have installed a lot of wireless routers over the years and there is a science to making them work for your environment.
Where do you need the most WiFi Coverage
A good thing to consider when placing your router is, where do you need the most WiFi coverage? Most people tend to need good WiFi coverage in the living/family room, and kitchen. The other important spots are usually offices and bedrooms. The important thing to understand is that everyone has different WiFi needs. Some people need WiFi for work or homework and others need it for streaming tv or video games.
If you only have a small area to cover with WiFi, then make sure that you place your router in the center of that area if possible. The reason to place the router in the middle of an open area is that most WiFi routers use Omni-directional antennae. These antennae send signals out in every direction at once, so having them at one end of your house might limit your coverage.
The size of your home or office
Larger homes and offices are more difficult to cover with WiFi. In these locations, the best spot to install your wireless router would still be in the center of an open area. You might also need additional coverage depending on the size of your place. A lot of routers these days can cover between 1000 to over 2500 sqft. If you do need additional WiFi coverage in different areas of your place then you can try using a WiFi extender or upgrade to a WiFi Mesh network.
Are there any obstacles that could block WiFi signals?
Obstacles such as walls, furniture, appliances etc. can block your WiFi signal. Solid materials like stone, brick, wood, glass and metal also block wireless signals. So, the best choice is to avoid placing your wireless router inside a cabinet or any furniture. Instead, try to put your router up off of the floor away from any obstacles.
Obviously each place will be different so just keep in mind that WiFi travels best through open air.
OK, now that your wireless router is installed, it is time to set up the wireless router.
Before that, please note that there are basically three configurations available for you. Depending on your router type, you can follow the procedure. Here are the three main methods we will see in this guide to setup a wireless router.
- How to setup a wireless router
- How to set up a dual-band wireless router
- Also, How to connect a wireless router to your modem
You can follow any of the procedure that suits you.
#1 How to setup a wireless router
First of all, we will see how to setup a wireless router. Once you place your router and turn it on, the WiFi network will automatically be created. Please note that, you will not be able to connect to the internet, you will only see an available WiFi network.
So, you can turn on your computer and see if there is a WiFi network available or not.
If there is no WiFi network available, it is recommended that you connect your router with LAN cable to your computer. Alternatively, you can also use the disc that you got with the router.
There won’t be any password as the router is new. You can set it later on. We will also see how you can set a password on your wireless router.
Setting up a Wireless Router
We will first see how to setup a wireless router When you connect the wifi, you will have not have internet access. You will need to configure the wireless router in order to use the internet.
To start using the internet, you will first have to open the admin page of your wireless router. To open the admin panel, you have to type in the default IP address of the router in the URL bar of your browser. The default IP will be 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1
Once you are there, you will be asked to enter the default IP address and default Passphrase. For most of the wireless router, the user name and password are one of the following.
Username: admin Passphrase: password
Username: (blank) Passphrase: (Blank)
Username: admin Passphrase: admin
If none of the works, you can check out our post on how to change the passphrase.
There will be an option called “Quick-start”. Click on it and you will be asked to fill up a couple of details to get started.
Wireless Router Quick start guide
When you click on the quick start, you will see certain information about your wireless router. Hit the next button.
In the next screen, you will have to enter the username and password of your DSL connection.
You will get it from your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If not, you can call their customer care to get your account details.
Once you enter the details, the wireless router will check for the firmware upgrade. If there is any update available, it is recommended that you do it. Upgrading the firmware will make sure that you get the best performance. You can wait for a couple of minutes till the upgrade is finished.
Thereafter, you can setup wireless router SSID (name of your WiFi network) and its password. You will see the below-given screen from which you can enter all these details. Make sure you set the secure password. The password shouldn’t be any default password or an easily guessable password such as “123456” or “password”. If you keep in simple and easily guessable, anyone can use your internet connection and you will get less speed. Therefore, make sure the password is secure enough.
Once you complete all these things, just restart your router and start using the internet. You can restart or reboot your wireless router from the menu. Just turn off the switch and wait for a couple of seconds and turn it back on again. In this way, you can start using the internet connection.
#2 How to Setup a Dual-band Wireless Router
Now, we will see how you can quickly setup a wireless router with a dual-band. Dual-band wireless routers can transmit two signals at the same time giving more performance. Therefore, if you want more speed, you should go with a dual-band wireless router. Here, we will see how to setup a router with dual-band.
The steps are similar to the previous one. However, there are a couple of more configurations that you will have to do. We will see how easy it is to connect a wireless router to the internet.
Configuring a Dual-band wireless router
First of all, you can surely run the quick setup mode as shown in the previous section. Once you complete the basic setup, you can configure a dual-band wireless router. You can follow the below-given steps carefully to configure a dual-band wireless router.
First of all, make sure you have completed the basic setup of your router. (If not, refer to the previous section, you just need to login to the admin panel. Thereafter, you can open run the quick start wizard on the router. It will ask you enter several details such as username and password)
Now, you need to log in again to the wireless router admin panel.
Thereafter, you will see “Dual Band” settings options on the menu. These settings will let you enable or disable any band that you want.
You can either select one of the band for the wireless signal to transmit or you can select both of them simultaneously.
It is recommended that you keep it to “Dual Band” for better performance. However, if you need any one of the bands, you can select it.
Once you select the band, hit Save and reboot your router.
You can either select the reboot button from the options or you can simply turn it off and turn it back on again.
For advanced settings, you can also select channel and mode from the wireless settings. Unless you know what you are doing, keep the default options as it is. If you make some mistakes here, your wireless router will not be able to connect to the internet. So, you should only mess with it unless you know what you are doing.
#3 How to Connect a Wireless Router to Your Modem
Now, there are some of the internet service providers that provide a modem along with the connection. These modems are of low quality and you will neither get enough range not you will get better performance. Therefore, people always replace them with a different router. Connecting a wireless router to the modem and configuring wireless router can be tough sometimes. Therefore, here will see step by step guide and make connecting a wireless router to modem very easy.
If you have a model that came with your ISP. You will need to disable the routing of the signals. In simple words, you need to make sure that the old router is disabled and the WAN IP address passes through your new router. For that, you will need to make a couple of changes in the configuration.
First of all, you will need to connect your router to your modem using the cable. Once you connect your router to your modem, you can disable the allocation from the admin panel of your modem.
Configuring Wireless Router by Using a Modem
To configure it, you will need to open the admin panel of your modem. You need to find the IP address of your modem, it will be given behind the modem. Alternatively, you can just search the default IP of your router. Just type the IP address in the URL bar and it will open the admin panel. Write “admin” in the username box and “password” in the passphrase box.
Go to Firewall > IP Pass-through
When you open it, there will be several settings that you need to configure. Make sure you set the configuration as per the below-given settings.
Allocation Mode: Pass-through
Pass-through Mode: DHCPS Fixed
Pass-through Fixed MAC Address: You will need to enter the MAC address of your router or you can select one from the list directly. The mac address will be given on the downside of your router. You can check it or you can simply select on eof the addresses from the given options. Both work fine.
You can refer to the below-given image for more information.
(Image is taken from the community section from ATT)
After all the things are configured, you can just reboot your router. Thereafter, you will be able to use the internet.
Troubleshooting Setup Issues while Setting up a Wireless Router
Now that we know how to setup a router, we will see how you can troubleshoot the problems you come across when you setup a wireless router. Below given are some of the main problems and how you can solve them.
You can follow the below-given tips when you setup a wireless router to avoid any problems. Connecting a wireless router to the internet is the main task and some people are not able to do so. In such a case, you can follow the below-given tips.
- First of all, make sure that you have connected the cable properly. Most of the people make a mistake here and this is the main reason you are not able to use the internet. If your router doesn’t work on that port, you can try another port available in your modem.
- The next thing that you need to do is to make sure that the DSL username and password are correct or not. You can double-check them from your ISP. If they are incorrect, it might be the issue.
- Make sure you restart your router. Most people think that once you configure your wireless router, your job is over. However, if you do not restart your router, the settings won’t be applied. Hence, you will not be able to use the internet connection.
- The last thing that you can do is reset the router and follow the full procedure again. On the back of your router, there will be a small hole, insert a pin inside and you will hear a “tick” sound. Once you hear that sound, your router is successfully reset. Some of the modern routers even have reset buttons. You can use it also. Once you reset it, follow all the steps that we have given.
I hope that this article has helped you get through the setup of your wireless router. If you have followed all the steps carefully then you should be able to start using your new WiFi and the internet.
If you are still having any issues, you can check out my post on “Wifi not working” where I have covered different steps to fix your WiFi.