After I posted a link to a tutorial last week about how to secure your wireless network, I realized that the tutorial really didn’t speak to MY audience. As evidenced by questions I got about the tutorial after the fact. I promise to only do my own tutorials from now on, as I know how to talk to the non-tech’s. Which is the whole reason I started this blog in the first place.
First it will depend on what brand of wireless router you have. I recommend Linksys (CISCO). Definitely the best brand on the market for wireless routers/cards/etc.
When you take your router out of the package you are going to need to hook it into your network. In order to do this you will take the cord that comes out of the modem, or wall and put it into your router in the “internet” port (hole).
Now if you used to have that cord that came out of the modem or wall directly plugged into the computer you will take another cord and put it in any of the other ports on the router and plug the other end into the computer.
Now that the router is all hooked into the internet and your computer, it’s time to setup the wireless network! Like I mentioned, it’s going to depend on the brand you purchased what the defaults are going to be. First open an internet explorer window (or the browser of your choice). In the address bar type the IP address 192.168.1.1 (this is the default address for a Linksys router). If that address doesn’t work, and you don’t have the documentation that would tell you which IP address to use try 192.168.0.1.
The next thing you will see is a login popup. Again here, the default for Linksys is username: admin password: admin. You may have to play around with some different combinations if you have lost the insert for the package. Another common password is 1234 with the username admin. If you are really lost on it, plug the computer back into the modem directly and do a google search for default password (and then your brand and model of wireless router).
Now that you’ve entered the wireless setup page the first security steps I take is to change the default router IP address. There are several reasons to change this default IP address and range, but for now I’ll leave it at if you ever needed to connect to a work VPN there will less likely be conflicts with the work network if you change it from a default address. Don’t change the 192.168 part, just change the 3rd octet. You can pick something like 192.168.20.1 or 192.168.200.1, you just cannot go over 255. After you change the IP address you are going to have to put this new IP address in the address bar and log in again.
Next you want to change the SSID, which is the “name” of your network. I wouldn’t necessarily make it your own name (even though mine is totally named Kimmel). Some people like to name theirs “Don’t Steal My Internet” or something fun like “Tattooine”.
Third you want to set up the security. There are a few different options here in terms of how you are going to secure it. The most secure is the most recent standard which is WPA2, although you are free to use any of the security options. Once you have selected an option, choose a password. Passwords are most secure if you use upper & lowercase, numbers and special characters. Also if it’s longer than 8 characters.
Now that you have selected all of your options save the settings, and then try and connect to your network. Enter the password and you should now have a home wireless network. The best part of having a wireless network is all the many devices you can attach to it. You can even put your TV and Blu-Ray player on the wireless and start streaming apps like Netflix!
Unplug today, and go wireless!
*Disclosure – Linksys has not paid or compensated me in any way for this post, if you work for Linksys or CISCO please feel free to pay me or compensate me in anyway for this post. 🙂
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