When you first open that router box, all the different cables and ports can feel intimidating. Even the instruction manual can read like a foreign language. Fortunately, you are not the only one who struggles to set up a wireless router.
We can help guide you through the process of setting up your router and connecting it to your favorite devices so that you’ll be on the Internet in no time.
Step 1: Connect your router to your modem
Do not plug your router into the power outlet yet. Instead, the first thing you are going to do is connect your modem to the WAN port with an Ethernet cable.
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Not sure what WAN port is? Most consumer routers have a set of Ethernet ports, many of which are called LAN ports (local area networks) and others called WAN (wide area network) ports. A WAN port looks similar to a LAN port, but it is often a different color and differs from them. For example, in the photo above, the WAN port is yellow and labeled Internet. Sometimes it will be labeled WAN. This port is for connecting your router to the modem and the outside world. The LAN port is designed to connect to local devices.
Plug one Ethernet cable into your modem and the other into the WAN port of your router. Then, plug your router’s power adapter into the wall.
If you do not have a cable, see our guide on how to choose the right Ethernet cable.
Step 2: Download the application and connect
Give your router a minute to start up and network. In the meantime (if another connection option is available), download the app associated with the manufacturer of your modem. Today’s modems can usually be set by a mobile app that will automatically walk you through the setup process. This is the most effective method, but you have to make sure that you choose the right app.
Linksys has its own proprietary setup and management app, uses the Netgear Nighthawk app, and Google has its own setup app. Instructions for which app to use should be in your manual.
Now connect to your latent Wi-Fi network. Doing this is usually a simple process: Go to your phone or computer’s settings and choose the Wi-Fi / network option. See the name of your router here. Your router must have a default SSID name that is printed from the back of the router with the default network key. Use the key to log in to the network. Some routers simply have to scan a QR code to complete this process, but if that option is not there, these steps should be sufficient.
Once connected, launch the router management app to begin setup!
alternative method: If your router does not have an app, manually connect the computer to the router using an Ethernet cable. After you are connected, go to the configuration page of your router. This page is a website hosted on your router, and is a traditional way of configuring your router’s settings. How it can be found can vary, but it always means typing. 192.168.1.1 In the address bar of your favorite browser, then hitting Enter.
If you find a page, go ahead and proceed to the next step. If that address does not work, however, your router may fully use the other address. This address may vary depending on your router, so consult your router’s official documentation if 192.168.1.1 Address does not work.
Alternatively, you can simply view our list of default router IP addresses and passwords.
Step 3: Create a username and password, or find an existing one
Your router app should automatically walk you through the setup processes, so answer its questions and fill out the form as necessary. For most new routers, you will be asked to create an app name (again, it is called SSID) and a password. Make sure that this password is unique and secure because anyone who has it can do all kinds of bad things on your network.
WPA2 encryption is currently the standard for security, and you should always choose it when given an option for your security protocol. Make sure you choose a longer password, which is different from the administrator password you set earlier.
Ideally, it should not include words from a dictionary or an easily guessed name (such as your pet’s name). Store password somewhere safe later.
A used router, however, may already have a password and needs to be reset. Most routers have a reset button at the back. Holding down Reset The button will do the trick with a paperclip for at least 30 seconds.
Release the power, and wait for the router to rest. It should use the default settings when restarted, which means that the default username and password will now give you access to the settings.
Step 4: Continue setting up your router
The router app may allow you to set other settings such as parental controls, automatic updates, and more. You can remove these settings from the app more later, but pay attention to the walkthrough and it teaches you everything. You should learn about guest access, monitoring activity, and more. When finished, the app will configure network settings and finish setting up your network. Now you can explore the app at leisure to learn more.
Some apps, such as the Nighthawk app, will also sign you up for free trials of additional security filters. Want this No Automatically you will have to sign up for payment and will expire naturally after 30 days at no additional cost.
Optional: Mesh router installation
A growing number of routers these days are “mesh routers”, such as Google Wi-Fi routers. Mesh routers use a set of Wi-Fi devices that all work together – typically two or three of them. A device plugs into your modem and acts like a traditional router.
Other devices act like automatic repeaters that link to the first device and provide a secondary source for the signal. This functionality can greatly extend the range of routers, enable users to get rid of dead zones and ensure that there is full coverage of large homes or property.
However, this means that you will need to take one more step in your home and keep the secondary appliances. Here are some tips to help you position the mesh router correctly:
- Try to install additional router devices in open locations where they can broadcast the network as freely as possible. Remember, you do not have to move to a modem with these access points! The router would require access to an outlet, however.
- Set additional router points to distant but not very away. All routers are required to work together. On average, about two rooms away from the original router.
- You can choose to place your router points in important areas of your home. For example, if you have a gaming space where you use Wi-Fi, you want to make sure that one of the satellite models is placed there for maximum effect.
- Many routers provide a mobile app that makes it easy to connect additional routers and access points to your network from your phone or tablet. for example, Google Nest uses QR code To connect a router or access point. Failing to connect these additional pieces of hardware to your network means that you will miss the special features that they offer. Be sure to complete this step for any equipment you have added.
And you’re away!
Now that you have already connected and configured your wireless router and any additional routers and access points, you can start connecting devices, so that they can access the Internet – without any ugly cords or cables.
It may be worth exploring the additional options that your new network currently has on your hardware. Take advantage of enhanced features like Port forwarding setup And Upgrading your router’s firmware With DD-WRT. You can then access advanced settings that increase the reliability and security of your Wi-Fi network.