Setting up a wireless network can be a bit overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the steps. The first thing you need is a wireless router. These can be purchased online or many local stores carry them in stock. There are many to choose from and a few of the bigger brands will work just fine such as Netgear or Linksys. You’ll also need a wireless card in each computer that you want to use on the wireless network. Make sure you get a wireless router that’s compatible with the cards you are using or want to use. The standard is currently wireless n which is an upgrade from the previous wireless g standard. As long as your router is compatible with the standard your card(s) are using they will talk to each other. Once you have your hardware selected then you’ll need to set them up and configure them. Depending on what type of internet service provider you use, you may need to call them to help you setup the router. Most ISP’s will not walk you through setting up the wireless network without charging you a fee. They will only support one computer plugged into the router and that it has a working internet connection. Some only guarantee it will work with their modem and leave you high and dry setting up the router, but typically at bare minimum they will ensure one computer with a physical connection to the router is connected to the internet.
Most modern routers will work automatically when you plug the modem into the internet jack on the router or have a setup installation disk that will guide you through the process. One exception is if it’s a DSL connection that will need to be bridged from the modem to the router in which case your ISP will need to be contacted to walk you through the process. Once the router is connected to the internet it’s time to setup the wireless function. Refer to the manual on the router to ensure the wireless is enabled on the router. Many routers have a button on the router that needs to be on in order for it to transmit the wireless signal (usually looking like a small wireless antenna). Once the wireless signal is turned on the router should then be ready to be configured for wireless security. The last thing you want to do is transmit a signal that’s not secure or anyone will be able to use your internet connect and have easy access to your files. Many routers will have an installation CD that will walk you through the process of setting up a password and security on the wireless router as well as the name you want on your network.
Once you have the router setup, go into your wireless settings which can be accessed via the control panel and connect to your network. You may also see the wireless tool in the bottom right hand corner of the taskbar, if setup correctly it should prompt you for a password. Enter the password and that’s it!
Note : It is critical that you at least setup a password with your wireless router otherwise anyone will be able to connect to it.