How to setup a wireless router

This article explains how to setup a wireless router. We assume that an internet connection is available at the location where the router is to be setup.

Step 1 – System Identification

Identify the systems which needs to be connected to the wireless router. This can be a combination of wired and wireless networks. We assume that there are 3 desktops, 2 laptops , 2 smart phones and a smart TV.

Step 2 – Wired connection

The desktops has to be connected to the LAN interface of the router. Typically, wireless routers comes with 4 LAN interfaces by default. The desktops should be connected to the LAN interfaces on the routers using patch chords or RJ 45 cables. In case you do not have cables, it can be purchased here . Buy from Amazon

Step 3 – Wireless connection

The laptops , smart phone and smart TV are wireless devices. These has to be connected to the wireless router using the wireless card inbuilt on them.

Step 4. Wireless & Security setting

The wireless access on the router has to be setup prior to setting up of the above devices. The screen shot on a router with appropriate password configured is shown below.

a. Go to the wireless setting on the wifi router.
b. Setup the SSID of the wireless network. This is the network name. The name provided here is madmax.
c. Select the encryption protocol (WPA is preferred as it is more secure) and ensure that a password is set.
d. Configure the SSID along with password on all the devices like the laptops, smart phone, and TV

wireless router setup screenshot

Step 5 -DHCP & DNS configuration

The IP address configuration has to be setup on the router. This would ensure that all the clients on the wifi network receives IP address from the DHCP server on the router. Typically, all routers come with DHCP server on. This is shown below.

dhcp setup on wireless router screenshot




In the above screenshot it can be observed that the DHCP range is provided from 192.168.0.2 – 192.168.0.254. The clients would receive IP addresses within this range. The DNS IP address is also provided by the DHCP server. The IP address of the DNS server, which is also the IP address of the router is configured in the DHCP setting.

Step 6 – LAN testing

Steps 1 -5 would ensure that the LAN configuration is done. To test perform the following tasks

a. Run ipconfig /all on the dekstops and laptops. An IP address from the DHCP range should be received.
b. Verify the IP addresses on the smart phones and TV using the applications provided in them.

Step 7 – Internet configuration

Once the LAN is setup, the next step is to configure internet parameters. Identify the setting which your ISP has provided. For example, your router would need to the configured with an IP address provided by the ISP statically , or setting it as a DHCP client. Alternatively it can also be a PPPOE setting. A username and password would be assigned for the router by the ISP , which has be to configured on it. A screenshot of a router with the different setting is shown below.

Internet setup on wireless router

After configuration, the IP address details from the ISP should be available on the WAN setting on the router. This would be the public IP address, subnet mask, default gateway and DNS server which is provided by the ISP.

Step 8- Internet testing

After the above configurations are performed, the devices should be able to access internet.

Step 9 – Basic Router troubleshooting

In case you are not able to access internet check the following.

a. Check if the device which is unable to access internet has received IP address , default gateway and DNS IP address. This can be verified by the command ipconfig /all on desktops and respective applications on the other devices.

b. Check if the router has received IP address from the ISP.

c. Check that the passwords configured on both the router and devices are the same.

Step 10 – Security tips

a. Ensure that you provide a strong password for wireless access.
b. Ensure that the default password for the routers web console is changed. Typically routers come with passwords like ‘passsword’ or null which is easy for hacking.
c. Ensure that the ISP provided password, is also changed from the default value.
d. Setup mac-filtering on the router for additional level of security for wireless access. This would ensure that an unauthorized user would be unable to access the router inspite of knowing the wireless password.