From the Kenosha News on 5-15-05

Installing your wireless network router

       This week's column picks up where we left off last week discussing installing a wireless network at home.  If you didn't see last week's column, you can access it in my on-line archive at www.sabbarpublications.com

      Before you begin, make sure you have the login information for your internet connection.  The router is going to login to your internet connection like your computer did before, and it will create a network connection for each of your computers whether wired or wireless.

      Follow the instructions in your router's User Guide to connect and configure it.  The steps below provide some additional commentary on some of the more confusing parts of the installation.  Instructions may be different for you if you're using a brand of router other than Linksys, which is what I use.  If you don't have the user guide available, you can get one at the manufacturer's web site.

      Physically, the ethernet cable from your broadband modem (cable or DSL) connects to the "internet" port on your wireless router.  It also needs electrical power.  Next, you'll need to access your router with a computer to configure it; this is easiest to do with a wired connection at first.  Plug the ethernet connection from your computer into one of the numbered computer ports on the router (not the internet port) and turn on your computer.  Open a browser and point it to 192.168.1.1 or the number indicated in the User Guide for your router.  If you can't connect to the router, consult the user guide to make sure your computer is configured correctly.  Once you connect to the router, you will be asked to login.  Use the default user id and password provided in the user guide.

      The Setup tab is where you enter the information for your broadband connection.  You may need to call your ISP to get some of the required information.  If you're using DSL, the internet connection type is PPoE.  Enter your broadband connection login and password.  Even before you set up the wireless portion, you may want to test and see if you can connect to the internet with a wired PC.

      Now you're ready to set up the wireless SSID on the Wireless tab.  Each wireless network should have a unique SSID that differentiates its signal from other networks.  If you have a Linksys router, the initial (default) SSID will be "linksys" which is not a very secure one.  Pick an SSID that's unique and you can remember.  It could be your last name or something clever and meaningful to you like "escapereality" or "packernet".  Later, you'll need to enter this SSID on each of the wireless computers you want to connect to the router.  Note the option to "broadcast" or not.  Once you've tested your wireless connectivity and have configured your wireless devices to talk to your router, disable broadcast.  This will keep other unauthorized users from seeing your signal.  This is the most basic type of security.  Other security options are available under the Security tab.

      The wireless configuration of a Windows XP computer will be next week's topic.

By Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 5-15-05