Want to set up your wireless router, but don't know where to start? You are not alone. The assortment of cables, ports, and other components hidden in the router leaves most people scratching their heads. Each router is different and the specific steps to configure them depend on the model.
In most cases, the simplest thing to do is to follow the instructions that come with the device. But if you can't find those instructions, or just don't understand them, these general steps should help you. They apply to most routers available on the market today and can also be useful if you are trying to configure a used router.
Setting up a router may seem like a daunting task, but it's a lot easier than you think. You just need to know the cable where it goes and configure some settings to make the router work. You don't need to be a tech savvy to set up a router, all you need to do is follow a few simple steps outlined below.
How to set up a router
To set up a router, the first thing you need to do is unplug the modem you received from your ISP and then plug it into the router. Grab an ethernet cable, which is probably included in the package, plug one end into the modem and the other end into your router's WAN port.
The WAN port may be labeled "Internet" and looks the same as the LAN ports close to it. However, the port can be separated from the rest on some routers and almost always has a different color to make it stand out, like in the image above.
Not sure what the WAN port is? Most consumer routers have a group of Ethernet ports, many of which are called LAN (Local Area Network) ports and another called Wide Area Network (WAN) port.
The WAN port looks the same as the LAN ports, but often has a different color and spaced from them. In the photo above, for example, the WAN port is yellow and labeled "Internet". It will sometimes be labeled "WAN". This port is meant to connect the router to the modem and the outside world from there. The LAN ports are intended for connection to local devices.
The next step is to reconnect the modem and wait a few minutes, then do the same with the router. Give your router a minute to boot and create a network. In the meantime (if another connection option is available), download the app associated with your modem manufacturer. Today's modems can typically be configured from a mobile app that will automatically guide you through the installation process.
Once done, grab another Ethernet cable and use it to connect your computer to the router. Now open a browser on your computer and visit the router configuration page.
This should be described in the instructions or on a label somewhere on the device, but in most cases it is http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1.
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Your router's app should automatically guide you through the setup procedures, so answer its questions and fill out forms if necessary. For most new routers, you'll be asked to create an app name (again, this is called an SSID) and a password. Make sure this password is unique and secure, because anyone with it can do all kinds of nasty things on your network.
After entering the address, you will need to log in. The login information should be written somewhere in the manual or on a sticker placed on the router, but in many cases, the username is “admin” and the password is “Password” - very creative, I know.
After logging in, an installation wizard should appear on the screen, guiding you through all the required settings.
If not, find and click on the option called "Setup Wizard" or something similar. Things are pretty straightforward starting at this point, as you'll need to name your router, select a security protocol, and so on. Once done, the router will be set up and ready to use.
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Detailed instructions on how to set up a router:
- Unplug the modem.
- Connect the modem and router (WAN port) with an Ethernet cable.
- Plug the modem back in and wait a few minutes for it to install.
- Plug in the router and wait a few minutes for it to set up.
- Connect a PC to the router with an Ethernet cable.
- Open a browser on your PC and visit the router configuration page, usually http://192.168.1.1 or http://192.168.0.1.
- Sign in with the login information written in the instructions or on a sticker located on the router.
- An installation wizard should now appear. If not, locate this option in the menu and click.
- Follow the basic setup instructions, after which the router will be ready for use.
Here you have just finished setting up a router. Did you have any problems or were you able to set it up without problems? Let us know in the comments!
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