One of the great things about having a laptop with a wireless network card is that you can access wireless networks almost anywhere you go. You probably already use your laptop to access the Internet at work, the library and even the coffee shop. So, why shouldn’t you have a wireless network at home? Install a wireless router and use wireless networking to free your laptop or desktop computer from the network cables that tie them down. Follow these steps to learn how to install a wireless router in your home.
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Choose a wireless router compatible with your computer
Wireless routers use different signal standards. You will see numbers like “802.11a” and “802.11n” in the product descriptions of wireless routers and network adaptors and cards. These numbers refer to the signal standard used by the router. Some signals have wider or shorter ranges or are easily interfered with by appliances and other radio emissions sources. You will need to make sure that your wireless router and wireless network adaptor or card in your computer use the same signal standard in order to communicate with one another.
Connect the wireless router to your modem
Read the instructions on how to install your wireless router. Typically, you will connect your router to your modem using an Ethernet cable. Most routers will also have additional Ethernet ports in order to connect multiple computers that don’t have wireless network adapters or cards.
Install software if necessary
You may need to install the router software or drivers on your computer for it to recognize the wireless router and the wireless network. If you are using a wireless network adapter or network card, you may need to install software in order to use it to access your wireless network.
Adjust your wireless network settings
Wireless routers often have security and channel features. If there are a lot of other wireless networks in the area, you may need to switch to another channel to increase speed and avoid interference. It may also be a good idea to activate security measures like signal encryption and a network password to prevent others from accessing information on your wireless network.
Caution: Be sure to use a password to protect your wireless network. Unauthorized parties can easily connect to an unprotected network, stealing your bandwidth as well as your personal data. Include a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers to build a better password, and don’t use words found in the dictionary. Don’t worry about memorizing your password; just write it down and file it away. The one-time minor inconvenience of connecting a computer to a password-protected network is worth the huge security advantage.