How to Set Up a Wi-Fi System in Your House

by Jane Gateway

As society continues to look for ways to increase efficiency and speed in Internet accessibility, more and more advanced systems have become available. Wireless Fidelity, Wi-Fi, allows you to connect your digital audio player, smartphone, personal computer--even your video game console--to a LAN and the Internet using wireless technology. This allows you to take your laptop virtually anywhere in the home or yard and connect to the Internet. Additionally, you can say goodbye to those cumbersome cords and wires, as they will no longer be necessary. If you're still not convinced, weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Select and purchase the items required to set up your Wi-Fi system. Choose a router that suits your specific needs. Many options exist and vary in cost depending upon the signal strength, which will be less for small, single-story homes and greater for larger homes with several levels. Wireless intensity is greatly dependent upon proximity, so place your system away from thick materials (doors and walls) and closer to windows or unfilled walls. Determine what type and how many devices you want to set up and purchase adapters for each, if required.

Turn your modem and computer off and begin by configuring your Ethernet cables. Remove the cable coming from your broadband modem and plug it into the LAN port on the router, while leaving the other end plugged into your computer. Take another Ethernet cable and attach one end to your computer's Ethernet port and the other to the WAN port on the router.

Turn your modem on and wait a few minutes. Confirm the equipment lights blink to ensure a connection before proceeding. Plug your router into a power source and wait a few minutes. Confirm the equipment lights blink to ensure a connection before proceeding. Turn your computer back on.

Configure your router. Launch your browser and enter the default IP address. Follow the instructions that appear at each prompt. Wi-Fi Alliance suggests changing your network name from the default to something that is personal and easy to remember, while individual computers should be assigned different names so they can recognize one another. Enter your broadband information to include your password and login ID as well as your server and IP addresses, if required. Finally, be sure to secure your network by selecting an encryption key. A multitude of problems can result if your network is not encrypted.

Disconnect your computer from the router and install the adapter(s), if necessary. Depending on which Windows operating system you have, a list of available wireless networks will become available from which you can make your selection.

Tips

  • check Read manufacturers' labels prior to installation to confirm compatibility.
  • check Purchase items made by the same vendor to ensure compatibility.

Warning

  • close Consider using a firewall for additional protection, as Wi-Fi network security may not be enough to secure your system.

Items you will need

About the Author

Based in Michigan, Jane Gateway has been writing about gender, poverty and politics since 1977. She served as a communications director and writer for the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Information and Culture. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications sciences and a Master of Arts in educational administration from Michigan State University, where she is pursuing a Ph.D. in media and information studies.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera internet image by Soja Andrzej from Fotolia.com