How to Hook Up a Router

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Essentially, a router is a type of network device capable of forwarding data packets to their intended recipient using the IP address commonly a part of the packet header or what is normally referred to as routing. A router is similar but not entirely the same to a switch which only functions by connecting computer systems and devices to create a Local Area Network environment for the sharing of data and resources. Basically, when data packets are sent across the network like the Internet, they are passed along numerous routers on their journey (because the data generally goes through a series of networks) before they land on the actual recipient of the information. So any network environment which intends to connect to the Internet and share the bandwidth connection with the network client needs to place a network router within the LAN structure.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- CAT-5 Ethernet cable
- router
- DSL modem
- Web browser
- Internet connection
Step 1
The first step to hooking up a router is to get the correct type of router for your network. Basically, a network can either be wired or wireless. Many computer experts recommend using a wireless router since it also provides for four wired connection ports aside from supporting wireless computing.
Step 2
It is presumed that there is already an active subscription to a broadband Internet connection. Make sure that the DSL modem is properly connected to the telephone or cable source. Power it off for now.
Step 3
Get one CAT-5 Ethernet cable and plug one end into DSL modem's Ethernet port. Take the other end and push it into the WLAN or LAN port of the wireless router. At this point, all devices should be turned off.
Step 4
Take a computer with a wired network interface card. Plug another CAT-5 Ethernet cable into the network card and the other end to a vacant port of the wireless router. Since routers are set up using DHCP, an individual address is automatically assigned to every connected computer system to prevent any IP address conflicts.
Step 5
Since this portion of the setup is handled automatically by the router, the user has to replace some default values of the router to make sure that it functions properly and remains secured. Newer routers come with built-in firewall functionality.
Step 6
Plug-in all devices into the electric socket and power them up one by one starting with the DSL modem, followed by the wireless router, and finally the networked computer.
Step 7
The router and the computer should detect their connection to each other. The same should be true between the router and the DSL modem.
Step 8
On the networked computer, open the Web browser and type in the IP address assigned by default to the wireless router. This will allow access to the Web administration page of the device.
Step 9
In this configuration screen, change the default values for the SSID and the administrative password. Also, define the preferred encryption method to be used.
Step 10
Click on 'Save' to implement the changes and exit the Web browser. The router can now properly function to cater to the needs of the network clients.