How to Set Up a Wireless Home Network

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Computers in a network allow two or more computers to interface with each other in an office, school, or home setting. Avoid the tedious work of running cables and plugging wires around your computers by establishing a wireless network. A wireless network allows computers to work in a network environment within a small radius around your home, allowing access for multiple computers with each other and your printer/s.

Materials Needed:
- Wireless Router
- modem
- Internet connection
- wireless network adapters for your computers
Step 1
Select and prepare the equipment you will need. There are three wireless technologies available: 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. It is recommended that you choose equipment with 802.11g technology because it is compatible with a lot of recently released products and offers the best performance. To keep your wireless networking relatively easy, select the same vendor for your equipment. If you buy a particular brand for your wireless router, try to use any compatible wireless network adaptors within the same brand.
Step 2
Connect the wireless router to the modem. When setting up your wireless network, remember to follow documentation instructions that accompany your equipment. Follow the directions in setting up a wireless router. Different brand and models have distinct setup instructions but usually follow the same flow. You will normally need to plug your modem to the Internet and the wireless router onto the modem. Check the ports and its labels when plugging your cable from modem to router (you will plug into the Internet, WAN or WLAN ports).
Step 3
Configure your wireless router. You will need to check your documentation to configure your wireless router. Plug your router into one of your computers to configure it. Use any available cable from your modem or router. You will need to configure three things: a) your wireless network name (also known as SSID) that should be different from any neighbor’s network name, b) Wi-Fi protected Access (WPA) or the wireless encryption (WEP) which protects your network, and c) your administrative password that you will use to adjust and secure your network and router settings. Save your settings and unplug your router from your computer.
Step 4
Connect your computers. Recent computer and laptop models come with a built-in wireless network support and would automatically detect your router. If no wireless network support is built in, plug your wireless network adapter into the USB port and place the antenna on top of your computer or you may also insert the network adapter into an available PC card slot for laptops. Windows XP can automatically detect a new adapter and may ask you to insert a CD installer for your adapter. Follow the steps to configure your computer for wireless network.