How to Create a Wireless Network

Wireless networking allows you to easily share your Internet access as well as printers, and media, very easily without wires. Setting up a wireless network is generally very easy and it is becoming more and more commonplace to do this in your home or small office. The great thing about wireless networking is the fact you can add wireless functionality to your existing network.

If you intend to use wireless networking it is advisable to have windows XP service pack 2 as a minimum. Whilst this is not absolutely essential it can make things much easier when connecting to wireless networks and also a few security issues have been fixed with this service pack

The first stage to setting up a wireless network is to obtain the correct equipment. There are several different options, depending on your current setup. If you currently use a cable based provided then you just need a broadband router, however, if you currently use the more common ADSL style broadband suppliers (common here in the UK) then you will need to ensure you purchase the router with the ADSL modem built in. The router will now connect to the Internet for you and allow other devices to connect to it wirelessly. If you were previously used to having to go to a dial up connection - you now no longer need to do this as as soon as your computer connects to the router - you will automatically be connected to the Internet.
To connect your wireless router should be straight forward enough. If you use the CD that comes with the router it will quickly guide you through the setup. The basics are to plug your existing modem into the router if you are on a cable system, or disconnected your previous broadband modem and input your settings into the new router. You should have indicator lights advising you of the routers status. These vary from router to router so refer to your instructions provided.

As previously mentioned, the CD that comes with the router is often the best way to quickly create a secure active wireless network. However, if you are like me, you may want to explore the settings of the router to configure it yourself. Here are some common terms you may come up againt.

- SSID - this is your networks name. Choose something unique, as generally it will come up with the manufacturer of the router name. When you try and search for the router with your computer you will want to identify which name represents you own router.

- WEP or WPA is the type of security encryption to prevent other people accessing your Internet connection. WPA will generally allow you to use a memorable word to user a password whilst WEP is more a randomly generated bunch of numbers and letter.

- Administrator Password - this is just the password to actually access the administration of your router. Unless someone has already got a connection to your router they will be unable to change settings. If you do use a password here, make sure it is something memorable as it is quite possible that you will not have to access the admin, once setup, for a very long time.

Now your router is all set up we need to understand how to connect a computer to the network. This is very easy to do. If you have wireless technology built into your computer then ensure it is switched on. If you haven't, insert your wireless device into the relevant port.

You should have a wireless icon in the bottom left hand corner by the clock. Right click here and search for wireless networks in range.

In the box that comes up you should see a list of the networks in your area that your computer has detected. Being wireless technology is so popular these days it is common to see several different routers in here from neighbours.

Within this list you should see the name that you previously inputted as you SSID. Double click this. You should now be prompted for either your WEP or WPA key - enter this.

You should now be connected. Go ahead and load your preferred Internet browser. You should be able to surf to any given page. - Congratulations - You have successfully configured your wireless network!

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Author: JBO Solutions supplies the UK with Computer Parts, Computer Components and accessories such as Computer Monitors

How to Create a Wireless Network


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