Nowadays setting up a wireless network within home/small organizations have become the preference of almost all the people. The reason behind this likings is wireless network allow them flexibility to work on their laptops in their comfortable place/position within the range of the wireless network. It also cut cost any less messy as compared to wired networks. But only likings is not enough, coz apart from flexibility issue it can be dangerous from the security point of view. If one does not setup a wireless network properly then it can be misused. So it’s really very essential for the user to understand certain facts before going to implement wireless network within its home or organization. Understand properly the concepts of wireless networking and benefits of using wireless network, its flexibility and how it can help you to cut-cost with increase in production. Evaluate your business activities as well as network usage to identify the maximum possible areas that can get benefited from wireless connectivity and then plan for integrating wireless connectivity into your wired infrastructure if your evaluation shows that you will be benefitted.
This article will teach you how to setup a wireless network but before going ahead one must be familiar with the simple basic concepts of networking like-wireless router, setting up a wireless router etc, if not you need not have to worry, this article you sort out your problem. And coming to the security point of view if not set properly it might be hazardous. So proper security measures (like-setting up the firewall, updated internet security should be installed and security measures) should be taken before implementing a wireless network.
There may be various scenarios for a wireless home/organization networks (like-you already have a modem and wireless router or you might not have). Router converts the signals coming across your Internet connection into a wireless broadcast. In this tutorial we will assume that you have a broadband connection which will include a cable/DSL modem but not a router, and that your desktop PC is directly plugged into your modem. To be on safer side, it’s a good practice to keep your desktop PC wired in your network configuration. It will work as a backup to the network. There may be situations sometimes where you lose your security settings and you can’t enter the network. In this situation the wired desktop PC will sort out your problem. So in this tutorial we will also assume that your desktop PC will have the wired connection on the network and you want to set up a notebook/another desktop PC etc for wireless access. For this wireless setup you will need to buy a wireless router, a wireless PCI card for your desktop PC, and a wireless PCMCIA card (also known as a PC Card) for your notebook if it’s an old one. The latest notebooks come equipped with it.
Steps to setup a secure wireless network in your home:
Choose your equipment from among various products available in the market according to your needs. While choosing the router you will notice that you have the options to choose from among the three different wireless networking technologies 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g, of which we recommend you to choose 802.11g as it gives outstanding performance and is compatible with almost all the devices. Now let’s assume that you have all your equipments and you are ready to proceed for the next step.
Locate your cable/DSL modem and unplug it. Then connect your wireless router to your modem. [Note: Your modem should be directly connected to the internet.] Now as you are done with it, your PC will get connected to your router wirelessly. The router will communicate through your modem to the internet.
To complete setting up the network process, Login to your PC and temporarily connect your PC to one of the open network ports with the network cable (that came with your wireless router) on your wireless router. [Note: Confirm that the port on which you connect should not be labeled either Internet, WAN, or WLAN.] When set, open Internet Explorer type in the address from among the list 192.168.1.1/192.168.2.1/192.168.0.1 (varies from manufacturer to manufacturer) or as given in the manual of your router. On doing so, you will be prompted with username and password. The user name will admin and the password will be admin/password/or can be blank (i.e.: no password, after you enter username just hit login button) or as given at the manual of your router.
Now the Internet Explorer will open the router’s configuration page. Most of the default settings will remain the same excluding a few which you will have to configure. Don’t get surprised, this tutorial will help you out to configure your router. Firstly you have to give name to your network which you will see on the router page as SSID name. SSID stands Service Set Identifier. It helps to identify your network. Choose something unique which will not be similar to the one your neighbors are using. Next step is to secure your wireless network so that no third-party can use it. In order to do so, go to Wireless encryption (WEP) or Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). It will help you out to protect your network. Almost all the routers will give you two options to provide security keys. One option is they will generate a key for you and the other is you can set a key of your own. Be sure to keep your key unique and long. Last step is to change the Administrative password which in other words will control your wireless network. At times when you change your network’s settings you will need this password. Don’t keep your password as a simple word. It should be unique, long and combination of words and numbers.
[Note: The steps to configure these settings will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer as well as the type of router you have.]
Be sure off to “Save” the settings you have made and then to “Apply/Ok” to save your settings, else it will not get saved. Next what you have to do is to disconnect the network cable from your computer and then plug in and turn on your cable/DSL modem. It will take little instant to connect to the internet, give time. On successful connection to the modem as well as internet, the Internet/WAN/WLAN light on the wireless router will light up.
If you PC has in-built network card, then all you have to do is turn on the wireless button and then click on your network from among the list and then hit connect. You will be prompted with network security password. Don’t get surprised, it’s the same security key you have given on the third step for WEP/WPA. Enter that security key and Ok. Now what use it? As everything has been set you are good to go now.
If your PC does not have in-built wireless network support, insert the network adapter into an empty PC card slot (in case of Laptop) or plug your network adapter into the USB port of your PC and place the antenna on top of your monitor or where ever you want to keep (in case of desktop). Turn on your PC and windows will automatically detect the new adapters and will install it or at times prompt you to insert the CD that comes with the adapter. In the installation process, all you need to do is to follow the on-screen instruction, and the configuration will be done.