If you only need to grant a single computer stationary access to the Internet, you do not need a router at all. However, when you have multiple computers that need Internet access, or you want to get on the Internet from anywhere in your house, you'll need a wireless router. Using the router's wireless capabilities requires a wireless adapter on your computer. However, computers without a wireless adapter can still use a wired connection to the router.
Unplug the Ethernet cable from the back of your computer and plug it into the "Internet," "WAN" or "WLAN" port on the wireless router. If a computer is not currently attached to the cable modem, attach an Ethernet cable from the modem's Ethernet port to the router's "Internet," "WAN" or "WLAN" port.
Plug the router into a wall outlet or surge protector and wait several seconds for the router to boot up.
Follow your router's instructions for settings up Wi-Fi security. Although you do not have to secure your wireless network, it is highly recommended you do so. Most routers' Wi-Fi settings are accessible through your browser by entering the router's IP address and login details and finding "Wireless Settings" in the administration utility. Select "WPA2" security for maximum protection and use a long, complex passphrase.
Right-click the "Network" icon from a wireless-enabled computer, select your wireless network and click "Connect." If prompted, enter the security passphrase to connect to the Internet.
Attach an Ethernet cable from any of the numbered ports on the router to the Ethernet port on your computer to enable wired access. This is only required when connecting a computer that does not have a wireless adapter.
- If you have trouble connecting to the Internet, try powering off the modem and router. Turn the modem on and wait for 30 seconds before turning on the router. Wait another 30 seconds. If you still can't connect, restart your computer. In most cases, you will not have to do this.
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