Design Install And Configure A Wireless Network
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Illinois
- Research and identify the type of Wi-Fi network that’s best for your situation.
- Research, choose, and install good wireless gear.
- Configure and test your network.
This guide explains how to design, install, and configure a wireless network.
Choosing A Wired Or Wireless Network
Do You Build a wired or Wireless Network? which is best?
Early home networks were predominately wired networks.
Wired networks use Ethernet over UTP cable and tend to be faster than wireless networks, which is an important consideration if you are a gamer. The simple wired home network diagram below shows a minimum setup with a switch and broadband router.
Wired Network Advantages
- Fast typically 100 Mbps to 10 Gbps
- Secure and reliable.
Wired Network Dis-Advantages
- Doesnt work with devices that dont have an Ethernet port e.g. tablets and smart phones.
- Not so easy and fast to setup as it requires running cables. However Homeplug or powerline adapters can be used instead.
- Not so easy for visitors and mobile devices to connect to.
It Is best used for network backbone i.e. connecting between router,network switches and wireless access points on different levels .
A Local Update Client
If your router doesnt support DDNS services, you will need a local client to run on a frequently used computer somewhere on your home network. This lightweight little application will check what your IP address is and then phone home to the DDNS provider to update your DDNS record. Its less ideal than a router-based solutionif the computer isnt on when your IP address changes, then the record doesnt get updatedbut its certainly better than manually editing your DDNS entry.
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Use A Vpn For Additional Network Security
Virtual private networks or VPNs are mainly used to improve privacy on the internet. VPNs encrypt your data so that a hacker cant tell what you are doing online or where you are located. The protection offered by the VPN goes through the router, so even if the encryption provided by the router is compromised, you still have the VPN encryption to make your data unreadable.
For those considering how to secure your IP address, a VPN can help. A VPN alters your IP address, making it appear that you are using your device from another location than your home address. VPNs can be used on desktops, laptops, phones, or tablets.
What Is Wireless Networking
Now, what is Wireless networking? Wireless networking is a method by which homes or business installations avoid cables for connections between various equipment locations. Home networking setup allows the devices such as personal computer, smart phone, tablet, video-game console etc. to communicate with each other with the help of a tool called WiFi Router. The home WiFi network has limited range which depends on the WiFi router being used. Wireless home network having a typical Wireless Access Point with a stock antenna, supports a range upto 15m indoors and 30m outdoors.
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Wireless Electrical Power Sockets
Wireless electrical power sockets are a new introduction to the market and function as wireless repeaters.
They are convenient because they dont consume a electrical power socket. Here is a picture of a UK socket.
This is a relatively new but very popular technology that provides wide areas coverage and wireless dead spots by using Wireless Access points that work together. See Understanding Wi-fi Mesh Networks
Related Tutorials and Useful Resources:
Set Up A Guest Network On Your Router
If you want to offer your guests access to your internet access point while keeping them away from the resources on your home Wi-Fi network, you can set up a guest network.
A guest network allows users to connect to the internet without accessing your networks devices, storage, or other equipment, like printers.
You can still require a password to use the guest connection, and I recommend making it a different password than the one used for your internal Wi-Fi network otherwise, savvy users might try the password on your private network.
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Secure Your Wifi Network
Wirelessly connecting each and every device is a task unto itself. When securing your Wi Fi Network, make sure you use names, passwords, and logins that are easily accessible to your household. Complex passwords may keep squatters out , but it might create a headache for you down the line.
Configuring your router should be fairly simple. Most routers and modems provide instructions directly on them. Scan the QR Code , or go to the designated IP Address listed on the device itself. A Google WiFi setup is automatic, and instantly connects to all other Google devices on the network.
Enter the username and password as required. Its usually admin for the username and in many cases no password is needed .
At this point youll have access to the administrators menu. From here, be sure to enable WPA2 encryption to keep your personal information safe on the web. And remember, while setting up a wireless network, create passwords for both ease of access and device flexibilitydont make it too complicated. If youre worried, always have an ethernet cable plugged into your device for the safest and most secure connection.
How Do I Configure My Router
With the username and password set, you can proceed to configure your router’s settings. As with cooking a dinner, there’s no “right” way to install a router, and every model is likely to have its own unique steps, depending on its features. Because of this, trying to describe every possible configuration path here would be exhausting and pointless. We recommend consulting your router’s manual for specifics.
That said, we do have a few points of advice. First, use the easy setup wizard. Most routers provide some form of brief setup routine that asks for little more than the SSID and password. If in doubt, start with this. Yes, this utility only gets you as far as that abovementioned set of blinking green lights, but even for those looking to go beyond that stage, you need to get there first. Following the router’s documentation and using its own setup utility is always the shortest path to that destination.
Second, use the WPS button to connect Wi-Fi devices. If you’ve ever paired two Bluetooth devices, such as a smartphone with headphones, then you already have the basic understanding of how this works. Let’s say you want to connect a Windows laptop to your router. On your laptop, you’ll see your router’s SSID pop up on the list of visible wireless networks in Windows. When you select the SSID and attempt to connect, Windows will prompt you to enter the network security key .
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Blanketing Your Home With Wifi
A better solution is WiFi that works with your home design, instead of against it. Think of a standard router like a speaker. You could be playing music loudly in the front of your home, but the office in the back will only hear a faint echo. A standard router works the same wayyou can only move so far from it before the signal starts to wane, and eventually its going to cut out altogether.
Instead, why not install a speaker in each room of the house? Thats how whole home WiFi or mesh networks work, with multiple nodes installed around your home so youve got solid WiFi coverage from one end to the other.
Disable Remote Access To Protect Your Network From Intruders
Many routers come with features designed to make remote access from outside your home more straightforward. However, unless you need admin-level access to your router from somewhere else, you can usually safely turn these features off from the router settings panel. If you have remote access disabled, you reduce the risk of people remotely accessing your router and tampering with it.
To do this, open your router’s web interface and look for the “Remote Access,” “Remote Administration,” or “Remote Management” feature. Ensure it’s disabled often, it is disabled by default on many routers, but it’s worth checking.
If it turns out that some of the apps and devices on your network rely on remote access, you can always enable the feature again if you need to.
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Change Your Routers Administrator Login And Password
Every Wi-Fi router you purchase will have a default administrator login and password. These are intended to allow you to access the routers settings after plugging it in for the first time, and should be changed immediately after gaining access.
Why is this important? Because if you leave the admin login and password the same as it came out of the box, anyone who connects to your Wi-Fi network can access your routers settings console and make changes to your network. This includes everyone from hackers to your impetuous and computer-savvy 8-year-old.
Default admin logins for various router makes and models are available in multiple places on the internet , and Id venture to say that most routers have it printed somewhere on the router itself.
A secure password is generally considered to be a random combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, at least 12 characters long. While & YXxd23 is tougher to remember than your favorite pets name or your spouses middle name, its also a heckuva lot tougher to guess.
If you have trouble remembering the password, write it down on a sticky note and put it in a safe, or save it in a virtual vault, like a password manager.
Be sure to change your administrator password regularly. This reduces the chances of hackers guessing your password and taking control of your network.
How To Choose The Router For Wireless Home Network Setup
For wireless home network, WiFi router is an essential hardware. A WiFi router is an electronic device that sends data from the internet cable to a device and also functions as a wireless access point so this data can be shared through radio signals instead of another cable. Therefore, choosing the best Router for home wireless network setup is very important.
While choosing a WiFi router that will best fit for your home WiFi, there are certain things you should keep in mind. Figure out for what purpose the router will be used , the number of devices to be connected to it, the desired range that the signal will need to go etc. Most of todays laptops, smartphones, and connected home devices use 802.11n. Therefore, an 802.11n router is a good fit for households that have a handful of these devices sharing Internet access.
Difference between Single band and Dual band routers
Following are different types of Router to choose from:
If you want an entry-level simple router at a reasonable price, the Net-gear WGR614, which is an excellent performer, will get your job done. However, in case you need a router with built-in modem, the cheapest one which can fulfill your basic wireless needs is the TP-Link TD-W8951ND, which has many of the features that we would only expect on more expensive routers.
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Make Sure Your Network Uses The Strongest Wi
Encryption is best described as a protective tunnel around your Wi-Fi connection, which prevents your network-related activities from being monitored.
This keeps outsiders from stealing your important information. This is especially important when youre using your connection to shop online, do your banking online or pay bills online.
However, hackers have no problem in defeating weak encryption, and thats why it is vitally important to make sure your network is using the strongest Wi-Fi encryption available.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are multiple types of protection that you can use on a Wi-Fi network. The available types of protection will vary according to the brand and age of your router. Older routers will generally use weaker forms of encryption.
As shown above, my Internet router offers three options for protection. Of the three, the one I use, WPA2-PSK , offers the best protection. This option uses the AES cipher to protect the network transmissions, and the encryption method is impossible to crack.
Connect The Router To The Modem
Most ISPs combine a modem and router into one device. This way you can just plug in your computer and it all works. But we want the best home network setup possible, so we need to disable the router function of the ISPs modem/router.
What you will have to keep in mind is that every router you buy has a fixed IP-address already set from the factory and 9 out of 10 times it is 192.168.1.1 and thats a problem. Because if two devices in the network have the same Ip Address then they cant talk to each other.
As you can see in the big diagram above, the router from the ISP and our own router have a different IP Range then our internal network .
Change Ip address and DHCP
So we are going to start with changing network settings in the router from the ISP:
- Press Windows Key + R
The good old dos box opens. Enter the following command:
It will give you a result similar to this:
As you can see, the default address of my ISPs router is also 192.168.1.1, so when we connect our new router to the one of the ISP we will get a conflict.
So first you need to login to your ISP router, on http://192.168.1.1 and change the IP range in the DHCP settings to something like 192.168.0.10 192.168.0.100 and make the IP-address of the router itself 192.168.0.1
You will find the DHCP settings somewhere under Network Settings, Local Network, Network Setup or something similar.
Set the router in Bridge or DMZ mode
Disable the built-in access point
Connect new router
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Wireless Signal Interference Within The Home
When installing a Wi-Fi router or access point, beware of signal interference from other home appliances. In particular, do not install the unit within 3 to 10 feet from a microwave oven. Other common wireless interference sources are 2.4 GHz cordless phones, baby monitors, garage door openers, and some home automation devices.
If you live in a home with brick or plaster walls or one with metal framing, you may encounter difficulty maintaining a strong network signal between rooms.
Wi-Fi supports a signal range up to 300 feet , but physical barriers reduce this range. Obstructions can affect all 802.11 communications keep this in mind when installing devices.
Influence On Developing Countries
Over half the world does not have access to the internet, prominently rural areas in developing nations. Technology that has been implemented in more developed nations is often costly and low energy efficient. This has led to developing nations using more low-tech networks, frequently implementing renewable power sources that can solely be maintained through solar power, creating a network that is resistant to disruptions such as power outages. For instance, in 2007 a 450 km network between Cabo Pantoja and Iquitos in Peru was erected in which all equipment is powered only by solar panels. These long-range Wi-Fi networks have two main uses: offer internet access to populations in isolated villages, and to provide healthcare to isolated communities. In the case of the aforementioned example, it connects the central hospital in Iquitos to 15 medical outposts which are intended for remote diagnosis.
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