Your home router is your gateway to the internet, and it seems almost impossible to live off the grid nowadays. The router should be set up and configured properly or else your internet connection will be faulty and irritating.
Proper setup and configuration is especially important if yours is a Wifi gaming router, as you’ll need extra speed and strength for gaming.
Setting up a home router is not as easy as taking it out of its box and switching it on. It is not as difficult as most people presume, either. Here are set up tips from the experts.
First Check Your Internet Connection
It is important to first check whether the internet connection is okay before beginning the setup and configuration process. The router functions more like a relay – the real internet connection is supported by the internet service’s ISP gateway or modem.
As such, use an Ethernet cable to connect your laptop directly to the modem or ISP gateway and check to see whether you can access the internet – this is especially important if you are using a new internet service.
If you don’t do this and it turns out that the internet connection is faulty, you may think that there is a problem with your router. This would impede your installation process and make you feel like you are not doing something right when the problem is with the internet service gateway.
Position the Router Just Right
You are probably thinking of positioning your router somewhere in a corner, right? After all, that is what most people do. Well, most people get it wrong.
Your router’s positioning is important as it determines the strength and speed of your WiFi. Ideally, a router should be placed in a central position at the epicenter of your house so that the internet signal can be distributed evenly across the entire house.
It should be placed in a clear opening away from obstacles such as walls – obstacles such as walls and metals limit the transmission of the internet signal, thus making connections weak and slow.
But what if you live in a two-story or three-story house? In that case, you should place the router somewhere in the top storey as radio wave signals tend to spread outwards and downwards, so the storey below will also be covered.
Plug it In
Once the router is positioned properly to cover the whole house, you can proceed to plug it in and power it up. Start by connecting the router to the internet service – as mentioned, this can be a modem or ISP gateway.
You will need an Ethernet cable to connect the router to the internet service. Plug the Ethernet cable into the port labeled WAN or internet – this port looks different from all other ports, so it will be hard to miss. Next, connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the modem or ISP gateway.
Like any other electronic appliance, your router needs a power source to function. As such, plug it in to a power outlet and switch it on. Check to see that all the LED indicators are working before you go on to the next step.
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Configuration is one of the most daunting processes for most people. However, it is quite simple, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. The most important aspect of configuration is setting up a username and password – this will ensure that you router is inaccessible to unauthorized people.
You can easily set up the username and password through the router’s app or website portal. Choose a befitting username and come up with a smart password that is difficult to guess or hack.
Configuring a router doesn’t end there. You will need to configure other settings before you can begin using it. Since each model is different, there is no single, standard way to configure your router.
However, all routers come with an auto-configuration option, whereby the router configures itself once everything is set up. We recommend taking advantage of this option to avoid the hassle of changing the different settings – auto-configuration is quick and rarely makes mistakes.
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Connect and Surf the Web
Now that everything is ready, you can go on and connect to the internet. You can connect your PC and other gadgets directly to the router using an Ethernet cable. However, it is more convenient to do it wirelessly over WiFi.
Check to see that all your gadgets connect and access the internet. If there are any complications, recheck your configuration and go over this guide again. If this fails, consider soliciting the help of an expert.
Most modern routers are easy to set up and configure – you can even configure everything through a dedicated app on your phone. Nevertheless, it helps to know what is required to get a router up and running, just in case the automated process fails.