The Basics of Setting Up Your Own Home Wireless Network

Setting up your own wireless (Wi-Fi) network for your home computers or laptops can be handy, simple, and relatively cheap. Wi-Fi is proving to be very practical in terms of set up and usage. No more having to connect and disconnect all sorts of wires for your computers just to hook up to the Internet.

If you want to set up your own wireless network at home, you’ll need a wireless router/access point. The 802.11g router is usually recommended as it is fast and reliable.

Once you have set up the wireless router, you will be able to share not only the Internet to all computers and wireless devices in your network, but also share files and network printer either through wireless radio signal or through Ethernet cables.

As soon as the router is plugged in, it will work according to its default settings. You will need to alter the settings by accessing the web interface. First, select the name of the wireless network, which is also known as its service set identifier (SSID). Choose a name that is not common and indistinct. This will ward off hackers trying to connect to your wireless network.

After this, you will need to choose a channel. Most people stick to channel six since this is the default channel. So your neighbors are probably using this channel too. Since this might cause interference, choose a different channel. Also, change the default username and password to protect the security of your router or else anyone nearby with a wireless card in their computer will be able to tap into your signal.

To protect the privacy of your network, enable the wireless security on your router. You may use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) since this is the option most public hotspots use, and it can be accessed by signing in with a password. Alternatively, you could set up a Media Access Control (MAC) address-filtering, which does not rely on passwords. To do this, you’ll have to set up your router with a list of the specific MAC addresses on your computers.

However, to avoid any home networking problem, it’s best to use the WPA program unless you’re used to computers and familiar with MAC filtering.

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