Reasons that some install home wireless networks include multi-computer households, home-based businesses and Internet gaming. Technological advancements, such as the wireless printers and Wi-Fi compatible mobile phones have also added to home networking needs. Customers have three options to configure their home networks, modem and router, gateway and air card. Whatever the customer’s reason, the conversion from wired to wireless may seem complicated, but the process is in fact quite simple.
Purchase a modem and router. Customers who have a modem and router will need to bridge their modem and configure their router. To bridge the modem, connect the modem directly to the computer using the Ethernet cord. Open an Internet browser and enter the IP address for the modem. Click the “Broadband” icon. Change the protocol to “Bridged Ethernet” and click “Save.” Click the “Save and Restart” option. Once the modem restarts, verify that the Internet light is off. The modem is now bridged. Disconnect the Ethernet cord from the computer and connect it to the WAN port in back of the router. Connect a separate Ethernet cord from back of the computer to one of the four ports in back of the router. For a Linksys router, open an Internet browser and type “192.168.1.1” in the address bar. A login window will appear. The username field should be left blank. Type “admin” in the password box, then click “OK.” Customers who are required to enter a username and password in their modem will need to select “PPPoE” in the “Internet Connection Type” drop-down menu. Then, enter their full username and password. Customers who are not required to use a username and password will use the default setting “Automatic Configuration DHCP.” At the bottom of the page, select “Save Settings.” The Last step is to configure the wireless and wireless security. Click the “Wireless” tab. Either make a note of your “Wireless Network Name (SSID)” or change it to something unique. Change wireless channel to 1, 6 or 11. Click “Save Settings.” Click the “Wireless Security” tab. Select “WEP” in the Security Mode drop down. Select 1 as the Default Transmit Key. Select “64 bits” in the WEP Encryption” drop down. Enter a security Pass-phrase then click “Generate.” Copy the characters that appear in the “Key 1” field. This is the wireless security key. Click “Save Settings.”
Purchase a gateway. The most convenient device in networking is the gateway. A gateway is a device that functions as both a modem and a router. To configure a gateway, connect an Ethernet cord from the gateway to the computer and open an Internet browser. Enter the IP address for the device. For the 2Wire 2701HG-B Wireless-G 802.11g ADSL modem, enter 192.168.1.254 and press enter on the keyboard. Click the “Broadband Link,” tab, then the “Advanced Settings” tab. Customers with a PPPoE connection will need to enter their username and password on this page and click “Save.” Customers with a DHCP connection can skip this step. To configure the wireless, find the 10-digit WEP key on the right side of the 2Wire near the bottom. Enter that number in the wireless connection manager on the computer (usually found on the bottom right corner of the screen). Some of the most popular gateways include the Versalink 327W, 2Wire 2701HG-B Wireless-G 802.11g ADSL and Motorola SURFboard SBG900.
Purchase an AirCard. AirCards, also known as Laptop Connect Cards, are the newest in wireless networking. These devices connect in a computer's USB slot. Instead of connecting via the wireless signal from a router, they use the wireless networks (or cellular service ) to give customers Internet access). Anywhere customers can use their wireless phone; they can also connect to the Internet. The service plan for an AirCard is similar to that of wireless service. The customer has to purchase both the card and the service. Different plans and rates apply based upon the service provider and location of the service.