Configured router

Internet Basics 

That’s it! Now you’re ready to connect to your Wi-Fi network and make sure it’s working. The process for connecting to a Wi-Fi network will vary slightly depending on what type of computer or device you’re using, but any system will require these basic steps.

Change Wireless Router Settings

This guide will give you a general idea of the process of accessing your router configuration to change the channel, security type, and other settings.

Basic W-Fi Lessons

  • Working From Home
  • Why Channels 1, 6, 11?
  • Wi-Fi Signal Strength Basics
  • Understanding RSSI
  • Dead Spots & Slow Zones
  • New Router with DSL
  • Change Router Settings
  • Be A Good Wi-Fi Neighbor

How to Change Your Wireless Router Settings

Ok, so you’ve used inSSIDer to select the best channel for your Wi-Fi network– awesome! The next step is to actually make the change in your Wi-Fi router settings. All routers and access points are slightly different, but this guide will give you a general idea of the process of accessing your router configuration to change the channel, security type, and other settings.

1. Connect to your network wirelessly, or via ethernet.

Note: An ethernet cable works a bit better, because your router will disconnect your from the wireless network for a moment while it switches channels.

2. Find your router configuration page.

Access the router configuration page by typing the router’s IP address in to the address bar, and pressing enter.

IP Address Typical For
192.168.0.1 D-Link, Netgear, and others. Try this IP first.
192.168.1.1 Linksys, Belkin, TP-Link, and others
192.168.15.1 Clear/ClearWire
192.168.100.1 Virgin Media Superhub
192.168.1.254 TP-Link
10.0.1.1 This is pretty rare.

Note: Even though there are a few more possible addresses, it doesn’t take long to see the pattern. Try changing the second to last number if none of those work.

Wait a minute. what’s an IP Address?

Glad you asked! Each router hosts a tiny webpage that you access to configure it. Just like a website has an address (such as www.metageek.com), your router has an address. Since it’s a home Wi-Fi router, it doesn’t need a name reserved for it, so it’s just a numerical address. Typing in the address in the address bar on your browser will take you to the configuration page for your router.

3. Log in with the username and password.

Need Help Picking The Best Wi-Fi Channel?

Visualize Your Wi-Fi Landscape with inSSIDer

inSSIDer shows you exactly how your network is configured, how neighboring Wi-Fi networks are impacting yours, and gives suggestions for fast, secure Wi-Fi.

Most routers require a username and password. The default username is usually admin. The default password is usually on a sticker on the router, or printed on the paper manual or packaging. If you can’t figure it out, Google the model number of your router and “password” together.

4. Find the Wireless Settings page.

On the D-Link router that we used, the wireless settings page was easy to find. Usually, you can locate it along the top or the left side, but it depends on the router. In some cases, it’s hidden in another menu.

5. Set the new channel, usually with a dropdown menu.

1, 6, and 11 are the only three channels that don’t overlap on the 2.4 GHz band, and while putting your Wi-Fi network on the same channel as another network in the same band isn’t ideal, it is always a better idea to share a channel than to overlap.

This is also a really good time to make sure that you are using WPA2 for security, and 20 MHz channels only (not 40 MHz or “bonded” channels).

In the 5 GHz band, almost any channel is a good choice except for DFS channels. Therefore we recommend using channels 36-48, or 149-165. We recommend using 40 MHz wide channels in the 5 GHz band.

Click Save Settings or Apply Settings to save the changes.

6. Your router will now reboot.

If you are connected wirelessly, it might take a moment for the channel to switch and for your computer to reconnect. Restart inSSIDer to verify that the changes have been applied.

Troubleshooting

If you can’t figure out a step, or if run into difficulty in general:

Google it! Seriously, Google is your friend. Always. Try Googling the model number of your router, followed by “setup” or “configuration”. Instructions are always out there.

Try contacting your router’s manufacturer for assistance.

Get help from other users in the MetaGeek Community. If you have a question, you’re probably not the only one!

Internet Basics: How to Set Up a Wi-Fi Network

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The Internet is a really powerful tool. It gives us access to all kinds of information at a moment’s notice—think email, Google search, and Wikipedia. So there’s something a little counterintuitive about only being able to use the Internet when you sit down at a desktop computer. What if you could use the Internet from anywhere in your home or office?

If you already have high-speed (broadband) Internet service at your house, it’s pretty easy to create your own home wireless network. Commonly known as Wi-Fi, a wireless network allows you to connect laptops, smartphones, and other mobile devices to your home Internet service without an Ethernet cable.

Purchase a wireless router

To create your own Wi-Fi network, you’ll need a wireless router. This is the device that will broadcast the Wi-Fi signal from your Internet modem throughout your house. Your Internet service provider (ISP) may offer you a wireless router for a small monthly fee. If you’ve never set up a Wi-Fi network before, this may be the easiest option.

If you want to buy your own router, we’d recommend spending a little more time researching different options. CNET offers a comprehensive guide on How to Buy a Router.

Some Internet modems may already have a built-in wireless router, which means you won’t need to purchase a separate one.

Connect the cables

  1. Once you’ve acquired a wireless router, you’ll need to connect it to your existing Internet modem.
  2. Connect an Ethernet cable from your modem to the wireless router (there is usually a short Ethernet cable included with your wireless router for this purpose).
  3. Plug in the power cable for the wireless router.
  4. Wait at least 30 to 60 seconds, and make sure the lights on your router are working correctly.

Configure your router

Next, you’ll need to use your computer to configure your router’s default settings. This includes setting a unique name and password for your wireless network.

  1. Using your web browser, enter the router’s default IP address into the address bar, then press Enter. Your router’s instructions should include this information, but some of the most common addresses include 192.168.0.1, 192.168.1.1, and 192.168.2.1.
  2. The router’s sign-in page will appear. Again, the exact sign-in details should be included with your router’s instructions, but most routers use a standard user name and password combination, such as admin and password.
  3. Your router’s settings page will appear. Locate and select the Network Name setting, then enter a unique network name.
  4. Locate and select the Network Password setting, and choose an Encryption option. There are several types of encryption you can use, but we recommend WPA2, which is generally considered to be the most secure.
  5. Enter your desired password. Make sure to use a strong password to help ensure no one else can access your network.
  6. Locate and select the Save button to save your settings.

Connect!

That’s it! Now you’re ready to connect to your Wi-Fi network and make sure it’s working. The process for connecting to a Wi-Fi network will vary slightly depending on what type of computer or device you’re using, but any system will require these basic steps.

  1. Locate your computer’s network settings, and search for nearby Wi-Fi networks.
  2. Select your network, and enter your password.
  3. If the connection is successful, open your web browser and try navigating to a webpage like www.google.com. If the page loads, it means your Wi-Fi connection is working correctly.

Congratulations!

You’ve just set up your own home wireless network. Way to go!