Whereas setting up an internet connection is unbelievably simple nowadays, setting up a home network is seen as a task only achievable by a certain level of computer geek; though with the improvements in operating system software and network software, the process is much easier than once thought.
So you want to take the plunge and set up your own home network? The details below will help you through the process.
Before you begin installing anything, you must make sure you have the right equipment. The most important part of your network is the router, depending on if you want to set up a wireless or a wired network; you will need a suitable router with either wireless capability or enough Ethernet ports for your needs. Many routers nowadays come with both wired and wireless capability, which helps if you change your mind in the future. You must also make sure you have enough Ethernet cables or wireless network cards for each computer.
Next comes installation. With a wired network, this process is extremely simple; just plug all the computers into the router! Alternatively, with a wireless network, things may be a little trickier. Install the wireless cards into the computers and make sure all the required manufacturers software is installed with all driver updates (if an internet connection is available at this time). It will help a lot of you use a router and wireless cards that are from the same product range; this means that the hardware was developed in conjunction with one another and has been proven to work together.
If you are having problems, make sure you have followed the manufacturers installation instructions to the letter, next make sure all updated software drivers are installed, and then reboot the computer and router.
Wired connections do not need network security as people can only access your home network by using an Ethernet connection, connected to your router. Some multi-functioning routers are able to be connected through wired and wireless connections. If this is the case with your router, make sure that wireless broadcasting is disabled if it is not being used. With a wireless network, it is strongly advisable to utilize one of the many forms of network security to try to deter network invaders.
With one computer able to communicate with the router, connect to it by entering the IP address of the router in your internet browser window. Firstly, choose an SSID for your network (network ID), then enable a WPA and/or WEP security method and decide on a sufficiently difficult password. Write the password down and go through each other computer, selecting the network and typing in the password. It is as easy as that!
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