Understand To Set Up A Wireless Network At Work
Setting up a wireless network might seem like a daunting task, but a bit of knowledge about key components and common pitfalls can go a long way toward a stable, feature network for all your computers and wireless devices. This overview briefly covers what you’ll need to know to set up a wireless network in no time.
The most crucial component in any wireless home network is the access point, often referred to as an AP. Many consumer devices marketed as routers provide this functionality and much more, offering firewalls and web-based configuration interfaces, and it is usually easiest to purchase one of these.
When buying a router, pay particular attention to what versions of 802.11–the technical designation for the protocol WiFi devices speak–are supported. Whatever choice you make will almost certainly be compatible with all of your wireless devices, but you might enjoy extra efficiency by selecting a router that supports 802.11N if you know that one or more of your devices supports it.
Also, consider the range of each router you evaluate. A good choice should have enough range to provide coverage for your entire home and slightly beyond as to ensure that you’ll rarely lose a signal.
Once you have chosen an appropriate router and installed it you will want to consider wireless security. Most routers are set to no security by default from the manufacturer; this is to ease the initial configuration. What this means is anyone can connect to your wireless network and in the mean time can read your traffic and access sensitive personal information, such as passwords.
Unless you’re quite certain that you know what you’re doing, enabling wireless security should be one of your first configuration tasks. This prevents others from viewing or joining your network without a password, and also makes sniffing network traffic much more difficult.
There are a variety of security schemes from which to choose, more than can be discussed here. Whichever method you pick should be compatible with all computers and devices on your network. If in doubt, WiFi Protected Access or WPA is usually a safe and compatible choice.
Your next step is to configure all your devices and computers to work on your network. Depending on your operating systems and devices these steps can vary, however generally the following pattern will work.
Tell each of your individual wireless devices to connect to the network. Your network will have a specific name provided by the router. You can find this information in the manual or in the first few screens of the user interface.
If you’ve secured your network as previously discussed, the device should next prompt for the method used and the chosen password. These should match those set within the router. If all goes well, the network connection should be established within a few seconds.
As wireless internet access and setting up wireless networks becomes more common, many resources are becoming available that might help. Many manuals accompanying routers provide enough introductory material to help novice network administrators get started.
Internet sites like Google are an invaluable tool for resolving networking issues, as there is a good chance someone else has already experienced and solved the same problems you might be having.