Wi-Fi internet connection is most certainly the norm nowadays, even between computers/devices at home. Instead of having several wires lying on the floor, connecting to a router using Wi-Fi seems to be more practical. It’s easy to set it up, especially if you have the manual with you. But what if you lost the manual? What if you have a hand-me-down router and all you have is the device itself? How will you set it up for Wi-Fi connectivity? Let me show you how to set up a wi-fi connection on your Windows PC.
First of all, make sure that the physical connections are properly set. Your wireless router should be connected to an internet connection such as DSL, fiber or cable. Also, the router should also be connected to one main computer through the network card, which uses a much thicker cable called RJ-45 or simply called the network cable. Now, let’s assume that your set-up is okay and that you have internet connection on that particular computer. Let’s now set up the wireless connection so that other computers can connect to the router and then on the internet.
The first thing we need to do is to determine the gateway IP address of the router so that we can connect to it and set up the wireless connection there. On a windows PC, go to the command prompt by typing in “cmd”, without the quotes, on the search bar after clicking the windows start button on the lower left corner, then choose cmd or command prompt. This should open a black command prompt window. Check out one of the screenshots of the command prompt I provided. On that command prompt window, type the following: “ipconfig /all”.
This should show you your network configuration. Look for the default gateway. In my screenshot, it’s 192.168.1.1. However, this may differ depending on the brand and model of your router. Once you have the default gateway, you may close the command prompt window or type exit and press enter. Now, open your internet browser and on the address bar, where you type in different web sites, simply type the gateway IP address and press enter. No need to add http:// at the beginning. Let’s say your default gateway is 192.168.1.254, type it as is.
It will usually ask you for a username and password. The most common initial username and password for most wireless routers is “admin” for both username and password. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to search for it on the internet. It’s usually a very basic combination. But in order to make it easier for you, search using the brand and the model of the router. Let’s say you have a Linksys router. Search for “Linksys default password” or “Linksys router password”. The last resort is to contact the manufacturer for the default username and password. If it’s a hand-me-down router, ask the previous owner.
Once you have the username and the password, enter these onto the login page of the router. Once successful, it should take you to the configuration GUI, graphical user interface, or the set-up screen of the router. From here, try to look for wireless or wi-fi setup. I have provided a screenshot of my router’s configuration screen. Please note that this will differ depending on the brand and model of your router. The screenshot will just serve as a guide.
On the wireless setup screen, you really don’t have to change most of the settings. The most important things to take note of are: Authentication type, SSID/Broadcast ID, encryption key or password. In order for a device to connect to your router, you must set an SSID that shows the name of your router. This can be almost any name you like. And then set an authentication type. This will set what types of passwords you can use. Use WPA so that you can use numbers and all the letters. WEP would only usually require numbers and a few letters. Now, choose any password you like. And if there’s an option, make sure that you broadcast your SSID so that other devices can see it.
Save your changes then make sure your other devices are ready so that we can test the wireless connection. Try to locate the SSID and have your mobile device like a tablet, smartphone or laptop, connect to it. It should prompt you for a WPA key. Enter the password you used during the router setup. If all is well, your mobile device should be able to connect to the router and surf the internet. You have now successfully set up your wireless connection. If you run into problems, try to check if you missed a step. If the connection is bad, try to stay near the router for better signal.
Here are some additional notes. You can only set-up the router on the computer where it is directly connected to, which is where it’s connected using the network cable. Make sure you provide a WPA password so that you could prevent others from accessing the internet on your router, unless you purposely want the public to have access. Remember, this is the general wi-fi setup of wireless routers. For further information, visit the website of the router’s manufacturer or if it came from your internet service provider, or ISP, you may contact them as well.