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Wireless Networks For Dummies

Looking for a simple Step-By-Step guide to setting up a wireless network, in plain English? Congratulations,†your search is over.

O.K. It's time to dispel the myth about networking! Although networks, (wireless or otherwise) used to be used primarily by businesses and schools, times have changed. There are now huge benefits to installing a network at home. The thing that put's many people off is the fact that they are notoriously complicated to set up and get working. Well, as technology had advanced this process has become a darn sight easier and if you are interested in setting up your own network then don't panic. As long as you have a little patience, you can do it. There is an abundance of information on the internet to help you get through any problems so, if possible, keep one computer off of your network, (but connected to the internet) to start with. This way you will still be able to connect to the web and get any advice and tips you need during your installation and set-up.

For those that consider yourself novices and are not sure why having a wireless network in your home is beneficial, let's take a look at some of it's uses. Many of us now have more than one computer in our homes. Whether you have children with a PC in their room, or a laptop that you use around the house and in the garden there are some great benefits to connecting them all together. First of all, Think about your printer. Why bother having a printer for every PC, or transferring documents to the computer thatís attached to the only printer, when you can use a network to let your printer receive information form all your computers? Of course the other bonus is that, with a wireless network your printer can be put anywhere in the house out of the way. If like me, you have a computer in your living room, then hiding the printer away in the cupboard is perfect.

So there's one advantage. Now, what about music, videos and other media? There is no need to waste time and money putting music onto all of your hard-drives. By creating a Wireless home network you can store all you media on one hard-drive and access it via the network. Of course these are only examples. Another obvious benefit is the ability to access all of your documents from any computer in the network. If your chilling in the garden with your laptop and need a file from your desktop PC, no problem. Just access it via your wireless network. Now we've covered some of the more obvious benefits to installing a wireless network let's take a look at how to do it.

The first step, without a doubt is planning. You need to know what you require from your network. How many computers you want to attach, where your computers are located, and any other peripherals, (such as printers). Once you have this worked out it will be much easier to determine what equipment you need. When looking at equipment I would recommend that you set up your network using the 802.11g technology, as it is the most compatible.

So, let's take a look at what you will need. First of all, you'll want a broadband connection. Secondly, you need a wireless router. And third, a wireless network adaptor for each computer that is going to be part of your network. For desktop PC's, buy a USB adaptor and for laptops, get a PC card adaptor, (this will plug into your expansion slot). Before buying your wireless network adaptor, check to make sure your PC doesn't already have this feature built-in. If it does then there is no need to buy an additional one. Also, buy your network adaptor and wireless router from the same company. This will make things far easier when setting up. Now you have your equipment, it's time to get it up and running.

Unplug your modem and connect it to your wireless router. You will notice that your router came with a network cable. Plug one end into the back of the router, (the port labelled internet, or Wlan, or Wan) and the other end into your modem. If you are unsure which port to connect your cable to, you will need to refer to the instructions, as routers vary depending on the make. Now plug in your modem again and connect to the Internet. Next, plug in your router and turn it on. After a few 30-60 seconds you should see lights that indicate the router is connected to the modem. Now it's time to configure your modem.

Your router will have come with an address. Open Internet explorer and type this in the address bar. You may need to enter the default password at this stage. This also comes with the router. You should now be looking at the configuration page for your wireless router. Don't panic if it looks technical, you only need to change a few things. First of all you will need to give your network a name. Choose something that is not too easy to guess, as this will help with security issues, and type this in the SSID section. You should also see a section that asks for a WEP or a WPA. Choose something long and random as this will prevent hackers getting in, you don't need to remember this anyway. Now you need to create an 'administrators password'. Again choose something unique containing letters and numbers, (you will need to remember this one though). Now that's done, disconnect the network cable from your computer.

Now you can connect your computers. Before doing anything, make sure you have "Windows Service Pack 2". Now, repeat the following steps for each computer.

If you have purchased a USB network adaptor, plug this into a USB port on your computer. If you have a network card for your laptop, plug this in your expansion slot. Windows should now detect your new hardware and ask you to insert the CD that came with it. Do this, and follow the on-screen instructions. Once you have completed this you will see a new icon in your taskbar, (bottom right of main windows screen). Right-click it and select 'View Available Wireless Networks'. You should now see the name of your wireless network, if you don't, click refresh. Select that network and click connect, enter the network key you will have typed in earlier and wait for it to connect. Now you can close this window.

Finally you need to...........

Nothing, that's it! Congratulations, assuming everything went smoothly then you just set up a wireless home network. If you encounter problems, then visit for more advice. Failing thatFree Web Content, call the technical support that came with your router and they will be able to steer you in the right direction.

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If you're looking for information on Wireless Networking then Wireless Network Installations should be your first stop. It covers everything you need to know from product selection, to security, and troubleshooting. Visit NOW by clicking above.

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