Living the Wireless Life: Wireless Home Networking

Installing the wireless access point

  1. Turn off your computer and cable or DSL modem.
  2. Disconnect the computer end of the cable that is connecting your computer to the DSL or cable modem.
  3. Connect the cable (in step 2) to the WAN or Internet port on the wireless router.
  4. Connect one end of the new cable that came with the wireless router to a numbered port on the wireless router, and connect the other end to the computer.
  5. Turn on the cable or DSL router, and then turn on the wireless router and your computer. Once your computer has finished starting up and the wireless router is up and running, the final step is to configure the wireless router, either by using the setup wizard or visiting the URL included in the wireless router's documentation.
  6. The setup will walk you through naming your network, securing the network (see below), assigning an IP address and making mode choices. Your IP address (IP stands for "Internet protocol") is the equivalent of your phone number. Opt for having the IP address assigned dynamically by your Internet service provider, so that your address will always be current. If you have purchased a wireless router that uses the 802.11g protocol, select the option that allows the device to operate with the 802.11b and 802.11g protocols.
  7. When you're done, exit the setup. You should now be broadcasting a wireless signal.

Installing a wireless card on a PC desktop
  1. Turn off the computer again, and then unplug it.
  2. Follow the PC manual instructions for opening up the case on your hard-drive tower.
  3. Look for the expansion slots within your computer -- small, horizontal outlets that match up with the inputs on your wireless card.
  4. Find a free slot and unscrew the slot cover. If there are no free slots and your computer currently connects to the Internet through an Ethernet cable plugged into a network card, then you need to replace your existing network card with the wireless card. If you have no open slots and you don't connect to the Internet through an Ethernet card, talk to a tech-savvy friend or computer consultant about your options.
  5. Insert the wireless card into the free slot, and secure it with the screw.
  6. Close the tower case.
  7. Plug the PC back in, and turn the PC on..
  8. Ninety-nine percent of the time, your PC will automatically detect the new card, and will ask for the installation disk. Insert the CD and follow the wizard to install the software required for the card to work properly. .
  9. When finished, you may be prompted to reboot the computer.
  10. Upon restart, your card should be communicating with the already installed wireless router, and you can start surfing.
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