Most home wireless routers have wifi turned on out of the box. This way if you do not have cables running through your house and you plan to use wireless you can still get into the router’s interface. If you do not plan to use wireless be sure to turn it off first thing otherwise you’ll have an open connection for people to get into your network. So check and see if it is already running.
Here are the basics for setting up a wifi.
Turning it on:
On your router you need to first turn on “Enable Wireless Router Radio” or “wifi” etc. Also enable SSID broadcast.
In settings you should give it a SSID (the name of the Access Point)
Pick a Channel, like 11 (if there are nearby houses or you’re in an apartment where other people may have WiFi, try changing the channel if you experience problems connecting/staying connected)
And put the mode in g or b, (if your wireless card is 802.11g or b) if you aren’t sure and your router has the option of both just choose both
When just learning how to make a connection leave the security options off just see if you can connect at first and make sure it’s all working. Then, one by one, turn on security features as you learn to connect with each on in place. If you are unfamiliar with wireless networks and basic connections you may have trouble figuring out what is wrong in your setup if all your security is on from the start.
Install a wireless access point manually
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2. Double-click Network Connections.
3. Right-click Wireless Network Connection, and then click Properties.
4. Click the Wireless Networks tab.
A list of wireless access points appears in the Available networks box.
5. Under Preferred networks, click Add.
6. In the Network Name (SSID) box, type the name of the access point and select the appropriate check boxes, according to your network requirements.
You may have to ask the LAN administrators for specific settings. If you are on a domain, you may have to request client certificates.
7. Click OK.
WEP, WPA Encryption. These settings enrcypt your information in the air so if someone picks up your signal they can’t see your credit card numbers, etc. You are provided with a key that can be thought of to some people as a password to get onto your wireless. WPA is stronger than WEP so try to go with WPA when availible. The longer the key the better.
MAC Filtering. Computers get IP addresses to connect to networks. A MAC address is the hardware address of your network card. This way you can limit what specific computers are allowed to connect.
SSID. This is the name of your wifi connection. Routers, by default, have a common SSID, usually the name of the router manufacture such as “linksys router”. If it is set to default then a person trying to gain access to your network knows what router you have and can gain access using information specific to your router if you are still out-of-the-box setup. Change your SSID and turn off the broadcast of SSID to make your wireless “invisible” to others. You’ll have to type it in manually on the computer your connecting with when making a wireless connection.
Using one type of security will not stop attacks and even all these features can be bypass with a little patience and know how. But having all in place creates more steps for someone to take and they may just move on to another signal with less security for quick access. If you live in apartments you might want to turn off your wireless when not in use. It’s also a good idea to have these things in place when living in a area with lots of other wifi because you do not want someone accidently connecting your signal and not realizing it. Also you will know what your SSID is and that you are on your wireless and not someone else’s.