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Building your own wireless network?

If you already have several computers networked in your home, you can create a wireless network with a wireless access point.

If you have several computers that are not networked, or if you want to replace your Ethernet network, you’ll need a wireless router. This is a single unit that contains:

  1. A port to connect to your cable or DSL modem
  2. A router
  3. An Ethernet hub
  4. A firewall
  5. A wireless access point

The wireless router

A wireless router allows you to use wireless signals or Ethernet cables to connect your computers and mobile devices to one another, to a printer and to the Internet.

Most routers provide coverage for about 30.5 meters in all directions, although walls and doors can block the signal. If your home is very large, you can buy an inexpensive range extenders or repeaters to increase your router’s range.

As with wireless adapters, many routers can use more than one 802.11 standards. The most common routers that you can buy use the 802.11n and faster 802.11ac standards.

Once you plug in your router, it should start working at its default settings. Most routers let you use a Web interface to change your settings. You can select:

  • The name of the network, known as its service set identifier (SSID) — The default setting is usually the manufacturer’s name.
  • The channel that the router uses — Most routers use channel 6 by default. If you live in an apartment and your neighbours are also using channel 6, you may experience interference. Switching to a different channel should eliminate the problem.
  • Your router’s security options — Many routers use a standard, publicly available sign-on, so it’s a good idea to set your own username and password.

Wireless networks are easy and inexpensive to set up, and most routers’ Web interfaces are virtually self-explanatory.

For help contact Ryan Danvers at 072 601 2858.