Setting up a home network runs a close second to assembling Ikea furniture. Both tasks are tedious, time-consuming, and frustrating. This article will make your life easier. Promise. You can’t avoid configuring a home network if you have almost any kind of new device. From a NAS device to a new router, that network will have to be set up. The good news is it’s not as hard as it looks. The better news is that you don’t have to hire someone to do it for you (take that, Geek Squad!). Here are five simple steps to setting up your home network.
Step Number One: It All Starts With Your Router
A router is the heart of any home network. Without a router, you can’t network. It’s just that simple. With most routers comes a cable. Simply attach that cable to the port marked “Network, “LAN,” or “Internet.” Then, wait until that WAN connection signal lights up (and stays lighted). Once you’ve established a strong router connection, you can then move on to connecting any devices that you have.
Step Two: Router Management
Here’s the part of setting up a home network that scares most people. Routers and router management sound all technical and hard, but the truth is that most router manufacturers make this process simple. To begin, connect a laptop or desktop to your router. Then, change your laptop’s IP settings by going through the following steps:
1. Find your computer’s Control Panel
2. Click on the Network and Internet settings option
3. Find the Local Area Connection (LAN), and select Properties
4. Follow the Instructions on your Router Package
You will have to enter a specific I/P address, but this information should come with your router. If you cannot find these details, contact the router manufacturer. After you have configured your router, you will need to set those changes by entering the right username and password (generated by the router manufacturer). In most instances, this username/password combo is “Admin/Password” or the reverse. Sometimes, the combo is Admin/Admin or Password/Password depending on the router used.
Important: once you have configured your browser and confirmed that standard password, make sure to reset the password using a personal combination of letters and numbers. Otherwise, it will be really easy for someone to hack into your home network.
Step Three: Overall Control
In order to access your router using various device, you will have to set up sharing configurations. If you’re using Windows 7, you can connect to your home network by using the HomeGroup feature. To use this feature, simply follow the HomeGroup network setting steps (provided by Windows). While going through this process, keep in mind the files that you want to share, and make sure to allow access to those file by all home network devices.
Step Four: Decide Who Can Use Your Network
You may have to set up more than one user profile. If more than one person will be accessing your network, you will have to add that person to the network. To do this, fine the “Manage User Accounts” setting, and follow the directions listed. More often than not, you won’t have to set up group controls, but this option is available if you need to use it (with Windows 7).