If you have more than one computer in your house and are tired of running back and forth getting information, then you should consider installing a home network. Home networks are easy to install and configure. In addition, they make your life a little easier when sharing files and printers among multiple computers.
There are two pieces of hardware needed to setup and configure a home network. They are usually supplied by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). Here’s a brief description of each.
Modem – A modem is usually provided by the Internet Service Provider.
Router – You need to purchase this piece of hardware. Wireless/Wired router types (such as G or N), offer good signal quality. Higher quality routers are more expensive. I would recommend a G type since most of home networks are configured this way.
A Linksys router is very easy to configure and very durable. Look at the diagram below on how to setup the router with a modem. Be sure to place the router in the center of the house so you get the strongest signal.
If you have a wireless gateway (a modem with built-in wireless) then you don’t need a separate router. If you have a gateway, simply connect the coaxial cable or phone line to it and power it on then wait a few minutes. Look at the picture below.
Coax Cable Ethernet /Internet Cable
A CD installation disc comes with the router. After the software is installed, there are certain parameters that should be changed in order to keep you your home network safe. Let’s look at some.
Password/Router Name – Routers come with a built-in password and router name used for accessing the setup and configuration information. It is a best practice to create a new password and router name immediately after the software is installed. Try using a unique name and password making your network more secure to the outside world.
IP Address – Routers also come with a default IP address. It is a good idea to change this address as well making the network more secure from hackers and intruders. An IP addresses can be either Static or Dynamic. Using a static address requires that you assign the address manually where dynamic addresses are assigned automatically by the router. If your network consists of more than two devices then dynamic addressing is the best method to use to configure devices.
SSID/Passphrase – This is security code used to access the network. When creating this code, make sure the code is easy to remember and you have it written down and stored in a safe place.
In order to share a printer with other computers, the printer must have an IP address assigned on the network and the router must be able to see the printer. The printer software must also be installed on each computer in order to share between computers. Once the software is installed the router should see the printer.
If you want to connect any other devices, simply turn on the computer. The router should recognize the computer and assign an IP address to it.
I hope that you found this information helpful. Please feel free to forward it to others. If you would like to learn more about this topic or would like to request a topic, please contact me. If you missed any past newsletters or would like a printed copy, please visit my website www.mdsystemsolutions.com.
Until next time…Happy Computing!!!
I have worked is various positions as a system administrator, support technician, as a help desk support, and as an IT consultant in a corporate environment. I currently run a small business where I provide computer services such as hardware configuration, installation, for residential and for medium and small businesses. You can contact me by email or visit my website at https://www.mdsystemsolutions.com.