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How to Setup Wireless Internet, Wireless Router setup

Internet - High Speed Wireless Broadband

How to setup wireless broadband internet service

Setting up wireless internet in the home is something that many are doing today and sometimes doing it all by themselves to save money. A modern laptop computer already has wireless built-in and smartphones also have wireless capability. Smart TV, Audio/Video Receivers and desktop computers all have wireless capability. Internet access is needed for streaming movies, doing banking, bill pay, getting information and more. Your local ISP (Internet Service Provider) has a modem you can rent or you can buy your own. Some modems have the router built-in and some are just a modem in which case you also need to get a wireless router.

The modem connects your home to the ISP. The ISP is connected to the world wide web (internet). You pay the monthly cost for access and to rent the modem plus fees.

Your provider will give you a modem or you can buy your own. You just need to connect and then configure the router.

Basic Summary of step by step to setup wireless internet at home

1. Call your service provider to sign up for broadband internet service.
2. Get your modem and all cables for connections.
3. Buy a wireless router if the modem is not a combo unit (modem and router)
4. Connect Modem to cable coming into the home.
5. Connect wireless router to modem using one ethernet (Cat 5 or Cat 6) cable.
6. Setup the wireless router. (Network name, Password, wireless security etc.)
7. For each computer you plan to use, setup for wireless connection.
8. Power on modem, router and computer and connect wirelessly to internet.

High-speed Wireless Internet at home

How to setup Wireless broadband internet at home 

Broadband internet service is available from local internet service providers such as your cable TV company or phone company. Providers such as Comcast, Charter, Cox and Spectrum Cable offer broadband internet service. Cable TV providers and telephone providers offer multiple services including television, telephone and internet. Sometimes you can save monthly costs by getting all three services together in a bundle.

Cable TV providers have been around for decades offering a coaxial cable connection into your residence for TV programming. Now this same coaxial cable, typically an RG-6 coax cable, can carry high-speed internet along with TV programs. You need to sign up for high-speed internet service with a provider. Broadband Internet will be offered at various speeds with increasing cost for faster data transfers.

The provider may offer to send a staff worker out to your residence to install your hardware for a fee. If you are handy with current technologies, sometimes you can save cost by doing it all yourself. This is particularly true with cable TV companies. Telephone companies can sometimes get complicated and require a technical person to do the work.

Basically you will get a cable modem (or DSL modem from telephone companies), signal splitter and connecting cables. Then you connect your computer to the modem. Connect using a wired (ethernet) cable. This allows internet connection but not wirelessly. To add wireless capability you connect the modem to a wireless router and your wireless capable computer to the wireless router which uses radio signals to send and receive data to/from your computer. The modem must be compatible with your provider's network, it cannot be just any modem.

Your provider will give you their modem or you can buy one yourself if you are sure it will work. One advantage to using your provider's modem is that as technology changes, you can swap the old modem for a new one. Cable modems from your cable TV provider are not hard to install and many people can do it themselves.

cable modem cisco 2100

 cisco cable modem 2100 rear
Cisco 2100 Cable Modem Front and Rear panels

Combination internet and digital telephone Modems

These modems have both telephone and internet connections. Your standard RJ-11 plug for landline phones and the RJ-45 ethernet connection plug into the rear of the modem which also has the coax cable connection.

Phone and Internet Cable Modem

Diagram - TV, Internet and digital phone setup connection diagram

More about Digital Phone

Connecting a modem to your existing wiring is the first step towards going wireless. The modem manages data to/from your provider (your local cable TV company) and can connect to a wireless router for internet access anywhere in your home. Think of the modem as a bridge between your computer and the provider. The modem takes digital data from your computer and translates into the required signals the provider's system uses and also tunes in signals from the provider and translates into digital data for your computer.

The cable modem actually looks for a specific TV channel coming across the coax cable. This channel is used for internet traffic instead of TV programming. Your provider has at their end another modem which has to take the signals from the coax cable and translate them into digital data and forward them to the internet.

The modem plugs in to your house A/C wall outlet and will initialize on its own when powered on.

Internet at home - Wireless Broadband from your cable company

Your internet data and your TV signals travel over the same cable until split in your residence. A signal splitter takes the cable from your provider and splits one RG-6 cable into two. TV signals go over one RG-6 cable to your TV and internet data goes over the other cable to your modem, router and computer. Signal splitters are inexpensive and are usually provided when you signup for internet service with your local provider.

The cable out of the splitter for internet data is connected to a cable modem. Again this small device is usually provided by your internet service provider. The cable modem has a port for the cable (RG-6) and a port for an ethernet (RJ-45) cable which connects to your computer or a router. You can connect a single computer using an ethernet cable or you can connect a router using an ethernet cable. The router allows multiple computers to use internet services and a wireless router allows multiple computers to locate around the house without wires and be on the internet. Most laptop computers today have built-in wireless adapters. USB wireless adapters are available for desktop computers.

Broadband is fast and always on plus wireless gives you freedom from cable connections. Wireless routers are sold using a standard called IEEE 802.11 and as revisions and improvements are made, sometimes it is enough to rename a standard with a letter. So you will see IEEE 802.11b which is an older standard, 802.11g which has been current but has been upgraded to 802.11n in 2009.

A Brief history of the wi-fi standard:

In 1997, the IEEE ( Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) ratified the original 802.11 standard—the “802.11” technology term simply refers to Wi-Fi.
In 1999 wireless was introduced to the general public with the 802.11 a and b ratifications. These standards had very low speeds (up to 54 Mbps & 11Mbps respectively).
By 2003 some mobile devices that utilized Wi-Fi were available and portable laptops were becoming more standard for both business and personal use. 802.11g was ratified, delivering up to 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz space. The birth of the smartphone saw 802.11n come into play.
The “n” standard brought about faster processing speeds of up to 450 Mbps for Wi-Fi and it supported both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz devices.
With demand growing, even faster speeds were needed. Enter Gigabit Wi-Fi. 802.11ac is the next advancement.

The 802.11ac standard, also known as WiFi 5 and Gigabit WiFi, is the 5th generation of WiFi.
It’s an upgrade from IEEE 802.11n, or WiFi 4. WiFi 5 was designed to deliver improved speeds, WiFi performance, and better range to keep up with the growing number of users, devices, and data.

WiFi 6 is the next generation standard in WiFi technology. WiFi 6 also known as 802.11ax WiFi builds and improves on the 802.11ac WiFi standard.

Reading your Router Specifications: Supported - IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a and so you can see the router is compatible with previous standards.

IEEE 802.11 Wireless Standards

Modem connections - Coaxial RG-6 cable from ISP and Ethernet cable connection.
This modem does not have a router built-in.

This modem has router built-in.
Connections to computer so you can setup router.
Ethernet, RJ-45 and LAN (local area network) all refer to basically the same connection.
WAN refers to the ISP end.

Setup diagram

wireless internet
Basic diagram for wireless internet service in the home

Ethernet cable - The cable connection from cable modem to router is done using an Ethernet cable. These cables are like
the old telephone modular plugs, square looking plastic plug, only ethernet cables have more wires and have a bigger plug.
Cables are not costly, 50 feet for $9 is common. Shorter cables can cost only a few dollars. Currently the standard to
buy is called CAT6. Older ethernet cable standards were CAT5 and CAT5e.

Close-up of an Ethernet cable

Wireless Routers

Routers today are available from companies like Netgear, Belkin, Cisco/Linksys, D-Link, and others.  Wireless routers operate at certain speeds and have features which allow you to fine-tune how you want your network to operate.  Security is one aspect you need to address so that your signal will not be stolen by unauthorized users. Wireless routers operate in the 2.4GHz range of the radio spectrum with 5GHz being offered on some routers. Speed of data transfer to/from wireless routers are 54Mbps and faster.

You can buy a new wireless router today for $50 with enough capability for all but the highest level of data transfers. If you want to stream HD video you may need to spend $80 for a top notch router.  



Many people get confused about passwords because there are two different passwords when using home internet.

1. The password to login to the modem/router using your browser for the purpose of making changes to the modem/router. This password default is something simple such as "password" and is used with the login username such as "admin" but can be changed after you login to the modem/router. Look on the modem/router label to find the default user login name and default password.

2. The password to establish a wireless connection to the router using a device such as a TV or a mobile phone or a Blu-ray player. This password is associated with the network name or SSID and is created when the wireless router is setup and can be changed. This password is often called the "PreShared Key".

Getting Modem Router information

After you hookup all the cables connecting modem, router and computer (ethernet) you need to power on the modem first and wait 2 mins. until the modem initializes and establishes communication with your provider. Next power on the router. The router will do the same as the modem so wait 1 to 2 mins. for it to come up to operational level.  The router will have a wired connection available even if it is wireless, so you can connect your laptop/desktop computer using an ethernet wired cable.

If you have Microsoft Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP or even Windows 2000 on your computer and you have current versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox web browsers, you may notice that you can access the internet already. With the plug and play way todays software and hardware is setup, its easy to just go, it just works.

However if you cannot access internet you may need to setup your computer for a broadband internet connection.
For Windows computers, go into Control Panel, then Networks. You should see any defined network already setup and also see where you can create a NEW connection.

For broadband internet network already defined, you will want to click on it, then Properties and then Internet Protocol (TCPIP) and then Properties.

Next check Obtain IP Address automatically and also Obtain DNS server address automatically. Then click OK.

For Windows computers, you can go into command prompt (cmd) and enter the command ipconfig /all and you should see information including IP address of router,
MAC address (physical address) etc. You can also PING the IP address of the router to see if you get a response. PING

You can logon to your router using your web browser to make changes to the router's configuration. Indeed you need to make some changes. Enter the IP address provided by the router manufacturer in the browsers address bar. Read owners manual for this address. Enter is one example. Enter is another example.

Router login using your web browser


Next logon with a user name and a password. admin is one example of a typical user name and password is one example of a default password. This logon password obviously needs to be changed to secure your router. Usually you get a menu of things you can change. The SSID is one item you should change. Also you need to change your router's security so that your signals cannot be used by unauthorized persons.

Change your SSID name to something of your choice. This name will be assigned to all network devices using your home network. It will also show up as the name of your network in a list of connectable networks whose signals are strong enough to be used (Wi-Fi). You can choose to not have the network name broadcast, adding additional security. Enter a passphrase of your choice. This will be used by any potential computer users to access your home network. If someone does not know your passphrase, they cannot typically use your network.

Choose one of the security options to encrypt data (or choose none).

WPA-PSK (TKIP), WPA2-PSK (AES). Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) using a pre-shared key to perform authentication and generate the initial data encryption keys. The very strong authentication along with dynamic per frame re-keying of WPA makes it virtually impossible to compromise.

Wi-Fi security settings explained

Security enabled networks are more difficult to use without authorization. Always click APPLY to save changes. Next click on SET PASSWORD and change the default password to administer your router. Write down your passphrase and password in a safe place so that you do not forget them over time.

Most often you will check the Automatic / Dynamic option to get your IP address, both for the internet IP address and the DNS IP address. Your IP addresses are assigned automatically from your Internet Service Provider (ISP).


Sometimes things need to be tuned and configured in order to work. Call your provider if you cannot resolve problems as they should be able to assist you. Also, if you buy a wireless router,  you can usually call the manufacturer's toll free number for help.

Once your home network is setup, you can access it using media devices which have Wi-Fi capability. Go into the device's network setup menu and select AUTO or manually enter IP addresses. Often your network ID will show up as a choice for connection and you select your SSID and connect. Laptops with Windows Vista or Windows 7 will automatically connect to your SSID once you have connected the first time. This way you do not need to connect every time you use the laptop. HDTVs and Blu-ray players now have built-in Wi-Fi for internet connectivity. Go into Settings, then Network, select wireless and AUTO. Often it is that easy to get connected to the internet.

Router setup

How to Set Up a Wireless Router

Set Up Your Wireless Router on a Windows PC

1. Connect the wireless router to the modem using an Ethernet (CAT 6) cable. In the case of a modem/router combo unit, this is not required.

2. Connect the wireless router to a power source. Wait two minutes, and then continue to the next step.

3. Click the network icon in the Windows PC notification area.

4. Select your wireless network from the list of available networks to complete the setup process. By default, your network name will be the name of your router manufacturer.

You can either setup the router with A: or B: below.

A: Set Up Your Router Using the Setup Software

1. Make sure that your wireless router is completely disconnected from the modem, the computer, and the power source.

2. On your PC, insert the disc that came with your router, or download and run the latest version of the router's software from the vendor website.

3. Follow the on-screen instructions. The setup routine will ask you to connect components (including your modem and PC) in a certain order, and it may request that you temporarily connect your wireless router to a computer via an ethernet cable. You will also create a wireless network name and password at this point.

B: Manually Configure Your Router Without Setup Software

1. Connect your wireless router to the modem, using an Ethernet cable.

2. Connect the wireless router to a power source. Wait two minutes to ensure that your router is fully operational.

3. Connect the wireless router to your computer using an Ethernet cable.

4. Log in to your router’s Web interface by opening a browser and entering the IP address of your router into the address bar. The IP address should be listed within your router’s documentation; if you can't find it, most routers use a common IP address such as,, or

5. Enter the default username and password, which you should find within your router’s documentation or on the label on the router.

6. Use the Web interface to set up a network name and password.

7. Disconnect your computer from the wireless router and then reconnect wirelessly.

Caution: Be sure to use a password to protect your wireless network.

 WiFi Internet 

Eliminates necessity of running LAN cable 

  • Supports: IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11g, Draft IEEE 802.11n
  • Dual-N Band: 2.4GHz or 5GHz
  • Security: 64/128bit WEP, WPA/WPA2
Streaming HD Video
Streaming SD Video
Music, Photo

Other Wireless Devices:

SETUP BLU-RAY PLAYER with Wireless internet

Once your home network is setup you can add other wireless devices such as a Blu-ray Player to access internet content.

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