Once you’ve bought a new wireless router, you might feel anxious to read its specifications, much less set it up. It seems too complex and advanced for your mind to comprehend, especially when you’re not good with technology. You’re seriously considering that you should call a technician and let them do the work. But when you have little to no budget, how are you supposed to do it on your own without breaking anything?
Setting up your router doesn’t always have to be complicated. Since most routers in India have plug-and-play functionalities, it would take you an hour or less to get connected to the Internet.
Get your WiFi connection up and running by installing your router today. Take a look at the step-by-step instructions below to continue.
Step 1: Check your internet connection
If you want to connect your router to an existing internet service provider (ISP) gateway, then you already know if your internet is working or not. However, you should still verify if you’re satisfied with the connection. Keep in mind that a router installation can be extremely frustrating when you’re working with poor connectivity.
To help you get started, connect your ISP gateway or modem using an Ethernet cable and plug it into your device. Make sure that you get an Ethernet adapter if your laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet port. You’re good to go if your internet connection is going smooth and consistent.
You also have to remember that some ISPs offer combined router and modem functions. If you choose this option, it’s better to set these devices to bridge mode. Instructions will be provided to you once you get ahold of the devices.
Step 2: Place your wireless router
One of the things you need to bear in mind when unpacking your router is to place it in an open area. That way, the device will get the most coverage and provide you with a reliable internet connection. However, this isn’t an option for most people since they have to connect the router to their ISP’s broadband gateway. This equipment, most of the time, is installed in a perimeter wall so it’s difficult to move it somewhere else.
In this scenario, try to place your router in a place where it won’t shorten its range. As much as possible, don’t put it inside a closet. This isn’t to say that you should move the gateway, though. You can use a longer CAT5e or CAT6 cable to connect the router to the gateway’s ethernet port.
However, there’s an option that might be easier for your case. You can buy a mesh-style router where you locate one node where your gateway is located, and place subsequent nodes in various parts of your house. This can give you a strong WiFi signal everywhere you go!
Step 3: Gather documentation
It might sound obvious, but the moment you get your hands on the router, it’s best to gather documentation. This step will save you many headaches when you’re in the middle of setup and configuration.
Make sure that you look for stickers or papers inside the box that may include important setup details such as its web interface, username and password. Some routers also come with a mobile app or web dashboard that can help you with the entire setup process.
Step 4: Configure your wireless router gateway
You’d notice that some ISPs in India usually provide their clients with modems (gateways) with a built-in router. Unluckily, these integrated devices have poor quality than stand-alone routers. They also don’t allow you to build mesh networks that can cover every corner of your house with a reliable connection. This might be the main reason why you can’t enjoy your WiFi connection even if everything seems to be seamlessly working.
If your modem comes with a router, you need to configure the gateway so you can disable the router and pass the WAN IP address. This is the unique protocol address assigned to every account. To find your IP address, check the gateway for labels. Once you’ve found it, enter the address into a browser to proceed to the configuration screen.
You might also find a bridge mode during the configuration process when working with another router. The downside is that some ISPs won’t allow you to configure the gateway on your own, so you have to contact them first.
Step 5: Connect your gateway to your router
To turn off your gateway, make sure that you unplug its power supply if you can’t find the switch. However, if an Ethernet cable is directly plugged into the gateway’s LAN port, you can unplug and plug it into your router’s WAN port.
Once done, turn your gateway on and leave it for a minute to boot the device up. Plug in your router’s power supply and turn it on as well. Wait for another minute before you use it.
Step 6: Change your admin password
If your ISP or router manufacturer provides you with a smartphone app for configuration, then you’re off to a good start. However, if an app is not available, you can use the router’s browser-based user interface instead. Connect your PC or laptop to the router using an Ethernet cable to start.
Then, type the router’s IP address in the address bar of your browser and press the Enter key. It’s not that hard to find since the address can be directly imprinted on the device itself and looks like a set of numbers like 18.104.22.168.
Since it is not secure, you should be able to change the default admin password without breaking a sweat. Make sure that you create something unique and hard to guess. Write it down on a piece of paper or use a password manager site so you don’t forget your credentials the next time you make changes.
In case you forget the admin password, you need to reset the hardware. This means that any customisation you’ve made on the device will be gone.
Step 7: Run an update
Your router manufacturer releases new firmware when they’ve shipped the router to you. In some cases, it may contain bug fixes and security improvements. Always ensure that you have the latest version and run updates from to time.
Some routers will automatically check for new firmware updates, while others will require you to do it manually. If that’s the case, you need to click a button on the router’s configuration app to start running an update. When you’re done, make sure that you reboot the router so the firmware update is activated.
Step 8: Create a WiFi password
When unpacking your router, you might notice that it already comes with a pre-assigned WiFi password. On the other hand, most of them will require you to create a new one during the setup process.
Step 9: Enjoy your WiFi
If you’ve done everything in this step-by-step guide, then you should be able to connect your devices using the WiFi password. Another thing you can take advantage of is if the router has a guest network. In this way, you can allow your visitors to access the internet while preventing them from accessing other devices connected to the Internet.
Mistakes to avoid when setting up your router
If you’re a beginner when it comes to router setups, you’ll likely make mistakes down the road. To avoid further issues in the long run, here are the pitfalls you need to remember:
Creating an easy password
It’s tempting to just create a password based on the first thing you think of. You might use your dog’s nickname, a friend’s birthday or your full name when you’re too lazy to make things hard to guess. However, this is the first mistake you should avoid.
To create a strong password, we highly recommend that you use an alphanumeric password. Combine letters, numbers and characters so hackers won’t have an easy job hacking into your network.
Not changing the default system
Some people refuse to change their router’s default system upon purchase because the process seems too long and complicated. But when you retain the settings and don’t change anything, your router won’t be secure.
Refusing to update your router’s firmware
Running updates on your new firmware doesn’t take days, so the sooner that you do it, the better. These updates will significantly improve your router’s overall performance and security. And once the updates start, make sure that you don’t interrupt it in any way to avoid risking network security.
Setting up a router should not always feel complicated. To learn more about what routers to buy for better connectivity, stay tuned here at JioFi!