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How To Configure A Router

Perhaps one of the most common tech calls in today’s computer repair business is dealing with configuring a router and or troubleshooting an existing router configuration. When I sell a router to a customer the most common question I hear is “How do I setup it up”. Depending on the flavour of Router you purchase it does come with documentation as to how to set everything up. It can be quite confusing if you don’t understand what IP addressing is and what MAC addresses are. The following article should explain most questions that you have. I will try and keep this as simple as possible. If you still cannot grasp the idea please don’t hesitate to give us a call, we will be more than happy to help.

how to configure a routerFor this guide I will be using a Linksys WRT54G Wireless Router. Linksys is a Cisco product. Cisco has been in the networking product business for years. If you don’t have this particular router don’t worry, the following instructions will work for most routers. The first thing we must do after unpacking the router from the shipping material is to find a location for the router that we can live with. If you plan on using the wireless portion of the router I would advise against placing the router near or around any furnace ducting or other metal objects as metal has a tendency to interfere with the routers send and receive transmissions. For this reason find a place in the upper portion of the house and or business, perhaps a spare bedroom. Most people have Cable and or DSL connections coming into the house in a spare bedroom anyway. The next step is for people with Telus DSL connections.

If you are on a Telus broadband connection you will have to call Telus and register your MAC address before going any further or go to registerdevice.telus.com. The MAC address of the router can be found on the bottom of the router. It is usually a series of twelve hexadecimal digits similar to this: 00:F1:2T:5H:0S:F5 you will not be able to get on the Telus network without this address. Just call a Telus service rep and tell them you need to register a MAC address. Once you have completed this please read on.

how to configure a routerNow the next step is to plug in your RJ45 networking cables. You will notice on the back of the router there are 5 ports. 1 of these ports is for your incoming connection from your service provider. The port could be labelled WAN, Internet or Uplink. What you want to do here is take the RJ45 cable that is coming from the Telus High Speed Modem and or Shaw Cable Modem and plug it into one of these ports.

Next we want to plug in the rest of our RJ45 cables. The other 4 ports you see on the back of the router are labelled LAN these ports are for computers on your local network. Take a RJ45 cable and plug one end into the LAN port on the router and take the other end and plug it into the computers NIC adapter. Repeat this step for all the computers in your house and or business.

Once you have completed the above steps it is time to turn everything on. I like to turn on the Cable Modem first, then turn on my computer and then turn on the router. If for some reason the router does not receive an IP address from the cable modem, just turn the modem off and then back on again, but let’s worry about that later.

Once all systems are turned on and ready to go we will have to login to the routers configuration options. We do this by launching a browser session. If you use Internet Explorer and or Firefox do the following. Launch your browser, then in the address bar we want to type in the default IP address of the router. Usually the address will be either 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 or possibly 192.168.2.1 notice the only number that changed was the subnet address. If for some reason none of these options work try this one 192.168.1.254 some Telus and Gnet routers have this default IP.

The router should now be asking you for a username and password before you can continue any further. Your routers documentation should have this information available. Most Linksys routers have a default of no username and the password is admin. I highly recommend changing the password after you have successfully logged into the system. Please write the password down somewhere you will remember, otherwise you will have to reset the router and go through all of this again.

Next if you click on the status page you should notice IP address information from your service provider. Go ahead and launch another browser window and try surfing the internet. If you can’t surf the internet try unplugging the Cable or DSL Modem from its power source and then plug it back in, wait a minute or so and try again. If you are using Telus please make sure you have registered the routers MAC address with their system. Everything should be good to go unless you want to learn how to configure a wireless connection for your laptop.