Setting up a computer network is something that might be a common need, with today’s internet use habits, both at home and work. Assuming you are at a business setting, you will probably have the IT department setting up a network for you. At home, though, you will want to setup a computer network if you are sharing one broadband connection with two or more computers.
In setting up a computer network, you will need a few items.
- A broadband router, or at least a network switch if you will just be connecting within an intranet.
- Computers with compatible interfaces. These will either be 802.11 WiFi or Ethernet.
- A broadband connection.
- A broadband modem that comes with the broadband connection.
Setting up a home network is straightforward enough. You will first need to determine your needs. Will you be setting up a wired network? This is simple enough if all your devices will be situated in one room. If not, you are better off with a wireless network.
- Setup the hardware. The first thing you need to do is plug everything in order. The broadband modem is assumed to be already connected to your broadband source, either the telephone line (for DSL) or the coaxial cable (for Cable Internet). For other types of connections, the interface is usually an RJ-45 Ethernet connection, which is usually plug and play.
Then, plug in the network router into your broadband modem. This is usually done by plugging in one end of the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port of the broadband modem, and another into the “Input” or “Internet” port of the router.
Next, plug in the computers into the router. If you are using a wired connection, then plug in each computer into the open ports on the router. Consumer routers usually have four ports for connecting home devices. If you are using a wireless setup, then plugin just one computer from which you wil be doing the setup.
- Setup the router. Insert the installation CD that came with the router. Alternatively, simply open a browser and open 192.168.x.1 where “x” can either be 0, 1, or 2, which are variants that router manufacturers use.
In the router general settings, key in your broadband connectivity options. If you are using Cable, you might need to input a static IP address. If you are on DSL, you might have to input your username and password, as assigned by your ISP.
- Setup wireless security. Chose WPA for better security, and choose a good password or pass phrase. You will need to input this on all devices that will connect to the network. For best results, you should also change the network name or SSID.
- Connect the computers. If you’re using a wired connection, connect each computer to the open LAN ports on the router. If connecting via WiFi, simply enable WiFi on each computer, search for the network name, and then input the password.
Once you’ve connected all the computers, make sure that each can connect to the Internet. You can already set up file sharing and Home groups (under Windows 7) by this time.