Wireless Router Setup

Paul Brooks in Tech

A wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router and also includes the functions of a wireless access point. It is used to provide access to the Internet or a private computer network. Depending on the manufacturer and model, it can function in a wired local area network, in a wireless-only LAN, or in a mixed wired and wireless network.

Wireless routers typically feature one or more network interface controllers supporting Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet ports integrated into the main system on a chip (SoC) around which the router is built. An Ethernet switch as described in IEEE 802.1Q may interconnect multiple ports. Some routers implement link aggregation through which two or more ports may be used together improving throughput and redundancy.

The main purpose of a router is to connect multiple networks and forward packets destined either for directly-attached networks or more remote networks. A router is considered a layer-3 device because its primary forwarding decision is based on the information in the layer-3 IP packet, specifically the destination IP address. When a router receives a packet, it searches its routing table to find the best match between 192.168.l.0.1 IP address of the packet and one of the addresses in the routing table. Once a match is found, the packet is encapsulated in the layer-2 data link frame for the outgoing interface indicated in the table entry. A router typically does not look into the packet payload, but only at the layer-3 addresses to make a forwarding decision, plus optionally other information in the header for hints on, for example, quality of service (QoS). For pure IP forwarding, a router is designed to minimize the state information associated with individual packets. Once a packet is forwarded, the router does not retain any historical information about the packet.

All wireless routers feature one or more wireless network interface controllers. These are also integrated into the main SoC or may be separate chips on the printed circuit board. It also can be a distinct card connected over a Arris Router Login interface. Some wireless routers have one or two USB ports. These can be used to connect printer or desktop or mobile external hard disk drive to be used as a shared resource on the network. A USB port may also be used for connecting mobile broadband modem, aside from connecting the wireless router to an Ethernet with xDSL or cable modem. A mobile broadband USB adapter can be connected to the router to share the mobile broadband Internet connection through the wireless network. Some wireless routers come with either xDSL modem, DOCSIS modem, LTE modem, or fiber optic modem integrated.

The Wi-Fi clone button simplifies Wi-Fi configuration and builds a seamless unified home network, enabling Super Range Extension, which means it can automatically copy the SSID and Password of your router.

If you don't have a good internet connection, the router setup experience will be frustrating. The simplest method is to connect a computer to the modem or gateway device supplied by your Internet service provider (ISP). If your computer detects an Internet connection, you're ready to set up the router.

Here's another "seems obvious" step—but one that will save you aggravation when you're in the middle of setup. Keep an eye out for stickers or slips of paper that might include important setup information, like the router's default username and password. Many router manufacturers provide mobile apps or web dashboard that can be used for both setup and management. With a smartphone app, you may not have to connect the router to a computer to configure it. Check the documentation that came with your router to see if an app is available. If the router has antennas and they're separate from the router box, you'll need to install them. In addition, you should extend the antennas before beginning the setup process.