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Wireless Router Setup and Configuration

By Sumesh Sundaran

What is a Wireless Router ?

Before understanding what a wireless router is we must first know what does WLAN mean. A wireless local area network (WLAN) links two or more devices using some wireless distribution method (typically spread-spectrum or OFDM radio), and usually providing a connection through an access point to the wider Internet. This gives users the mobility to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network. Most modern WLANs are based on IEEE 802.11 standards, marketed under the Wi-Fi brand name. Wireless LANs have become popular in the home due to ease of installation, and in commercial complexes offering wireless access to their customers. All components that can connect into a wireless medium in a network are referred to as stations. All stations are equipped with wireless network interface controllers (WNICs). Wireless stations fall into one of two categories: access points, and clients. Access points (APs), normally routers, are base stations for the wireless network. They transmit and receive radio frequencies for wireless enabled devices to communicate with. Wireless clients can be mobile devices such as laptops, personal digital assistants, IP phones and other smartphones, or fixed devices such as desktops and workstations that are equipped with a wireless network interface.

Wireless Router
Now that we have learned about WLAN we understand that a wireless router is a device that performs the functions of a router but also includes the functions of a wireless access point and a network switch. It is commonly used to provide access to the Internet or a computer network. It does not require a wired link, as the connection is made wirelessly, via radio waves. It can function in a wired LAN (local area network), in a wireless-only LAN (WLAN), or in a mixed wired/wireless network, depending on the manufacturer and model. Most current wireless routers have the following characteristics:

LAN ports which function in the same manner as the ports of a network switch. A WAN port which connects to a wide area network, typically one with Internet access. External destinations are accessed using this port. A wireless antenna that allows connections to other wireless devices, such as NiCs, wireless repeaters, wireless access points, and wireless bridges. This antenna typically uses the Wi-Fi standard. Wireless router has many types of security for different manufacturers.ExWEP,WAP,WPA.

Most routers provide coverage for about 100 feet (30.5 meters) in all directions, although walls and doors can block the signal. You can use inexpensive range extenders or repeaters to increase the router's range. As with wireless adapters, many routers can use more than one 802.11 standard. 802.11b routers are slightly less expensive, but because the standard is older, they're slower than 802.11a, 802.11g and 802.11n routers. Most people select the 802.11g option for its speed and reliability.

Understanding the Different Types of Wireless Routers

Know your Standards When looking for a wireless router, first thing to check is whether its b, g, or n. The letters refer to the wireless communication standard on which the router is based: 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. The first generation of wireless routers was b, followed by g, and now nthe newest generation. The primary difference among the router standards is speed (more on that in a bit) and range.

Single band vs. Dual band Wireless communications operate in two bands2.4GHz and 5GHz. Routers based on 802.11b and 802.11g standardsand some n routersuse the 2.4GHz band; however, the 802.11n standard allows wireless devices to use the 5GHz or 2.4GHz band. Routers that operate only in the 2.4GHz band are referred to as single band.. Wireless n dual-band routers are also available as selectable or simultaneous models, sometimes referred to as single radio or two radio, respectively. A selectable wireless n router, such as the Cisco RV220W can operate in either 2.4GHz or 5GHz mode; a simultaneous n device can operate in both frequencies at the same time. In Wi-Fi wireless networking, dual band is the capability to transmit on the 5 GHz band of 802.11a and also the 2.4 GHz band used by 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n. Unlike ordinary WiFi equipment that only supports one signal band, dual-band routers contain two different types of wireless radios that can support connections on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 2.4GHz band is the same frequency used by a lot of other wireless devices, such as cordless phones and microwave ovens. Because there are more devices competing for space in this band resulting in interference and congestion, and it may affect how well the router performs both in speed and consistency. The 5GHz band provides better performance and coverage due to less interference.

Speed Wireless router performance varies by standard with 802.11b providing the slowest speeds at up to 11Mbps. Wireless g routers deliver a maximum speed of 54Mbps while devices based on the 802.11n standard are fastest, topping out at 300Mbps. If youre thinking faster is better, theres one thing to keep in mind: a wireless router cant go any faster than your Internet connection allows. So, under most conditions, a wireless n device may only perform at speeds up to 100Mbps.

Security Most routers currently support standard WEP securities as well as the more secure WPA and WPA2. If you want to control what users can access when they are connected to the router, you want to have one that offers decent Access Controls. Guest Access and an ability to create multiple SSIDs are also important security measures if you are using the router for a small business. Together, these two features allow you to segment your network into separate areas for guests and trusted users.

Wired Connectivity Most wireless routers have Ethernet ports for hard-wiring devices to can take advantage of the greater transmission speeds that wired Ethernet has over a wireless connection. For faster transmission rates, invest in a router that has Gigabit Ethernet ports.

Single WAN or Dual-WAN Theres one other option to consider when deciding which wireless router will best fit your needsdual WAN. All wireless routers provide a single WAN port that connects your company to the Internet. However, if that port should fail,your business loses access to other offices and any employees working remotely. A wireless router with dual WAN ports, such as the Cisco RV042 Dual WAN VPN Router ensures reliable connectivity by providing a second link to the Internet and is suitable for businesses that run mission critical applications and cannot afford network downtime.

Connecting the router

Front End : The routers LEDs displays the routers status.

Rear End : The rear end of the router is where all the connections are made.

Steps :
Power everything down, which includes the PC and the Router. Connect an Ethernet cable from the PCs Ethernet ports to one of the Router s LAN ports.

Connect another Ethernet cable from the switch or DSL modem to the Routers Internet port .

Connect the Power Adapter to the Routers Powerport and plug the other end into a power outlet.

Power on the PC and the router the LED for the internet will illuminate in green colour indicating that it is connected to the internet and ready to be used.

Configuring the PC
Click the Start button, open the Control Panel . and click the Network andInternet Connections icon. Then, click the Network Connections icon to display the Network screen. Select the Local Area Connection icon for the applicable Ethernet adapter . When the Local Area Connection Status screen appears, click the Properties button. Select Internet Protocol(TCP/IP) and click the Properties button. Select Obtain an IP address automatically and verify that Obtain DNS server address automatically is selected then, click the OK button and click the OK button on the subsequent screens to complete the PC s configuration.

Wireless Configuration
This is how the network will look once all the connecting are made correctly

Before connecting a wireless device make the following security settings in the wireless router Fill in the SSID details and authentication details for guest access for other users.

Now place a laptop that wants to access the network via the wireless router . This is done by selecting a laptop from the end-users tab.

The laptop must have a wireless network interface card installed in it ,in order to detect the wireless network

Now the laptop has to search for the available wireless network connection. So for that we select the PC Wireless option in Packet tracer.

Then select the connect option in order to search for the network. Once it detects a wireless network it is displayed(the wireless router with SSID Sumesh is detected) as below :

Then select that that detected network and enter the WEP key for accessing it. Once entered click connect.

If the key entered is correct then you would have successfully accessed the network .

In order to confirm the connection check whether an IP address is being assigned to the machine. If Yes, then the connection is successful. If No, then then check for the configuration again.

Once the connection is successfully, we can check whether we can access it by pinging any one machine in the same network. So we can try to ping the PC which is connected to the router with the IP address

Similarly we can also ping the Laptop from the PC.

Similarly, multiple wireless devices can be connected to the wireless router and all share the same network connection.

We can also make changes to router settings by accessing the router IP(in this case

This are all the steps that are required to be performed in order to access a network through a wireless router.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless Router

Wireless routers are equipped with modems, network switch (a device that has multiple connection ports for connecting computers and other network devices) and a wireless access points. Wireless Router can be connected to / from anywhere in your immediate environment or house. That means you can log on and surf the Internet from anywhere around your surrounding. Some of the wireless routers are equipped with a built in firewall to ward of intruders. The configuration options of the firewall are an important consideration when buying a router. Buying a wireless router with good firewall configuration options can be helpful for security and privacy. The broadband router wireless VoIP technology is a technology that enables you to can connect to the Internet, using any ordinary phone device. You can then make calls to anybody in the world via your Internet connection. Wireless router provides strong encryption (WPA or AES) and features the filters MAC address and control over SSID authentication.

The wireless connection will be slightly slower than the wired connection. Simply put, wireless or WI-FI transmits through the air and can be blocked interfered with by other waves from the surrounding. Security is one of the main concern when it comes to networking generally, wired network provides for more regid security to wireless. This means that all of your private data stored in your laptop or PDA could be exposed to anyone in the same vicinity. It's possible that an dishonest person could obtain passwords and important personal information easily from wireless networks if not properly configured There is a large congestion of WI-FI, especially in the cities where you have a large population of stores and big organizations that transmits over the same channel, causing much interference.


Thus setting up a wireless network is the best solution when your home or office have more than one PC to connect to the network. This saves both time for setting up each machine and also the money involved . This is because all the machines are accessing the same network connection. WNIC is an important component to be present in order to access the wireless network, without it all this wont be possible. Also wireless network gives a great advantage as the user can roam around the surrounding within the network range with its device while accessing the network at the same time. Thus a person doesnt have to be seated at one place all the time. Wireless router implementation has more advantages than disadvantages and is part of one big movement in Information Technology wherein with further improvements and upgradations in it, the need for a wired network would be eliminated in the future.


http://blogs.cisco.com/smallbusiness/understanding-the-different-types-of-wireless-routers/ http://www.linksys.com/en-apac/home http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page