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Setting Up a Wireless Access Point

written by: NormDickinson•edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 4/11/2009

A Wireless Access Point acts as the central transmitter and receiver of radio signals on wireless local area networks to deliver information to mobile devices. What is more, setting up a wireless access point is easy to implement and configure if some simple instructions are carefully followed.

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    The basic purpose of a wireless access point (WAP) is to enable easy, fast delivery of information and services to mobile gadgets such as notebooks, mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smartphones, and all types of communication devices from low-end to high-end. To be more explicit, the WAP connects to a wired network device using standard modes like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

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    Basic advantages

    Prior to the advent of WAP, installation of computer networks necessitated the laying of long stretches of cables to provide network access. WAP is now able to achieve this with limited cables and network users can, with the aid of WAP, easily add devices that access the network. This is possible because the latest technology to send and receive data deploys radio frequencies instead of conventional cables.

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    Procedure for Setting up the WAP

    Before actually setting up the WAP, the user has to choose a network name, or better known in technical circles as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). SSID is an alphanumeric character string with not more than 32 characters that is used to identify membership to an access point (AP) in a wireless local area network (WLAN). To those who may not be familiar with this, an access point (AP) is a base station which will accept communications between the wireless network and the hard-wired local area network.

    The next two steps are for deciding whether to have a password for the wireless network and whether to restrict the wireless access facility only to specified computers through MAC addresses. The MAC address is a unique reference number that is attached to every network card or device. One should be able to create a list of MAC addresses that are allowed to use the wireless network.

    One can view the WAP configuration through the Internet browser – any popular browser navigator. At this point the SSID chosen for the network must be entered. Although the option to broadcast the SSID is available, it is prudent not to broadcast to avoid misuse. Create a WPA network key which will be the user password for the network. Please note that all settings on the wireless equipment have to match the settings on the access point.

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    Setting up the WAP

    Follow these steps:

    • Supply power to the Wireless Access Point through the right connection.
    • Connect the computer to one of the access point's LAN jacks using an Ethernet cable likely to be available in the package itself.
    • Enter the required address of the configuration page in the web browser. These are router’s configuration like http://192.168.0.1, http://192.168.1.1, or http://192.168.100.1.
    • Default SSID should be changed using the button "Wireless settings" or "Advanced wireless settings"
    • As already explained, use MAC addresses to restrict access to WAP "Wireless settings" or "Restrict access"
    • Incorporate encryption security to the wireless network through the button called "Wireless settings"
    • Choose a password that will only be known to the user. This password is not to be shared with others to prevent misuse.
    • Now use "Advanced settings" or "Change password" to change the default administrator username and password.
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    The last step is to connect the Internet port to the wall data jack. Now the whole set up is ready and use this set up to connect wireless network name to the data jack and open the web browser with the site of your choice.

    At last, enter the unity ID and password in the ResNet registration page that will open up to register the access point to gain access to the internet. This is not at all complex and does not require core technical expertise. Even a layman can do it conveniently.






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