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Installing a Netgear Wireless Router

written by: Profacgillies•edited by: M.S. Smith•updated: 1/27/2010

Installing a Netgear router at the heart of your home wireless network can appear daunting to the uninitiated. This article takes you through the process and points out the lessons learnt by the author when he installed his router.

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    How to install a netgear wireless router

    This account is based upon the experience of installing a WNR2000 802.11n cable router in place of an earlier Netgear 802.11g router.

    As people's use of wireless networks at home increases, more people may be faced with the task of replacing their router, or installing a router for the first time. The task does not need to be too daunting but it does require a degree of patience, planning and attention to detail when reading and following instructions.

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    Planning and Preparation

    The most important part of the preparation is to make sure that you have all the bits that you need. This means not only ensuring that you take all the parts out of the box, but ensuring that you have a PC close enough to the router and cable modem to make a physical Ethernet connection with a cable. In my case, that meant moving a laptop to the part of the room where the cable modem was situated. This PC must have a CD-ROM drive to accommodate the resource disk which provides the installation wizard.

    Finally, you should decide which security protocol you are going to use to protect the network from intruders.

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    The Installation Process

    The time to install a netgear wireless router is suggested to be 15 minutes. For me, once I was ready to start, it took less than this to do the actual intsllation and it was a smooth process. Once the resource disk is placed in the disk drive, it will run automatically, and then the user is led step by step through the installation process. The first stage is an automatic check that the Internet connection and other factors are suitable for the new router.

    Once this has been done, the installation process consists of a sequence of instructions to the user. In the first part of the process when replacing a router, the old router is used to access the Internet. Therefore, it is very important that the power is connected and disconnected to the new and old router in the correct sequence and the cables are also connected and disconnected in the right order. However, provided that the user has the confidence to follow the clear instructions and pictures provided, the process should proceed smoothly. Although it feels a bit like those sequences in movies where the hero has to disconnect the wires in the correct order to prevent the bomb exploding, in reality, there are no such dire consequences.

    Once the router has been installed, a wired Ethernet connection is no longer required, the cable can be disconnected, and there is no longer a need for a computer in close physical proximity.

    The router can be configured using a browser to access the routerlogin.net page.

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    So What Can Possibly Go Wrong?

    First of all, you need to ensure you have an appropriate router for your Internet connection. Most manufacturers produce cable routers and ADSL routers. If you purchase the wrong type it will not work with your computer.

    Second, make sure that your router and cable modem are easily accessible during installation, including their power connections. There's a lot of cable switching to be done, and it's a lot easier if everything is in reach!

    The stage in the process which caused me some issues was installing other PCs on the new network. The WNR2000 router has a system called WPS to provide instant access to a secured network without the need for a network password. Having installed my laptop on the new network with WPA encryption to protect the network, I then moved onto installing my main computer. I should have just accepted the option to connect to the new network. Instead, I took the option to configure the connection. This asked me for the 8-digit security pin on the router, and then generated a new much longer password for the network using the WPS technology. I found the laptop I had already connected was now excluded from the network.

    I reverted to my preferred option of choosing my own encryption password.

    If you wish to add further security and have a relatively static network, i.e. one where you don't have lots of family and friends dropping in who wish to connect to your network, you can use the Device Access List under wireless options to specify the MAC addresses of those devices you wish to connect and effectively exclude all other devices.