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The Basics of Wireless Network Installation

The appeals of wireless network installation are numerous. The first, of course, is a limit to the number of wires running through a home or office. A wireless network also allows for a very simple installation, since your knowledge of wiring and electrical work can be minimal, but still be adequate for installing a wireless network.

Additionally, the wireless configuration allows you to have a great deal of flexibility in how you locate equipment around the home or office.

In order to set up a wireless network that is internet ready, you will need only two primary components.

The first is wireless LAN (or Local Area Network) cards. It's important that each PC on the network have its own wireless card.

They need to be inserted into an unused PCI slot located inside of a PC. The antenna portion of the card should be at the back of the PC with the antenna extending up.

Installing the LAN card is not a complicated operation, and can be accomplished by a novice in computer installation. Simply open the computer case carefully and find the slot where the LAN card fits. There is likely only one available, but any computer that does not have a built in wireless system will have a LAN slot.

Ground yourself by touching something metal or plastic to dispel static, then screw the card into the slot with the screws provided. Make the electrical connections, replace the PC covers, then start up the computer. You'll need to intall drivers specifically for that LAN card. Repeat for each computer that will be on the network.

The second component of a basic wireless network is the wireless router. These routers allow you to share a single internet connection between numerous computers. Depending on the router's specifications, they can accommodate between four and sixteen computers on a single wireless router.

If you have internet from your cable provider, they may have supplied a cable modem, but those are rarely wireless. You'll need to plug a wireless router into the modem, then route your PCs through it. If you have a DSL or ADSL connection, purchase a DSL modem.

You'll then configure your network. Log onto your router/modem through your PC. Read the owner's manual for the router for specific directions. You'll want to direct it to automatically assign IP addresses to any PC attached to it. It's recommended that you stick to basic network configurations and use the 192.168.01 as the first IP address and the 0.9 as the ending address, which gives you the potential for eight additional devices to be installed, if you like.

You want your router to be the primary gateway and also the primary DNS, so both of these boxes should be set to the router IP ( Other boxes should be blank or contain default indicators.

The next step is to go to the Network Connections screen in a PC start menu, right click on wireless network and go through properties to indicate that you want the router to obtain an IP address automatically.


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