While networking equipment manufacturers have made installation utilities more user-friendly over the years, getting the most out of your new wireless router often requires going beyond the scope of the typical Netgear router setup. There is no guarantee that your network is operating at peak performance or is as secure as it could be, even if everything has been plugged in and the lights have stopped blinking red. Follow these simple steps to get the most out of your wireless network and router.
What Am I Doing Wrong If I Want to Connect My Wireless Router?
It is assumed that you have previously located an appropriate router for your needs. Check out our wireless router buying guide (link above) if you’re still in the market, or our budget routers roundup (comprised of our top players under $100) if you want to save a few bucks. Check out our gaming router guide if you want the quickest connection possible for online gaming. Every participant in our buying recommendations has passed PC Labs’ comprehensive wireless router testing program, so you know you’re getting the latest and greatest information.
Highly Recommended Routers Based on Our Research
A few options to consider when shopping for a router include Wi-Fi 6 models, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) models, and Wi-Fi mesh systems. While Wi-Fi 5 routers are still widely available and may meet most people’s needs for light to moderate networking, upgrading to a Wi-Fi 6 router will provide you with the latest technology and the best possible performance.
Wi-Fi mesh systems are ideal for those who can afford to spend a little more on their network because of the two main benefits they provide: simple setup Netgear router and comprehensive Wi-Fi coverage throughout the home. You can improve your home network’s coverage by purchasing a wireless range extender and connecting it to your existing router. However, doing so will require you to log into multiple wireless networks across your home. Wi-Fi mesh eliminates the need for separate wireless networks by allowing you to create a single, expansive network out of a collection of “nodes” that are compatible with one another.
Extenders for Wireless Networks that Have Received High Marks
When it comes to getting the first set of green lights blinking on your network, Wi-Fi mesh is by far the easiest method. However, that is still just the bare minimum. But let’s say you want to beef up security by instituting measures like a guest network and parental controls or using quality of service (QoS) settings to encrypt data destined for a particular application or device. That being said, you’ll have to go beyond the standard how to setup the Netgear router wizard that comes with your router or mesh system. If that happens to you, the instructions below will help.
Location and Installation
First things first: figure out a spot for your router. Locating a clearing close to your home’s geographic center will provide the best signal strength. Keep in mind that obstacles like walls and floors will cause your Wi-Fi signal to weaken and perhaps slow down as distance increases between your devices and your network. Large metal, or concrete objects should be avoided if at all possible. You may prevent this issue with a Wi-Fi mesh system by installing a visually pleasing node in the area with the poorest signal strength. However, individuals utilizing regular routers or even wireless range extenders will need some time and experimentation to determine the best placement options.
To get started, hook up your router to your modem. An Ethernet cable is required for this purpose; it must be connected to the WAN (wide-area network) port on your router’s rear. While the exact appearance of this port may vary from router to router, you can typically identify it by its unique color and the phrase “WAN,” “Internet,” or something like that. Connect your modem’s Ethernet port to your network switch via the WAN port on the switch. A switched-on modem is the only thing standing between you and an online connection. The next step is to power on and connect your router to a wall socket.
Most mesh Wi-Fi systems and some of the newest basic wireless routers may be set up and managed entirely from a mobile device. Each manufacturer has its own setup app, so check the quick-start guide with your router to be sure you’re getting the appropriate one. However, some routers do not provide mobile apps, and if you’d prefer not to use one, you can always resort to a backup solution. This is the URL of a special webpage that loads the router’s internal configuration page. Connect your computer to the router’s LAN port using an Ethernet connection, and then type 192.168.1.1 (or the address provided in the router’s instructions) into your browser to access the router’s setup page.
Steps to Take
A brief look at the router’s fast start guide will show anyone how to get their connection up and running, but most models conceal additional features in their Netgear router setup page.
. Try to learn about these extra features to get the most out of your router. In addition, if you are still looking for a new router, you may want to look further than the product’s box and specifications. Find out which advanced capabilities will be most helpful in your setting by downloading the user handbook and diving in. Check your connection speed once you’re online.