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Setting Up a Wireless Router as an Access Point

Posted on October 17, 2008 by Bo

Wireless Access PointWhile it’s hard to beat the dependability of a wired network, wireless networking definitely has the edge in convenience. However, this convenience highly depends on the accessibility of your wireless network.

As wireless devices continue to become more prevalent in our way of life, you may find the need to either upgrade your existing wireless router for more speed, add on a new wireless router to extend the coverage area of your network, or simply incorporate wireless connectivity into your existing wired network.

You can easily add a wireless access point without making any changes to your existing network. All you need is a wireless router and a patch cable. (Some routers may require a crossover cable in order to be properly connected to your network. This might require some experimentation on your part, so if you’re not getting a connection with the patch cable you’re using, try switching to a crossover cable to see if that helps.)

1. Connect to the wireless router
We don’t want to connect the router to the network yet, we just need to connect it directly to your computer. Power on the wireless router and connect a network cable to one of the router’s LAN ports, then connect the other end to your computer’s ethernet port.

2. Login and Change IP
Since you already have a router on your network, you’ll need to make sure that this new wireless access point has a different internal IP address than your master router. So, open a browser and login to the wireless router that your computer is directly connected to (refer to your router’s documentation for login instructions).

Once you’re logged in, change the wireless router’s IP address so that it’s compatible with your network. If your master router is 192.168.1.1, then set the new wireless router to something like 192.168.1.2. This is so that once you finally plugin the wireless router to your network, there isn’t an IP conflict between the two routers.

After changing the wireless’s IP address, your browser may not be automatically transferred to the new IP. If you happen to get disconnected from the wireless, simply check the IP number in your browser’s address bar and make sure you’re trying to access the correct IP.

3. Turn Off DHCP
There should only be one DHCP server on your network, and it should be your master router. So, we need to make sure the new wireless router has DHCP turned off. You may need to refer to your router’s document if you aren’t sure how to do this.

4. Change from Gateway to Router
Some routers have two modes of operation: Gateway and Router. The main router on your network should be the gateway so we need to make sure this wireless router is setup to operate in Router mode.

5. Security
As with any router, you want to be sure that you have the security features in place. A good place to start is to change the administrator password used to login to the router. You’ll also want to implement security over your wireless network.

6. Connect!
After you’ve made these settings, you’re now ready to connect the wireless router to your network. Do this by simply connecting a network cable from the LAN port of your master router (or anywhere on the network) to a LAN port on your new wireless access point. The actual Internet port of your wireless router will not be used.

Now you’re all set. Ready to buy a new wireless router? Check out the links below for some suggestions.



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