Cheat Sheet

Wireless All-in-One For Dummies

From Wireless All In One For Dummies, 2nd Edition by Sean Walberg, Loyd Case, Joel Durham, Jr., Derek Torres

Wireless technology can make your life easier, and it’s not just limited to saving you from getting up to answer the phone. You can free up space on your desk with a wireless keyboard and mouse, you can even move your laptop around the house and stay on the Internet with a wireless network. You can be productive wherever you want now.

Securing Your Wireless Network

Having adequate security should always be a priority when setting up a wireless network. Follow these tips to make sure no one can steal your Internet connection, or access your computers.

  • Change the administrative password to your router. This password is usually found in the Security menu.

  • Use WPA2 encryption with a pre-shared key. You can find this in the wireless setup menu.

  • Choose a pre-shared key that has some numbers and capital letters. The key should be at least 6 characters long.

  • Don’t use the default SSID. This is also in the wireless setup menu.

Troubleshooting Your Wireless Network

If you can’t seem to load any Web pages, it’s time to troubleshoot your wireless network. This checklist can help you figure out why your wireless network is broken.

Things to look out for:

  • Can your computer connect to the wireless router?

  • Can you access the administrative Web page of your router?

  • Does your computer get an IP address from the router? Right click on the wireless icon in your system tray and select Status (Windows XP), or Network and Sharing Center (Vista) to find your IP address.

  • Are you connected to the wireless network? If the previous step indicates you aren’t, make sure that your computer’s wireless SSID and password are the same as what is on the access point.

  • Are you within range of your access point? If your signal strength is low then consider relocating your router or computer closer to each other to improve the signal strength.

  • Plug in using an Ethernet cable instead of wireless to see if you can access the Internet.

  • Is the router plugged in to the wall and operating? Look for lights on the device. Also consider unplugging your router and plugging it back in.

  • Can your router connect to the Internet?

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