HOWTO: Hook Up A New Router

You’re probably asking yourself, “This guy complains about things like software RAID, Linux printer drivers, and PHP coding goofs. Why cover a simple topic like hooking up a router?” The answer is simple: I’m taking the router installation BACK. I’m taking it out of the hands of companies that treat their users like morons by including CDs that “do everything for them,” when really it just leaves them more in the dark about how their router works.

In other words, two comments asking for help on their router centering around the installation CD was enough to drive me up a wall. :)

Here’s the way to set up ANY router:

  1. If you’re replacing a router or adding a second, don’t just plop the new one in just yet! It’s settings may conflict with your existing router.
  2. Power up your router by hooking up the AC adapter.
  3. Use the included Ethernet cable to hook a computer up directly to the new router using one of the LAN ports. If you only have one computer, this means you’ll be without an Internet connection for a bit.
  4. Use your OS of choice to refresh networking information

    Windows: Open a command prompt and issue the commands

    ipconfig /release
    ipconfig /renew

    Linux: Open a terminal and issue the command

    dhclient eth0

    If that doesn’t work, there’s always

    ifdown eth0
    ifup eth0

    Mac: Go here for detailed instructions.

  5. Using the information gleamed from your new IP address, you can usually guess the IP address of the router. If your computer just got assigned 192.168.1.101, chances are the router’s IP address is 192.168.1.1. In other words, the IP address of your router is going to be the first three octets of your computer’s IP address (192.168.1) plus a .1.
  6. Open up your browser of choice and type in the router’s IP address for the URL.
  7. Consult your manual for the default username and password, or consult this list. By the way, I hope the existence of that list convinces you to change the default username and password!
  8. Peruse the menus and set things up the way you like. Configure things like PPPoE if you need it, your Wireless settings, UPnP, port forwarding if you need it, etc.
  9. Take some time and get familiar with your new router’s menus. The more familiar you are with it, the more you can diagnose it on your own, and with less time.
  10. Once you’re done, unplug everything.
  11. UPDATE: Reset your cable modem! This is either done by turning the cable modem off for thirty seconds and then turning it back on, by hitting a reset switch, or holding in a reset switch as you power the modem back on. I can’t believe I forgot this step as it’s often the most important since cable and DSL providers limit your Internet connection to just one MAC address. If you don’t reset your modem, it won’t give Internet access to any new devices.
  12. Now turn on the broadband modem, connect it to the router’s WAN port, connect your computers up to the LAN ports, and plug in the router’s the AC adapter.

Viola! Your new router is ready to go!

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