LinkSys Wireless-N for BEST Home N Office Wi-Fi

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A Guide to Linksys E-Series Wireless-N Routers

These days’ Wi-Fi networks are commonplace in nearly every home and office. With the availability of fast access DSL and cable internet services provided by Internet Service Providers why not ensure that you are getting what you pay for and experience the power of wireless internet connection at its maximum potential.

A Wireless N Router equipped with 802.11.n technology is a terrific device capable of getting the best from all of today’s high bandwidth consuming applications such as HD video, voice and music streaming for all your devices at once. The latest standard in WIFI Router technology easily provides effective use of wireless network bandwidth and permits usable wireless signals to be more efficiently shared among wireless devices greatly improving the network coverage are in you home or office. You pay for a fast access internet connection so why not experience it at its best by providing your w-lan / WiFi with the best wireless technology available.

The information provided on this site will give you you some basic information of all the available features to help you selecting the best Wireless-N Router to suit your home or office Wi-Fi needs. Here you will find simple router setup and configuration information and basic network troubleshooting points to help you achieve the wireless network you desire. Use the expandable Table of Contents provided below to quickly scan the page and find the information you seek.

What Is Wireless-N and Why You Need It?

What? How? And When?

Wireless-N technology also commonly referred to as (802.11n) is the current standard set by the IEEE for high-speed Wi-Fi networks, capable of delivering a wide range and capacity to support the high demand of today’s wireless networking needs for the home and office.

The use of technology such as MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) that employ the advantage of numerous radios to transmit and receive data signals simultaneously are the underlying reason for maximized throughput performance in Wireless-N routers.

True MIMO technology applies the capabilities of spatial multiplexing which splits data signals into separate streams sending each data signal over individual paths between the router and network device. Once each signal has reached their target they are merged together resulting in optimum signal performance. The more spatial streams employed in data transmission the higher the resulting data throughput.

The ability to carry multiple streams of data over a single channel thus increases the capacity and range of each channel. In smart antenna technology both strong and weak data signals are reflected and combined into single data streams for maximum signal range and increased data throughput virtually eliminating dead spots in your wireless network.

A Wireless-N router using MIMO technology has the ability of delivering enough sustainable speed, range and reliability to support streaming HD video while at the same time listening to your favorite digital music collection, making Internet VoIP (Voice over IP) phone calls, and playing multiplayer gaming online.

MIMO technology is capable of enhanced data throughput in large homes and offices where there are multiple-users sharing large data and graphic files, voice over IP, networked entertainment, gaming, and streaming video. By today’s standards Wireless network performance is capable of achieving speeds faster than wired Ethernet network speeds.

* Actual data throughput will vary. Network conditions and environmental factors lower actual data throughput rate.

Wi-Fi Max Speed

wireless signalRunning Fast with Wireless-N

The operating speed of a home or office wireless network often depends on several underlying factors, particularly the protocols being used for networking. The signal capacity a Wi-Fi network supports also determines its overall speed. Network products using MIMO Technology have routinely produced extended range, increased data throughput and faster Wi-Fi speed than previous wireless technologies and wired Ethernet networks.

Often networking device suppliers promise data rates exceeding 500 Mbps, but in actual practice, end users will achieve lower data rate speeds. At its core, 802.11n is a high-throughput technology, but actual data throughput speeds will vary Maximum data rates have increased from the 54 Mbps achieved by earlier Wi-Fi technologies such as 802.11a/g WLANs to typically 300 Mbps or higher in a full-bore 802.11n WLAN. Actual Wireless-N data rates are largely determined upon access point configuration; reaching 600 Mbps may require the use of 4×4 transmit/receive MIMO (multiple-input multiple-output), Today’s 802.11n in practical use may achieve a typical data rate of 300-450 Mbps, but that’s still a five to six multiple increase over previous wireless technologies.

* Pros of 802.11n – fastest maximum speed and best signal range; more resistant to signal interference from outside sources.

Wireless-N Compatibility

Bringing Your Wireless-N Network Together

To achieve the maximum operating speed from your wireless router, you need to make certain that your network devices, whether it is a notebook, desktop, printer, etc… are compatible with the wireless connection. In other words, if you are using a faster Wireless-N router, you need to wirelessly connect to the router with devices that are compatible with Wireless-N.

In some cases network devices may require the use of network adaptors for desired results. Although most routers these days are backwards compatible for earlier wireless technologies a deterioration in peek performance will result. If, for example, you connect to the Wi-Fi network using standard G device or adaptor, you will lose the superior data transfer speed of the faster Wireless-N router.

If necessary, compatible adapters can be easily installed in a vacant slot in your desktop or tower, or the notebook adapter may simply slide into the notebook’s PC card slot. If the use of an adaptor is necessary for optimum performance these items can be easily found online, simply refer to your owners’ manual for the specifications that suit your device.

* Wireless-N is required to be backward compatible with earlier Wireless-B, -G devices; some Linksys also accommodate Wireless-A devices.

Wireless-N Communication Bands

The Power of Wireless-N Dual-Bands

At some point while in search of your new wireless router you will undoubtedly encounter a reference to the term “bands”. This term refers to the 2.4- and/or 5- GHz bands that represent the frequencies at which wireless communications operate. Wireless-N (802.11) technology uses either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band in network communications. A 2.4-GHz single-band, Wireless-N router may be perfect for simple wireless networks.

On the other hand, a dual-band router which supports both 2.4- and 5-GHz frequencies is much better suited for more complex network systems. The 5GHz band is better equipped for increase data throughput and range within your home or office network and high demand applications such as gaming and file streaming can be met with ease. Dual band wireless routers provide a better internal network performance.

Knowing what IEEE technology standard the majority of devices on your network support is very important in deciding which router will best suit your setup needs. For example, if you want to network slightly dated devices which use earlier technologies such as 802.11b/g wireless cards, and you have no desire or plans to upgrade your existing devices anytime soon, then you could accomplish your needs with a less costly, single-band 2.4 GHz 802.11N router.

You have the option to run the router in “Mixed Mode” setting, which will allow the router to communicate with wireless B and G technology standard devices. Secondly, only devices with 802.11N technology can connect at the 5 GHz band, so you only need a single band 2.4 GHz router for B and G devices.

If your network consists of a mix of wireless B, G and N devices (are most common); your best choice is to go with the simultaneous dual-band router. These models provide the advantage of connecting devices to the appropriate band for optimum performance for the technologies capabilities.

There are some models that may require a user to be knowledgeable enough to know how to configure setup so that all devices (be they B, G or N) can connect to the correct 2.4-GHz or 5-GHz band.

A 2.4GHz single-band router though more widespread in use consist of only three non-overlapping channels for transmission, which can be crowded due to other interfering devices such as, other Wi-Fi access points, microwave ovens, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, baby monitors, etc. all make for a noisy environment which increases interference and degrades the network performance.

The 5 GHz channel operates much cleaner and with much less interference consisting of 23 non-overlapping channels- 8 times more than that of 2.4GHz for transmission bands, which makes it better equipped for applications such as HD Video streaming and Gaming which are more sensitive to data loss and delays as signals travel across the network.

There are two types of Dual Band Routers in the market: Simultaneous and Selectable Dual Band Routers each with very different capabilities and performance levels. Simultaneous Dual Band Routers provide the ultimate in wireless network flexibility and performance by providing two independent, dedicated networks. Understanding what you desire to accomplish with your network will determine what router is best suited for your needs.

*Q: Why Choose Simultaneous Dual Band?
*A: Dual Band Wireless Routers have the capability to transmit on the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz wireless band.

Wireless Transmit/Receive Streams

The Benefit of MIMO Technology

With wireless a/b/g technology, only a single antenna and a single data stream were utilized. Now with the standard of Wireless-N technology the utilization of multiple antennas and multiple data streams much increased the transmission capacities wireless routers. It may not be necessary to comprehend the nomenclature that describes the capabilities of the MIMO system to transmit data at certain rates. The figure below shows this nomenclature. Simply put the more data streams available the better the network system capacity.

T: The number of antennas that are dedicated to transmitting data.
R: The number of antennas that are dedicated to receiving data.
S: The number of individual data streams that the radio is capable of transmitting

A Wireless-N (802.11n) router has the capacity of transmitting multiple streams of data across the network at the same time to the same device. The number of spatial streams is determined by and must be less than or equal to the number of transmit or receive antennas used in the system, depending on which way traffic is flowing. The number of simultaneous data streams is limited by the number of antennas in use on both sides of the link.

However, the individual radios often further limit the number of spatial streams that may carry unique data, this notation helps identify what a given radio is capable of sustaining. The first number (T) is the number of transmitting antennas or RF chains that can be used by the radio.

The second number (R) represents the number of receiving antennas or RF chains that can be used by the radio. The third number (S) is indicates the number of data spatial streams the radio capable of.

Power Amplifiers and SpeedBoost

Maintaining Superior Transfer Rates

Higher quality MIMO antenna technology helps to maintain high data transfer rates across greater distances throughout your home or office wireless network for maximum coverage and mobility. Both Integrated On-Chip and External Off-Chip power amplifiers are used to maintain these levels of signal strength over a much greater distance and eliminate dead spots.

Amplified signals are a great feature to have for businesses and home networks alike if your internet service provider allows transfer speeds at high rates. The high-power amplifiers enhance signal strength across wide ranges for optimum wireless coverage and data stream transfer capacity.

Router Interface Ports

10/100/Gigabit Ethernet and USB

All E-series Wireless-N routers come standard with 4 Ethernet ports either X 10/100 or X Gigabit for wired Ethernet connection capability. These Ethernet adapters or switch ports support different speeds of Ethernet capacity on a single port. When a link is established the most efficient speed is selected using an auto negotiation system to set the speed and duplex for the best values supported by the connected devices.

A 10/100 Ethernet port supports two speeds: 10 Mbps (10Base-T) and 100 Mbps (100Base-T). A Gigabit Ethernet port supports speeds up to 1 Gbps (1,000 megabits). Ethernet devices negotiate with each other and transmit at the highest speed possible.

A USB port or Universal Serial Bus is a standard cable connection interface for personal computers and consumer electronics in today’s market place. USB ports allow stand-alone electronic devices such as smartphones, iPods, printers, etc. to be connected via cables to a computer or to each other.

USB connections are an industry standard for short-distance digital data communications, the use of USB allows data to be transferred between devices and can also supply electric power across the cable to devices without their own power source. Wired and wireless versions of the USB standards exist; only the wired version involves interconnected USB ports and cables.

New features of some Linksys E-Series router models include USB ports that allow home users to add external storage to the network, where they can host multi-media types such as movies, games, music, and photos, to stream to other devices across the wireless network. Cisco also has plans to convert to a virtual USB port, which will enable wireless printing for multiple users in the network.

It is important to understand that there are many different factors that can affect the speed gained on network equipment, so devices capable of running at 1000 Mbps will not always do so in a given environment. Most equipment these days will accommodate at least 10/100 Mbps.

Wi-Fi Protected Setup

Easy Secure Setup

Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is a special feature that makes it extremely simple to configure your wireless network for secure operation, if your network devices such as wireless printers support Wi-Fi Protected Setup then you will be able to use this feature. Wi-Fi Protected Setup is a standard for easy establishment of a secure wireless home or office network created by the Wi-Fi Alliance to help standardize and simplify ways of setting up and configuring security on your wireless network. Primarily there are two methods of Wi-Fi Protected Setup available; simply choose the method that best applies to the network devices you are configuring.

The goal of this standard is achieved by putting much emphasis on ease of usability, network security and the idea is carried out through usage models that allow a user to easily configure a secure home or office network. Thus adding a new device to the network provides the user with the following choices:

1. The PIN Method, in which a Personal Identification Number has to be read from either a sticker on the new wireless device or a display, if there is one, and entered at the request of the Network. This is the mandatory baseline model; every Wi-Fi Protected Setup certified product must support it.

2. The PBC Method, in which a user simply pushes a button, either an actual or virtual button, on both the access point (AP) or the new wireless device station (STA). Support of this model is mandatory for APs and optional for STAs.

Note that these two methods (PIN/PBC) are currently covered by the Wi-Fi Protected Setup Certification.

Traditionally, users would have to manually create a wireless network name (SSID), and then manually enter a unique security key on both the access point and the device to prevent unauthorized access to the wireless network. This procedure once required users to have a working knowledge of Wi-Fi devices and the ability to make the needed configuration changes. WPS was introduced to remove all of the guesswork associated with securing a wireless network by typing a short PIN or pushing a button (PBC).

The intent of the WPS protocol is to simplify the configuration of security on wireless networks and allow home users who know little of wireless security to configure Wi-Fi Protected Access, which is supported by all Wi-Fi certified devices.

With new wireless networks WPS will automatically configure a network name (SSID) and strong WPA data encryption and authentication. Wi-Fi Protected Setup is designed to support various Wi-Fi certified 802.11 products ranging from access points, wireless adapters, Wi-Fi phones, and other consumer electronics devices.

UPnP Support

Plug N Play To Go

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is the standard of networking protocols for wireless networks lacking enterprise class devices that permit networked devices, such as personal computers, printers, Internet gateways, Wi-Fi access points and mobile devices to efficiently discover the existence of each other on a wireless network and establish functional network services for data sharing and communications. The UPnP technology is promoted by the UPnP Forum.

The theory of UPnP is merely a continuation of plug-and-play technology that dynamically connects devices directly with a computer, although UPnP is not directly associated with earlier plug-and-play technology. UPnP devices are “plug-and-play” in that when connected to a network they will automatically establish a working configuration with other devices.

Parental Controls

Take Control of Your Wireless-N Network

Keeping tabs of what your children or employees are viewing online is a problem that may perplex many parents and businesses. However, wireless routers made for use in the home and office, such as those made by Linksys, now come equipped with built-in parental controls to help with this dilemma.

Taking control of Internet services gives you the power and peace of mind to protect your children and business from harmful websites and the disciplinary authority to block the Internet completely if necessary.

Guest Wi-Fi Access

Separate Yourself Wireless-N Network

Another feature that is really well received is the ability to configure a completely separate and protected Wi-Fi guest access network. With the Linksys router you are able creates a separate SSID so guests may establish an Internet connection but can’t access main locations within your network, such as PCs or network-attached storage drives. With this feature you are also able to generate a guest password that you can create yourself or can ask the setup configuration page to generate one for you that will be displayed on the router’s LCD for quick and easy reference.

Wireless-N Security

Make It Safe and Secure

For most individual and businesses Wireless security is of utmost importance this prevention of unauthorized network access may prevent damage to computers using wireless networks. The ability to enter a network while mobile is of great benefits; however, wireless networking is often prone security issues involving unauthorized access.

Network hackers have often found that wireless networks vulnerable to easy attack, and may even use wireless technology to break into wired networks. As a result, it is extremely important that both individuals and businesses define effective security measures for wireless networks that protect against unauthorized access to important resources on the network.

Wireless Intrusion Prevention Systems (WIPS) or Wireless Intrusion Detection Systems (WIDS) are commonly used to enforce wireless security policies.

Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP security encrypts data on your network so that only selected recipients are able to access it. Both 64-bit and 128-bit encryptions are protection levels of WEP security. This method encodes your data using an encryption “key” before sending it out over the wireless network. The longer the encryption key is, the stronger the data encryption will be.

For data to be transmitted any receiving device must know the same key to decrypt the data. To simplify creating and entering the keys Linksys by Cisco products include a “passphrase” in the data string. A passphrase is an easy-to-remember word or phrase that you enter. Then the algorithm generates the hexadecimal digit keys for you.

Since security keys generated by WEP are static and do not change, this means that it is still possible for a savvy intruder to hack into your network with enough time and effort. It is always a good idea to frequently change the WEP key. WEP however will prevent accidental unauthorized use. It is strongly recommended that you use a higher level of security on your wireless network, leading you to either WPA or WPA2.

Wi-Fi Protected Access or WPA features the use of dynamic key encryption, which means the security key is constantly changing making it much more difficult even for motivated hackers to get into a wireless network, more difficult than WEP. WPA is considered a high level of wireless security for your home or office network and is highly recommended if your devices support this level of security encryption.

Newer routers offer a higher standard of WPA2 security. It’s backwards compatible with WPA but provides a much higher level of security. WPA2 security meets the highest standards of many government agencies.

If both your router and computer support WPA2, this is no doubt you best wireless security option.

WPA2 is more than a second generation of WPA, as it was not formed to address the limitations in WPA. It is backwards compatible with products that support WPA. The main difference between the original WPA and WPA2 is that WPA2 requires Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) for encryption of data, while WPA used TKIP encryption methods. AES provides enough security to meet the high level standards for any practical use wireless network system. Like original WPA, WPA2 will support both enterprise and home usage.

Stateful Packet Inspection or SPI is a firewall protection method that inspects incoming data packets to make sure they correspond to an outgoing request. Unsolicited and potentially harmful packets are rejected. The term firewall is a term used to describe security measures that protect a network. Because wireless router is your network’s connection to the Internet, a built-in firewall system helps protect your entire local network, like an alarm system for your home.

SPI firewall protection is considered to be extremely advanced because it is able to inspect the information that is coming through the internet to your network, you are able configure the settings to prevent harmful security threats to your network containing vital information.

Router Setup Software CD

Simple Setup Easy as 1-2-3

LinkSys wireless routers now ship with Setup Wizard software which greatly simplifies basic task of network configuration. The Cisco Connect is supported by Windows XP (Svc. Pack 3) / Vista (Svc. Pack 1 or later) / Windows 7 / MAC OS x 10.5 10.6 operating systems.

For those of you that are a little more computer savvy there is also the option of manual configuration.

The Setup Wizard is not significantly easier than the manual configuration menus and if you use the Setup Wizard, you will end up learning two interfaces for your router instead of just one. The configuration you use is up to you and the desired set up results can be obtained either way.

Linksys E4200

Maximum Performance Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router

Designed for the optimum home theater experience, the LinkSys E4200 Optimum Performance Wireless-N Router provides the power of simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi and super-fast wireless transfer rates of 300 + 450 Mbps. for smooth streaming of video and music and uninterrupted gaming. It works flawlessly with the latest entertainment devices, including Internet TVs, iPad tablets, game consoles, smart phones, e-readers, and VoIP devices.

The included Cisco Connect software provides simple three-step setup and network management tools such as parental controls and guest access. And the 4200 sports a next-generation design that combines sleek contours with advanced functionality.

The MIMO 3×3 antenna array helps gives the E4200 unmatched speed and range, while a combination of internal and external amplifiers and six antennas increase signal strength across much greater distances, providing enhanced home network coverage and eliminates dead spots.

In combination with four ultra-fast Gigabit Ethernet ports, the E4200 provides a USB port, which makes it simple to add external storage to your network–allowing everyone connected to the network to access the same files and back up to the same location. Because the E4200 is an UPnP Media server as well, you can easily store, share and stream movies, music, and games to other devices around the home.

Linksys E4200 specs

Linksys E3200

High-Performance Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router

The Linksys E3200 offers superior wireless speed (up to 300 + 300 Mbps), optimal range, and simultaneous dual-band technology to create a powerful network ideal for home entertainment. Simultaneous dual-band Wireless-N technology allows for smoother and faster HD/3D video streaming and file transfer. A built-in USB port allows you to add external storage and printers to share files across the wireless network.

An enhanced MIMO antenna array provides superior range and reliability. Included in the package is Cisco Connect software that allows you to get your wireless network set up and running in three easy steps and offers powerful tools for ongoing network management.

Linksys E3200 specs

Linksys E2500

Advanced Simultaneous Dual-Band Wireless-N Router

The Linksys E2500 provides superior wireless speed of up to 300 + 300 Mbps, maximum range, and the power of dual-band technology to provide advanced network performance for the active wireless home and office.

The power of Simultaneous dual-band (2.4 + 5 GHz) technology doubles your network bandwidth and helps avoid eliminate network interference, providing a smoother and faster media stream and file transfers across the wireless network. The use of a MIMO antenna system offers superior range and dependability.

The presence of WPA/WPA2 encryption and SPI firewall security keep your network protected from unwanted attacks. The included Cisco Connect software has you set up and going in three easy steps and offers powerful tools to easily manage your network.

Linksys E2500 specifications

Linksys E1500

Wireless-N Router with SpeedBoost

The Linksys E1500 offers a combination of fast speed up to 300 Mbps, extended range, and amplified signal strength to enhance performance of everyday wireless activities.

A MIMO antenna system provides a wide range for your wireless network virtually eliminating dead spots. SpeedBoost technology increases and maintains signal strength across greater distances for maximum wireless coverage and mobility across the network. WPA/WPA2 encryption and SPI firewall security keep your network safe and sound.

Also included with the router is Cisco Connect software that gets you set up in three easy steps and offers powerful tools for ongoing management of your network.

Linksys E1200

Wireless-N Router

The Linksys E1200 provides fast speed and reliable range so you can create an efficient wireless home network. Connect computers, wireless printers, and other Wi-Fi devices at speeds up to 300 Mbps. MIMO antenna technology offers a wide range of wireless coverage throughout your home. WPA/WPA2 encryption and SPI firewall security keep your network safe from attacks. Included Cisco Connect software gets you set up and running in three easy steps and provides powerful tools for routine management of your network. Establish a separate guest network; limit Internet access using Parental Controls and access advanced settings.

Comparison Chart

comparison chart

Wireless-N Network Setup

Quick yet simple basic setup and configuration

Today it is possible to use wireless networks (WLAN) in the home and office to share Internet access, files, printers, game consoles, among other devices with all the computers in your home. After you have completed the initial setup of your wireless router and added your computers and other devices to the network, you can use your wireless network to surf the internet, play online games and stream high definition video whether you’re sitting in your living room, lying in bed or relaxing in your backyard.

Now it is easier than you think to set up a wireless network, especially now that Internet access and wireless routers have become common place in the home and office; the technology has become quiet user friendly.

This guide will explain the basics of how to set up a wireless network in the home or office for the common network equipment.

What you will need:

  1. A working Internet connection.
  2. A wireless network router.
  3. Devices equipped with compatible network adapters to be connected with the router.
  4. A computer with Web browser installed for internet access.

First then next step to wireless freedom

Manual Router Setup

1: For convenience use an open area to begin installation and setup of your wireless router. This need not be a permanent location, but a matter of ease for accessibility to the device for setup purposes. Specifically for wireless networks, you may find it necessary to relocate the router after setup as the data signals may not reach all areas desired, but determine final placement as necessary.

2: Plug in and apply the AC power source to the router and power on the router unit, some models may require pushing a power button.

3: Connect your Cable/*DSL modem to the router. The connection may be either Ethernet or USB. The appropriate cable plugs into the router port labeled “WAN”, “uplink” or “Internet.” Once the cable is connected, you will need to cycle the power to the modem by switching the power off then back on to ensure the router recognizes the modem.

*Digital Subscriber Line

4: At this point connect a computer to the wireless router. Even though you are setting up a wireless network connect this first computer to the router via network cable either USB or Ethernet. The use of a cable during this part of router installation and configuration ensures optimum reliability of the equipment and once the installation of the wireless router is complete the computer will be switched to a wireless connection.

5: At this time from the computer connected to the router you will need to open your Web browser. For the web *URL enter the router’s address for network administration tools in the Web/*URL address field and hit enter to reach the router’s home page to access the router’s administration tools.

Most Linksys routers setup tools are accessed at the Web address “http://192.168.1.1” refer to your router’s users manual to determine the correct URL address for your model.

*Uniform Resource Locator

6: From here you will login to access the network admin tools for your router. The home page will ask you for a username and password, by default leave username blank and use “admin” for the password; unless specifically provided in the router’s documentation. For security purposes it is recommended that you set your own unique password within the network administration area, but do this after setup is complete to avoid unnecessary complications.

7: If you would like your router to connect to the Internet, you must provide the Internet connection information for that section of the router’s configuration. If using Digital Subscriber Line / DSL Internet, you may need to enter the *PPPoE username and password, if you do not know this you may need to contact Internet Service Provider. Likewise, if you have been issued a static or permanent IP address by your provider, this is usually issued by request only; the static IP fields including network, mask, and gateway issued to you by the provider will need to be set in the router. The default Internet Connection Type is Automatic Configuration – *DHCP Keep the default if with your ISP you connect using a dynamic IP address. This option usually applies to cable connections. More detailed instruction of each setting is provided in your users manual.

*Point-to-Point Protocol over Ethernet
*Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol

8: If previously you were using a computer with an older network router to connect to the Internet, your Internet Service Provider may require you to update the *MAC address of the router with the MAC address of the new wireless device you are installing. Read How to Change a MAC Address for a detailed description of this process.

*Media Access Control

9: Since this is a wireless router, you will need to change the network name or *SSID to be able to communicate via wireless communications. While the router will be received with a factory default *SSID, you will not want to use this network name for security reasons. Read How to Change the Router SSID for detailed instructions or refer to owners’ manual for direction.

*Service set identifier

10: At this time verify the network connection is working between your computer and the router. To do this, you must confirm that the computer has established IP address information from the router. Click this link to see your IP address: What’s my IP?

11: Verify that you are able to connect to the Internet. Open your Web browser and visit a few Internet sites such as PimsWorld.org. If you are able to achieve internet access the router setup has been done correctly. At this time feel free to disconnect Ethernet cable connection and try it wireless. If the SSID is set properly you should be able to free yourself from the confines of wired connection and enjoy wireless access from anywhere within range.

12: Connect additional network devices to the router as needed. If connecting wirelessly, always ensure that the network name (SSID) of each device matches that of the router which you have just set.

13: Finally, configure additional network security features as desired to safeguard your systems against Internet threats. Refer to you routers user manual to determine what security options are available with your router and set to your desired level of protection.

14: Fortunately for you, if you find that you have made a mistake during this manual setup process each Linksys Wireless-N router comes with a handy reset button to easily restore the router back to the factory default settings.

Router Setup with Setup Wizard

If manual setup seems to be confusing or you just prefer a more simple process then your luck. The fine folks over at Cisco/Linksys provide useful software called Cisco Connect just for you. Simply insert the software disk and follow the easy instruction on the screen. This method of router setup removes a lot of the guesswork and makes wireless router setup easy.

What you will need

  1. A working Internet connection.
  2. A wireless network router.
  3. Devices equipped with compatible network adapters to be connected with the router.
  4. A computer with Web browser for internet access and operating system that supports Cisco Connect software.

Wireless-N Network Troubleshooting

Basic Steps to Problem Solving

As with most technology chances are that at some point during use of your wireless router, you will encounter some technical difficulty with it. One example would be the wireless router may simply fail to connect with the modem or the networks devices may fail connect with the router. In another example these network device access points may connect to the Linksys router but not the Internet. When issues occur these are some simple and basic checks you can perform to troubleshoot your wireless network connection.

Unable to connect wirelessly to the network or Internet?

Basic Troubleshooting

A: The router does not replace your modem. You still need your DSL or cable modem in order to use the router. Be sure the telephone line is connected to the DSL modem or the coaxial to the cable modem.

B: Verify that the power adapter/source is connected to the router and plugged into a power outlet. If the power adapter is connected via a power strip, make sure the power strip is powered on.

C: Make sure that the *Power light on the router is lit. If there are wired computers connected to the router, make sure the appropriate port lights on the back are lit.

*The Power light flashes after power after power is applied to the router. If the light flashes for more than 30 seconds, it may indicate that the router is malfunctioning.

D: Verify that your DSL or cable modem is properly connected to your router’s Internet port using an Ethernet cable. Ensure that the Ethernet connection fits securely with working cable.

E: Reset all of the devices on your network:

  1. Remove power from all of your network computers and devices, and then disconnect the power adapter from your router.
  2. Disconnect your modem’s power cord and internet cable (telephone / DSL or coaxial cable / cable modem), and wait two minutes.
  3. Reconnect your modem’s power cord and internet cable and wait two more minutes.
  4. Reconnect the power source to the router and then apply power to all of your network devices.

F: Attempt to connect to the Internet via the wireless local area network connection. If the connection fails try connecting via wired connection directly to the modem. If wired connection fails there is likely a problem with your ISP. If wired connection is successful then open your web browser and go to “192.168.1.1 and provide your username and password to your Linksys router if necessary.

*For Linksys routers the default username is left blank and the password is admin unless you setup unique login during setup/configuration

G: Verify the wireless router settings under “Setup” in the Linksys wireless router configuration utility. If necessary re-enter your Internet access user name and password and save the settings.

H: Under the “Wireless” tab in the configuration utility try switching the channel that the wireless router uses to communicate with the wireless devices on your network. If the router is Wireless-N and you have other computers with earlier wireless -G, -B or -A technology be sure that you are in “mixed mode”. If that is not successful then try changing the “Radio Bands” from “Wide – 40MHz Channel” to “Standard 20MHz Channel.” This step can assist in correcting problems with the wireless network devices connecting to the network yet failing to find the Internet.

I: Select the “Security” tab and under “Internet Filter” verify that “Filter Anonymous Internet Requests” and “Filter IDENT (Port 113)” are selected and deselect “Filter Multicast”. Under “Web Filter,” ensure that no items are selected. Under the “VPN Pass-through” tab directly under “Security” ensure that all items in this Linksys configuration window are enabled.

J: Select “Access Restrictions” and remove any access restrictions in this section that are preventing your network from proper wireless access.

K: Under “Applications and Gaming” select “Port Range Forwarding,” here add the application names and port ranges for any applications such as gaming devices that will not connect on your network. Select the desired protocol, TCP is the most common, but “Both” may work as well. Now from your computer desktop click the “Start” button then “Run” and type “cmd” then type “ipconfig” at the command prompt. Copy down the number shown as “IP Address.” This is the address of your computer’s Ethernet network adapter. Supply this IP Address to the corresponding application in the configuration utility.

L: If wireless connection to internet is still unsuccessful then visit the “Linksys” website. Once here locate the “Support” section and search for the model number of your Linksys wireless router. Find the most recent “Downloads and Drivers” and select “Get Downloads” to download any firmware upgrades for your router. Check the user manual for your Linksys router for instructions on installing the firmware upgrade. If you have lost your manual, you can download a new one from the Linksys website.

M: Verify that all network devices are using the correct network or “SSID” This service set identifier is one that you most likely setup during router configuration. This network name is attached to the header of packets sent over a WLAN that acts as a password when a mobile device tries to connect. The SSID differentiates one WLAN from another, so all devices attempting to connect to a specific wireless network must use the same unique identifier. A device will not be permitted to join the network unless it can provide the network name (SSID). So before the last troubleshooting step it will be a good idea to confirm the network device SSID first.

N: You may also want to try relocating the wireless router. Sometime external interference from devices such as microwave or cordless phones may cause the wireless transmission bans to be degraded resulting in slow or complete loss of wireless network communication and internet access.

O: If all else fails and you are still unable to connect wirelessly to the network from here locate the trusty reset button on the back of your Linksys wireless router. Using a paperclip or pen simply push the button and hold it for about 30 seconds to reset the router back to the factory default settings.

Linksys Wireless Network Quick Tips

Questions and Answers About Linksys Routers

Refer to this section to find answers to some general questions regarding wireless routers and wireless networks. If you do not see the question you seek an answer to please feel free to ask your question in the comments section.

*Q: How do I rest password on Linksys router?

*A: The simplest thing to do is to reset your router to the default factory settings. Locate the reset button located on rear of router, push and hold for 30 seconds then release. Once the router has been reset to factory settings you will need to reconfigure the device as discussed earlier.

*Q: How do I change the frequency broadcast channel of my Linksys router?

*A: If you feel that your network is experiencing interference, and repositioning the router will not solve the problem you may need to change the broadcast channel. Open your Linksys routers setup/configuration utility in a Web browser at http://192.168.1.1. Navigate to “Basic Wireless Settings” and locate the “Wireless Channel” drop down menu. Here you will find a list of all available wireless channels. You will notice each channel is set to broadcast at different frequencies. Simply select the channel you wish to try and “Save Settings” of the new channel. If using a newer Wireless-N router you may need to change the “Basic Radio Band” to ” Standard-20MHz” then select “Standard Channel” then you will be able to select you channel manually.

*Q: How do I check to see who is using my Linksys wireless network?

*A: In your Web browser go to your routers setup/configuration utility home page Navigate to “Local Network” section located under the “Status” tab. Here you will click “DHCP Clients Table.” to display a list of devices that are connected to wireless network.

*Q: What is the best location to place my wireless router?

*A: The placement of your wireless router is vital to the performance of your wireless network; if router located in a poor spot then your wireless signal may be much weaker it could be. If possibe it is best to find a central location in your home for placement of the wireless router. The signal and range of a Wireless-N router is much stronger and wider than previous technology thus giving you more placement options. It is best if the router is located in a spot that is unobstructed by large objects, such as shelves, cabinets and walls. If possibe place the router in an open area on a table or shelf, avoid locating on the floor as this will likely deteriorate the signal. Place router free as possible of any equipment such as baby monitors, microwaves, garage door openers, cordless telephones and other wireless electronics devices that may interfere with the wireless signal.

*Q: How do I increase the bandwidth of my Linksys router?

*A: It is not actually possible to increase a routers bandwidth, but it is possible to make better use of the wireless signals for optimum performance. Try locating your router in an open area free from external interference if possible closer to your wireless devices. For example if your router is closer to a computer and there are no obstructions such as walls for wireless signals to pass through the connection will be stronger. Also, you might try adjusting the frequency channel on which your wireless signal is broadcasting; this will help reduce external signal interference from other devices operating in that same range.

*Q: How do I interface other wireless devices with my wireless network?

*A: Be sure the device that you are connecting the wireless network is equipped with the necessary wireless adaptor. Linksys Wireless-N routers are backwards compatible with previous wireless technology such as -A, -B, -G, but you need to be sure that the router is configured to communicate with these earlier technologies in the configuration utility. Some devices may feature UPnP or Universal Plug N Play to readily detect the wireless network. If device does not have UPnP feature then you will need to accomplish wireless connection with software, refer to device manual. Lastly be sure that all wireless network devices are set to the correct network name or SSID to work properly.

*Q: How do I enable “Parental Controls” and “Internet Access Policy”?

*A: First determine which access restriction method you would like to use; these features are enabled and setup within the router configuration utility under the “access restrictions” tab. Parental Controls manage computers and other devices that you select and save to the list. Here you may choose specific time and or websites to be restricted. Internet Access Policy works much the same as Parental Control, but offers a more detailed setup by creating multiple access policies. Refer to the user manual for full details and user specific instruction.

*Q: How do I setup security my wireless network?

*A: For setting up the security protection of you wireless network I recommend a direct wired connection rather than wireless for privacy reasons; once security is established then switch back to wireless. First go to the homepage of your wireless routers configuration utility and login. Once you are in your routers setup utility you will locate the “Wireless Security” tab under the “Wireless” section. Once you find your wireless security settings you will notice that they are disabled in factory settings. Depending on you router model you should have multiple options for the level of security for you to choose from, each option provides a different level of protection. As discussed earlier under Wireless-N security select the level of security you desire and save the settings.

*Q: I installed my router but no IP address is being assigned?

*A: Refer to troubleshooting tips.

*Q: How do I setup my Linksys router with Static IP account?

*A: If properly connected your computer should be set to obtain the IP address automatically. If you need to setup a static IP on your Linksys router you will need to login to the router configuration homepage at http://192-.168.1.1. Once you have entered the setup page you will need to select “Static IP” for Internet connection and enter the information provided to you by you (ISP) Internet Service Provider for Internet IP address, Subnet Mask, Default Gateway and DNS. Once all information has been input “save settings”.

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