Knowledge Base

Getting Started and Connecting to a Wireless Network


Table of Contents:

  1. What is Wireless?
  2. What are the Different Types of Wireless Technology?
  3. What is Needed to set up a Wi-Fi Network
  4. What is a Wi-Fi Network Name (SSID)?
  5. What is a Wi-Fi Security (Network) Key?
  6. How Do I Create a Wi-Fi Security (Network) Key?
  7. What are the Different Types of Wi-Fi Networks?
  8. What is the Best Place to Locate a Wi-Fi Router?
  9. Setting up a Wireless Network
  10. Connect to Your Wireless (Wi-Fi) Network
  11. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name
  12. Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router
  13. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key
  14. Troubleshoot Problems Finding Wireless Networks

This article contains information that will help familiarize you with what wireless is, the different types of technologies that are considered wireless as well as how to set up a wireless (Wi-Fi) network and connect to it.


1. What is Wireless?

For the purpose of this document, Wireless is defined as the means to move information from one computer, Person Digital Assistant (PDA) or SmartPhone to another by using radio waves instead of wires.

The radio wave is modulated similar to Television and FM signals to carry information along with the wave.

For computer, PDA or SmartPhone communication the distances will generally be short (less than 200 feet or 60 meters).

For Mobile Broadband adapters (cellular) the distance will depend on the terrain and the number of cellular towers nearby.

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2. What are the different types of Wireless Technology?

There are many different types of wireless devices you use every day without giving it a second thought. Cell phones, cordless phones and remote controls for your TV are just a few everyday devices that use wireless technology. Wireless technology for computers, can be just as easy and carefree to use when setup correctly. For the rest of the document when referring to Wireless it's talking about wireless technology for computers.

Wireless technology for computers is divided into different types. Each type of wireless technology is covered in a different section. Each technology has its own uses, processes and standards. Below is a list of the different technologies with a brief explanation that will be covered.

  • Wireless Local Area Networking - Referred to as WLAN or Wi-Fi. This type of wireless is used to get to the Internet and connect other devices such as computers, PDAs, SmartPhone and printers just to name a few.

  • Bluetooth®- Bluetooth technology is a short range wireless technology for connecting devices that are very close (30 feet or 10 meters). This technology is used to connect devices such as Bluetooth keyboards, mice, stereo headsets, PDA's and SmartPhone's. Many people already use this technology to connect wireless headset to cell phones.

  • Mobile Broadband - Also called Wireless Wide Area Networking (WWAN). Mobile Broadband uses cellular service to provide access to the Internet. Mobile Broadband technology is used in cell phones that can connect to the Internet. It requires a data enabled cellular service which is not available in all areas.

  • Wireless USB - This technology recently became available. It allows a wireless connection from a computer to a Wireless USB hub. USB devices are then connected to the Wireless USB hub and the hub acts as a bridge. The range is very short (10 feet / 3 meters).

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3. What is Needed to set up a Wi-Fi Network

In order to connect to the Internet wirelessly certain hardware and services are needed which are listed below. Without any one of these items connection to the internet is not possible. The range typically will be limited (less than 200 feet or 60 meters).

  • Wi-Fi Network Adapter - This is usually a device located inside the computer. If you do not know if you have a wireless card installed contact the manufacture of the computer to find out.

  • Wi-Fi Broadband Router - A router is used to connect all of your computers to a wireless network. The router also provides a way to connect to the Internet.

  • Broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) - Telephone (DSL) and Cable TV companies usually offer Internet service.

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4. What is a Wi-Fi Network Name (SSID)?

A Wi-Fi network name (SSID) is the name that your wireless router broadcast (like a radio station) that allows you to identify your wireless router from your neighbors.

The SSID that your wireless router has when you take it out of the box needs to be changed during the initial set up using the CD that came with the wireless router, it needs to be between 1 to 32 characters long. It is case sensitive, which means when you decide on the SSID you will have to put it in each computer exactly as it was put in the router.

It should not include your address, name or anything else that will identify who you are.

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5. What is a Wi-Fi Security (Network) Key?

A Wi-Fi security (network) key is very similar to a door key, it protects yourself from unknown people getting on your wireless network.

Below is a list of the three types of wireless security offered for home and small business users as well as their strength in relation to the others.

It is recommended that the wireless network be configured with the highest level of security that the wireless devices have in common.

  • Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
    Low protection

    WEP is one of the original security types. Every home wireless router supports WEP even the latest models to make it compatible with every wireless network adapter. While WEP is better than no security the network key used to encrypt the wireless data can be broken in as little as a few minutes.

  • Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA)
    Medium protection

    WPA was developed to close the security holes that WEP has. It uses several mechanisms to prevent the network key from being broken but still uses the same encryption method as WEP.

  • Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2)
    Highest protection

    WPA2 has been implemented has the highest form of security for home and small businesses. It takes the mechanisms used by WPA and uses a more secure encryption method.

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6. How Do I Create a Wi-Fi Security (Network) Key?

WPA and WPA2

WPA and WPA2 uses letters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9) that are between 8 and 63 characters long. The key can be made up from any upper and lower case letters, numbers and the special characters (~!@#$%^&*()_+:;'"<>).

It is recommended that all three types of characters be in the key and that they are used in a random order. This will make it very difficult for someone to guess the key.

WEP

WEP comes in two lengths 64bit and 128bit and in two forms ASCII and Hexadecimal. The key you create will include an additional 24bit header so the key you create is actually only 40bits or 104bits long. That's why a 64bit WEP key is also referred to as 40bit. ASCII are the numbers and letters we use every day, a - z, A - Z and the numbers 0 - 9. Hexadecimal is also known as machine code, when a computer is running a program it's being told what to do by Hexadecimal numbers. Hexadecimal uses the numbers 0 - 9 and the letters a - f.

Refer to (Table 1) for the number and type of characters needed to create a WEP key.

Key Length ASCII Hexadecimal
64bit 5 case sensitive characters
(a-z, A-Z, 0-9)
10 characters (0-9, a-f)
128bit 13 case sensitive characters
(a-z, A-Z, 0-9)
26 characters (0-9, a-f)
Table 1: WEP Key Creation

(There are free WEP and WPA key generators available on the Internet.)
Once the security key is created, be sure to write it down and put it in a safe place.

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7. What are the Different Types of Wi-Fi Networks?

There are two basic types of networks they are called Infrastructure and Ad-hoc, the differences are discussed below.

  • Infrastructure

    An infrastructure network is one that has a centralized device that controls the network such as a wireless broadband router. The devices connected to it transmit data to each other through the router. This will allow both wired and wireless devices to communicate with each other at the same time.

  • Ad-Hoc

    An Ad-Hoc network is the opposite of an Infrastructure network where there is no centralized device. The devices on the network communicate with each other directly and due to there being no centralized device can only support up to 10 devices on the network.

    This article only covers creating and connecting to a Infrastructure network.

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8. What is the Best Place to Locate a Wi-Fi Router?

The best location is somewhere close to the middle of the house or office, as high as possible. If the DSL or cable connection to the Internet is not located close to the middle of the house or office, place the router as high as possible to bypass interference.

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9. Setting up a Wireless Network

  1. Set up the Broadband Modem (your Broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) should have provided an installation CD for the Modem, if so insert the CD into the computer and follow the instructions for setting up the Modem).

    (If you did not get a CD or for additional help in setting up the Modem, contact your Broadband Internet Service Provider.)

  2. Once the Broadband Modem is set up and working remove the network or USB cable that is connecting the computer to the Modem.

  3. Turn off the Modem for 3 minutes (this is necessary to make the Modem find the wireless router later).

  4. Your router should have come with an installation CD, if so insert the CD into the computer and follow the instructions for setting up the router

    (If you did not get a CD contact the manufacturer of your router, refer to Table 2 for links for the most popular wireless router manufactures web sites.)
    Manufacture User Name Password
    Linksys

    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link

    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear

    admin
    password
    2Wire

    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin

    None
    leave blank
    Apple

    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC

    Admin
    smcadmin
    Table 2: Common Wireless Router User Name, Passwords and Links


  5. After three minutes has past, turn the Modem back on.

  6. During the initial set up of the router the network name (SSID) and Wi-Fi Security (network) key needs to be changed, for additional information refer to the following sections:

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10. Connect to Your Wireless (Wi-Fi) Network

Once the Modem and the wireless router are set up it is time to create a profile on the wireless computer to make a connection to the wireless network.

When the wireless computer and the computer used to set up the router are one and the same, remove the network cable from the computer.

Windows 10 is Installed

  1. From the Desktop screen, touch or click the network icon (Not Connected) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. In the list of available wireless networks, touch or click the network with the most bars (Available Network), and then click Connect.

  3. Enter the network security key if prompted, and then click Next.
    During this process you may need to know your wireless network name or network security key. Refer to the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name or How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key sections for help.

Windows 8 (8.1) is Installed

  1. From the Desktop screen, touch or click the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. In the list of available wireless networks, touch or click the network with the most bars, and then click Connect.

  3. Enter the network security key if prompted, and then click Next.
    During this process you may need to know your wireless network name or network security key. Refer to the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name or How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key sections for help.

Windows 7 is Installed

  1. Touch or click the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. In the list of available wireless networks, touch or click the network with the most green bars, and then click Connect.

  3. Enter the network security key if prompted, and then click OK.
    During this process you may need to know your wireless network name or network key. Refer to the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name or How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key sections for help.

    For a video on how to connect to a wireless network, refer to Microsoft Knowledge Base Article: View and Connect to Available Wireless Networks (Windows 7).

Windows Vista is Installed

View and Connect to Available Wireless Networks (Windows Vista)

During this process you may need to know your wireless network name or network key. Refer to the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name or How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key sections for help.

Windows XP is Installed

View and Connect to Available Wireless Networks (Windows XP)

During this process you may need to know your wireless network name or network key. Refer to the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name or How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key sections for help.

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11. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name

The easiest way to find your wireless network name (SSID) is to put the computer and the wireless router side-by-side (3-9 feet, 1-3 meters) away from each other.

Do one of the following tasks:

  • For a notebook computer, move the computer next to the wireless router and follow the instructions in the Connect to Your Wireless (Wi-Fi) Network section to find the network name with the strongest signal and write it down exactly as you see it.
    The signal strength is indicated by the number of white or green bars. Look for a listing that has the most white or green bars next to it (it may be necessary to scroll up or down to find it, when the listing with 5 white or green bars reads as "Hidden network or Other Network", refer to the Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router section for instructions to get the wireless network name from the wireless router directly..

  • For a desktop, it may be necessary to move the wireless router closer to the desktop (you do not need to move or power off the broadband modem because Internet access is not needed at this time, but any other computer(s) that is connected to the wireless router will not be able to access the Internet during this process). Make sure the wireless router is powered on after moving it and follow the instructions in the Connect to Your Wireless (Wi-Fi) Network section to find the network name with the strongest signal and write it down exactly as you see it.
    The signal strength is indicated by the number of white or green bars. Look for a listing that has the most white or green bars next to it (it may be necessary to scroll up or down to find it, when the listing with 5 white or green bars reads as "Hidden network or Other Network", refer to the Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router section for instructions to get the wireless network name from the wireless router directly.

    After finding your wireless network name, you will need to move the wireless router back to its original location and re-connect it to the Broadband Modem.

  • When you have a computer that is connected to the wireless router with a network cable, it is possible to get the wireless network name directly from the wireless router, refer to the Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router section and follow the instructions.

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12. Getting the Wireless Network Name Directly from the Wireless Router

For this process to work a network cable will have to be connected between one of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router and the LAN port on the computer.

For more information on where the LAN port is located for your specific computer, browse to the Online User's Guide. Click the make and model of the computer and the preferred language. Click PDF next to Setup Guide and look for the section on Connecting the Network Cable.

Windows 10 is Installed

  1. From the Desktop screen, touch and hold or right-click the network icon (Network Icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Touch or click Open Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Touch or click Ethernet.

  4. Click Details.

  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  6. Open an Internet browser.

  7. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  8. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 3.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 3).

Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 3).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 3.

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).

Windows 8 (8.1) is Installed

  1. From the Desktop screen, touch and hold or right-click the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Touch or click Open Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Touch or click Local Area Connection on the right-side of the window.

  4. Click Details.

  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  6. Open an Internet browser.

  7. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  8. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 3.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 3).

Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 3).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 3.

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).

Windows 7 is Installed

  1. Touch and hold or right-click the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Touch or click Open Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Touch or click Local Area Connection on the right-side of the window.

  4. Click Details.

  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  6. Open an Internet browser.

  7. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  8. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 3.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 3).

Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 3).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 3).

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).

Windows Vista is Installed

  1. Right-click the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Click Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Click View Status to the right of Local Area Connection.

  4. Click Details.

  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  6. Open an Internet browser.

  7. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  8. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 3.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 3).

Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 3).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 3).

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).

Windows XP is Installed

  1. Right-click the network icon in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Click Open Network Connections.

  3. Double-click the Local Area Connection icon.

  4. Click the Support tab.

  5. Click the Details button.

  6. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of Default Gateway.

  7. Open an Internet browser.

  8. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  9. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 3.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 3).

Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 3).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 3).

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 3).

Manufacture User Name Password
Linksys

leave blank
admin
D-Link

admin
leave blank
Netgear

admin
password
2Wire

None unless one was set up.
None unless one was set up.
Belkin

None
leave blank
Apple

Use the AirPort utility
SMC

Admin
smcadmin
Table 3: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

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13. How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key

2Wire wireless routers provided by AT&T have the 10-digit WEP key located on the bottom of the 2Wire router inside brackets (for example [ xxxxxxxxxx ]).
  • Write down the 10-digit key, exactly as you see it.

For this process to work a network cable will have to be connected between one of the LAN ports on the back of the wireless router and the LAN port on the computer.

For more information on where the LAN port is located for your specific computer, browse to the Online User's Guide. Click the make and model of the computer and the preferred language. Click PDF next to Setup Guide and look for the section on Connecting the Network Cable.

Windows 10 is Installed

  1. From the Desktop screen, touch and hold or right-click the network icon (Network Icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Touch or click Open Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Touch or click Ethernet.

  4. Click Details.

  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  6. Open an Internet browser.

  7. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  8. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 4.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the wireless Network Name or SSID under a page listed as Wireless, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 4).

Be sure to write the wireless network name down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 4).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 4.

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).

Windows 8 (8.1) is Installed

  1. From the Desktop screen, touch and hold or right-click the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Touch or click Open Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Touch or click Local Area Connection on the right-side of the window.

  4. Click Details.

  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  6. Open an Internet browser.

  7. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  8. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 4.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the Network Key or Passphrase under a page listed as Wireless Security, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 4).

Be sure to write the wireless network key down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 4).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 4.

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).

Windows 7 is Installed

  1. Touch and hold or right-click the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Touch or click Open Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Touch or click Local Area Connection on the right-side of the window.

  4. Click Details.

  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  6. Open an Internet browser.

  7. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  8. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 4.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the Network Key or Passphrase under a page listed as Wireless Security, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 4).

Be sure to write the wireless network key down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 4).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 4).

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).

Windows Vista is Installed

  1. Right-click the network icon (Picture of the wireless network icon or Picture of the wired network icon) in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Click Network and Sharing Center.

  3. Click View Status to the right of Local Area Connection.

  4. Click Details.

  5. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of IPv4 Default Gateway.

  6. Open an Internet browser.

  7. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  8. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 4.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the Network Key or Passphrase under a page listed as Wireless Security, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 4).

Be sure to write the wireless network key down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 4).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 4).

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).

Windows XP is Installed

  1. Right-click the network icon in the notification area (located in the lower right-hand corner).

  2. Click Open Network Connections.

  3. Double-click the Local Area Connection icon.

  4. Click the Support tab.

  5. Click the Details button.

  6. Locate and write down the IP address to the right of Default Gateway.

  7. Open an Internet browser.

  8. In the address bar, type http://[Default_Gateway_ip_address], where [Default_Gateway_ip_address] is the IPv4 Default Gateway IP address (do not include the brackets).

  9. Log into the router. For some of the most common router user name and passwords, refer to Table 4.

Wireless router manufacturers typically keep the Network Key or Passphrase under a page listed as Wireless Security, the method for getting to that page varies (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 4).

Be sure to write the wireless network key down, exactly as you see it.

When the common defaults do not work, it means that either someone has changed the default or your model of wireless router has a unique user name or password. Ask whoever may have set up the wireless router what is the user name and password, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer (links are provided in Table 4).

When all attempts to log in to the wireless router have failed, it will be necessary to reset the wireless router back to its defaults (like it was when first taken out of the box) to connect to the wireless router. Refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer on how to reset the wireless router (links are provided in Table 4).

Before you reset the wireless router please note:
  • When you access the Internet through a DSL (phone) connection:
    • Contact you Internet Service Provider (ISP) for your username and password that allows you to connect to the Internet, you will need to re-enter that information into the wireless router.
    • No other computers connected to your network will be able to access the Internet until you re-enter your username and password that you got from your ISP.
    • After re-entering your username and password that you got from your ISP into the wireless router, no wireless computers will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).
  • When you access the Internet through a TV cable provider:
    • No other wireless computers connected to your wireless router will be able to access the Internet until you reconfigure the router and wireless computers (please refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, on how to reconfigure the wireless router, links are provided in Table 4).

Manufacture User Name Password
Linksys

leave blank
admin
D-Link

admin
leave blank
Netgear

admin
password
2Wire

None unless one was set up.
None unless one was set up.
Belkin

None
leave blank
Apple

Use the AirPort utility
SMC

Admin
smcadmin

Table 4: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

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14. Troubleshoot Problems Finding Wireless Networks

  1. Make sure the wireless switch is on. It will be either a sliding switch on the left or right side edge of the computer, a key combination or single key, look for the wireless icon .

    For more information refer to the Dell Knowledge base article, How to Turn the Wireless Antenna On and Off on a Dell Computer.

  2. Move the computer to within 3-9 ft (1-3 meters) of the router.

  3. Make sure the correct network name (SSID) and key (if any) were used to create a profile, for more information refer to the How Do I Find my Wireless Network Name and How Do I Find my Wireless Network Key sections.

  4. Unplug the wireless router for 30 seconds and then plug it back into the A/C outlet (give the router 2 minutes to boot back up).

  5. Run network diagnostics (refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article for more information, My Internet Explorer Browser Cannot Display the Web Page.

  6. Make sure the latest driver is installed, for more information refer to:
    How to Use the Drivers and Downloads Website.
  7. Update the wireless router's firmware to the latest available, refer to the wireless router documentation or contact the wireless router manufacturer, links are provided in Table 5.
    Manufacture User Name Password
    Linksys

    leave blank
    admin
    D-Link

    admin
    leave blank
    Netgear

    admin
    password
    2Wire

    None unless one was set up.
    None unless one was set up.
    Belkin

    None
    leave blank
    Apple

    Use the AirPort utility
    SMC

    Admin
    smcadmin
    Table 5: Common Wireless Router User Name and Passwords

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Article ID: SLN71873

Last Date Modified: 04/04/2016 12:25 PM


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