Home and Small Office Networking
Ron Mettler, CUGG
Home and Office networking can be expanded to include other types of equipment such as “Wireless” networking equipped computers, remote wireless still and video cameras, media control centers which interfaces your sound and video equipment with your network either through wireless or wired connections.
To assist those that are interested in the installation of a network system either at home or in a small office environment, the following may help in getting started and hopefully will generate questions for the November 11 meeting.
Planning your network
- Plan your network layout. Define
where you would like to
have various computers setup. Determine a good location for your
modem and router (see below for a description of what function the
modem serves). Do you need or do you desire to use a wireless
connection for a
laptop or notebook computer? Perhaps the inability to run wiring
router and a computer elsewhere in the home or office makes a wireless
connection the best alternative.
- Once you have determined where your
computers will be,
decide where your printers will be located. If you wish to share a
can accomplish this two ways. A printer may connect to one computer and
setup to share over the network by other users on other computers on
network. This type of setup requires the computer that connects
directly to the
printer to be running in order for other computers to use the printer.
even set the remote shared printer as a default printer for more than
- Printers can also be shared by
connecting them directly
to the router either through a wired Ethernet connection or a wireless
connection. Some low cost printers include built-in wired and/or
Ethernet interfaces. One of our club members just recently purchased an
all-in-one Series 6100 printer/copier/scanner. The device included a
Ethernet interface that he connected to the router (without wires).
enabled him to print or scan from either of two computers in his house.
type of connection does not require that a computer be directly
the printer and be running as in 2 above.
- A printer without an Ethernet interface can be utilized as a network printer by adding a printer server. Simple wireless print servers may be the desired option to consider. Again, such a printer setup does not require that a computer be connected to it. With the printer on, any computer can be on and setup to print to that printer.
Basic equipment needed.
- A broadband modem to connect to your
service provider is required. A modem is a small piece of equipment
that can be
purchased or rented from most broadband service providers such as
Qwest or it can be purchased from places like Office Depot, Circuit
or Best Buy. Be sure to look
at the service plan for your broadband provider to determine whether
rent or purchase. The modem can then be connected to one computer or it
connected to a router to enable home or office networking.
- A router enables the modem connection to be distributed
and shared by other computers and equipment such as printers as
A.3. and A.4. above. A router includes built-in firmware that is used
setting up various parameters for the network. Firmware is a program
the memory of the router that is accessed with a browser such as
Internet Explorer. Setting up a router for a home or small office
number of steps that will be covered in detail during the meeting
Some of basics are covered below to whet the appetite.
- Network cards are required for each computer that will be on the network. Most computers purchased in recent years include at least a wired Ethernet card. If running a network cable between the router and each computer is not a problem, then the wired connection is the recommended method. A wired Ethernet connection provides more reliability and system security than a wireless connection does. If a wireless connection is the preferred option, than the remote computers have to be equipped with an internal wireless card or an external USB type of device. Most mid-range and up laptops come equipped with a built-in wireless system.
Setting up the basic system
Usually the broadband service provider will have installed the modem or supplied the modem with a setup disk. The modem should then be connected to a router with a short Ethernet cable. Ethernet cables can be purchased in various lengths with connectors installed. The cable is also referred to as Cat 5 or Cat 5E cable. Most broadband modems will include a short cable for the modem to router connection and most routers will include a short cable for the router to the first computer.
The setup your router, the following is a brief outline of the procedure:
- Access the router using IE or
Firefox. Check your manual
to see what address to type use. Typically, D-link routers use
Linksys routers use 192.168.1.1. Just type the address in the address
where you normally would use to go to a site such as yahoo.com. You
see a popup window asking for a user name and password. Typically you
in Admin and then skip the password to go to the next step.
- The various screens that need to be
looked at and filled
in will vary with each kind of router. The mandatory fields to fill in
- The password to access the router
should be changed from
a blank to a suitable password - cugger65t6, manlyguy86, etc. Remember
password for accessing the router at a later time.
- Set the SSID (your wireless network name) to something
other than default, Linksys, or D-Link. You should not want your
associate the SSID name with your system. Then find where you can
broadcasting of the SSID”. This sets the system to require a
to have to already be looking for your SSID instead of you announcing
neighbors that you are there.
- Set a wireless encryption pass
phrase using WPA/PSA/TKIP
encryption. You will find that option somewhere in one of the setup
Use a password such as littlekid09 (alpha and numbers). This sets the
router to only accept wireless connections from computers that already
pass phrase input and the SSID name input.
- Usually the default settings for all other screens will be set to what is needed for the router to operate properly.
If you are totally or partially confused at this point in time, ask your questions at the next meeting. Fortunately, all new modems manufactured from now on will have new firmware that steps you through the basics and prompts you to use at least those security measures mentioned above. We will demonstrate the details of setting up a couple of different routers. We will also touch on TCP/IP settings and how they are used.