When you purchase a wireless router, you must password protect and set up wireless security to prevent other users from using your Internet connection. Allowing other users such as neighbors to connect slows down your Internet connection. Each personal router has its own console interface, but all of them have similar steps to secure the wireless access. A wireless network ID is created along with a passkey. These settings are standard across all personal router manufacturers such as Netgear and Linksys.
Open your computer's web browser and type the IP address for the router. The standard default router IP address is "192.168.1.1." You are prompted for a user name and password. Standard user name and passwords are "admin" and a password of "admin." The standard default password for a Netgear is "password."
Click the "Wireless Settings" link in the main console configuration window. This opens a list of settings for the wireless network such as the network ID (SSID) and any encryption set on the router. By default, no encryption is set, which makes the wireless connection insecure.
Type a network ID in the SSID field. This is the name of the network shown when users search for available networks on a laptop or other wireless device.
Select the type of encryption. For a personal network, the typical choice is "WPA2 Personal." After you make this choice, a text input box displays for you to type in the passkey. The passkey is the password required to connect to the wireless network.
Click "Apply" or "Save Settings." The "Save" button text is dependent on the router manufacturer. The settings take effect immediately.
Any computers currently connected to the wireless device are disconnected.
Wireless devices settings need reconfiguration to reconnect to the secured network.