How to Configure a Linksys WAP200
Linksys (now a division of Cisco) is a leading brand of wireless networking devices for both the home and business user. Widely regarded as the industry standard due to functionality as well as the nearly plug-and-play nature of their setup, the Linksys has been through many incarnations and remains a popular choice in wireless networking. The WAP200 is a wireless access point that can be configured to extend the range of an existing wireless network. Due to the nature of the interface of the WAP200, it is geared for business users, as it requires a hardwired Ethernet network.
Things You'll Need
- Wireless network with Linksys router
- Wired Ethernet network
- Ethernet RJ-45 cables
Determine the best location for the Linksys WAP200. Since this is a member of Linksys' "Range Booster" family, the optimal place for the device is centralized in an area that has difficulty receiving a strong signal from your wireless network. Certain items including built-in appliances, chimneys, plaster walls or elevator shafts can inhibit wireless signals and make it necessary to add one or more wireless access points to your network.
Connect the WAP200 directly to a live Ethernet jack using a standard CAT-5 RJ-45 cable. This will physically attach the unit to the network, and help strengthen wireless connectivity. Situate the unit in an area where it won't get damaged by traffic or anything else.
Investigate how your "main" wireless unit is configured. This will mean knowing the user name and password to logon to the unit. Launch a Web browser to determine how the main unit is set up. Linksys routers use the default address of 192.168.1.1 entered in the address bar of the browser, and both the default user name and password are "admin." However, the administrator has most likely changed the default settings, so you will have to get that information before proceeding.
Launch a Web browser and enter 192.168.1.245 in the address bar, which will bring up the configuration page of the WAP200. Note that this is the default address, so if the unit has been configured previously, you will have to use those settings or reset it to factory defaults by holding in the "Reset" button on the back of unit for 45 seconds while it is powered on. Then you will be able to repeat this step, as the router is back to its original factory settings. As with other Linksys products, both the default user name and password are "admin."
Navigate through the Administration tabs to configure and manage the settings of the access point. The most important setting to configure is AP Mode, which allows the unit to function as a signal booster to an existing wireless network. Here you will have three choices: Access Point, Wireless Repeater and Wireless Bridge. For extending a wireless network, choose "Wireless Repeater".
Change the login and password from admin/admin to a more secure login. Give the access point a name that differentiates it from any other devices on the network. Select your time zone, and allow the clock to be automatically adjusted for daylight savings time. Select "Mixed" as the wireless network type, as this will allow virtually every wireless device to be able to access the network.
Test the signal strength of the new unit with a laptop that is able to access the network. Windows users can gauge the signal strength by clicking on "Start" and selecting "Settings," "Control Panels" and then "Network Connections," while Mac users can pull down on the pizza-shaped Airport icon in the upper right of the screen. If there is problem with the unit, try rebooting the unit by disconnecting the A/C power supply, waiting for 45 seconds and the powering it up again. You can also check the settings by entering 192.168.245.1 in the address bar of a browser.
Tips & Warnings
- Careful planning and placement of WAP units can lessen the number of access points that your network requires.
- The more repeaters you use, there is a greater potential for network issues.