How to Convert a LAN Modem to a Wireless Modem

By Meghan Klassen

Converting a LAN (Local Area Network) modem to a wireless modem by way of a wireless router enables a user to connect to the Internet from anywhere within a given range. Wi-Fi enabled computers or other Wi-Fi-ready electronic devices, including wireless printers and gaming consoles, like the Nintendo Wii or PlayStation3, are some examples. A wireless modem/router also enables the user to create a wireless home network so files can be shared between two or more computers without a direct connection by way of cumbersome wires.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet service
  • LAN modem
  • Wireless router
  • Ethernet cable

Step 1

Turn off and unplug the power from your LAN modem.

Step 2

Remove the Ethernet cable (generally blue) from the computer's Ethernet connection port (leave it connected to the LAN modem), if a computer is currently connected to the LAN modem. Shut down the computer.

Step 3

Plug the Ethernet cable you have just disconnected from the computer (or a new Ethernet cable if you are not using a preexisting one) into the back of the wireless router so that it now runs from the LAN modem to the wireless router. The appropriate connection port on the back of the wireless router is generally labeled "Ethernet" or "Internet."

Step 4

Connect the power to and turn on the LAN modem. Allow the LAN modem roughly 30 seconds to fully boot up. A series of lights on the front of the LAN modem should flash, then settle into a fairly steady blinking pattern.

Step 5

Connect the power to and turn on the wireless router. Allow the wireless router roughly 30 seconds to fully boot up. A series of lights on the front of the wireless router should flash, then settle into a fairly steady blinking pattern.

Step 6

Restart any Wi-Fi enabled computers or other Wi-Fi-ready electronic devices that you wish to connect to the Internet by way of the wireless router. Turn on any that are currently off.

Step 7

Access your preferred Internet browser (such as Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) on the Wi-Fi enabled computer to check your Internet connection.Access any feature that requires access to the Internet on the other Wi-Fi-ready electronic devices to check your Internet connection.Some Wi-Fi enabled computers and other Wi-Fi-ready electronic devices require you to manually connect to a new wireless network. For computer/device specific instructions, see either the included user guide/manual or visit the manufacturer's website.

Tips & Warnings

  • An alternative to the method described above would be to simply replace the current wired LAN modem with a wireless LAN modem, thereby eliminating the need for a wireless router.
  • Some wireless routers come with installation CDs. If your wireless router includes an installation CD, insert the CD into the computer (most installation CDs will run automatically upon insertion). In most cases, the installation CD will provide you with router-specific, step-by-step connection instructions that can be substituted for those provided above. You will also be instructed how to name and protect your wireless network.
  • If your wireless router does not include an installation CD, you might need to access the router manufacturer's website to download and install necessary router-specific drivers and wireless setup instructions before you are able to access the Internet by way of your wireless router.
  • Before purchasing a wireless router or attempting to set up a wireless network, ensure that all computers you hope to connect to the Internet are equipped with a wireless adapter (Wi-Fi enabled), otherwise you will need to purchase an external wireless adapter (which usually connects to the USB port).