How to Hook Up a Wireless Router to Comcast Cable
A wireless router is an effective means for extending the reach of any Internet connection. Whereas a standard modem gives one computer access to the Internet, a router allows multiple computers, smartphones and other Wi-Fi devices to seamlessly access the Internet through a single connection. Additionally, most routers complicate the process by which hackers could gain access through incoming traffic to your computer, making all computers on the network safer. Installing a wireless router with Comcast cable Internet service is straightforward and can be completed in just a few minutes.
Things You'll Need
- Comcast cable modem
- Wireless router
- Category 5 network cable
- Wi-Fi card for computer
Turn off the cable modem by unplugging the power cable from the back of the device. Leave the wireless router turned off. Additionally, turn off any computers that will connect to the Internet wirelessly.
Attach the category 5 network cable between the cable modem's output and the wireless router's input. Some wireless routers also function as regular wired routers, so be sure not to connect this cable to one of the router's outputs by mistake.
Plug the power cord back into the cable modem and turn on the wireless router. It may take up to a minute for the cable modem to connect with Comcast.
Connect to Wireless Network
If the computer does not have Wi-Fi capabilities built in, attach or install a Wi-Fi card to enable this functionality. This is usually not necessary with notebook computers, but some desktops may not have Wi-Fi by default. This can usually be accomplished by simply plugging a USB Wi-Fi receiver into one of the computer's USB port.
Turn on the computer. It will attempt to find any available wireless networks. Because the default settings for the wireless router do not require any password or special security settings, the computer may automatically connect to the new network.
If the computer does not connect to the wireless signal automatically, you will need to search for your network in the list of available Wi-Fi networks. This process varies between operating systems. In Windows, click the "Wireless Network Connection" icon in the system tray, located near the Windows clock in the taskbar. The new network will appear in the pop-up window and will usually be titled after the manufacturer of your wireless router. Click its name and press the "Connect" button.
Tips & Warnings
- It is recommended that you add security settings to your wireless router to prevent anyone (usually neighbors) from "piggybacking" on your Internet service. It also helps ensure your Internet traffic is as safe as possible and not monitored by prying eyes. The methods of doing this vary by manufacturer, but on most routers these settings can be accessed by visiting 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 in any Internet browser connected to the router. From there, a security key can be implemented. Once configured, this same key must be set in the computer's Wi-Fi connection settings so it may continue to use the wireless network.
- Wireless networks are convenient but not as secure as conventional wired networks. Always use a modern Internet browser with good security to help protect sensitive data shared on the connection.