How to Set up a Linksys Wireless Router

Setting up a Linksys wireless router for the first time is a two-step process: Physically setting up the router and configuring the router's settings. Make sure you have enough Ethernet cables to connect the modem to the router and the router to your computer -- even though the router is wireless, a wired connection is a must during setup.

Router
Set your wireless router away from electronic devices and metal to reduce signal interference.
credit: Kamil Pawliczuk/Hemera/Getty Images

Physical Setup and Connection

Start by setting your router next to your modem and plugging the power supply into the wall socket. Let it completely power up. Then, connect an Ethernet cable from the modem's Ethernet port to the WAN or Internet port on the router. Before you start using the router's wireless connection, connect one of the router's numbered ports to your computer using an Ethernet cable for the set-up process. Don't connect to the wireless network until your security settings are configured.

Clone MAC Address

Cable Internet connections usually require a Media Access Control or MAC address to identify a subscriber's computer and establish the connection. If your cable connection requires your computer's MAC address, the router has a MAC cloning tool to copy your MAC address.

Start up your preferred Web browser and enter 192.168.1.1 into the address bar and press Enter, then type admin in the Password field when prompted and click OK. Generally you don't need a username, but if you're prompted for one, use admin. Click the Setup tab, followed by MAC Address Clone. On the MAC Address Clone tab, select the Enabled radio button and then click the Clone My PC's MAC button to copy the MAC address from your computer. After the number is added, click Save Settings to save the changes.

SSID Settings

Changing and hiding your SSID can be a useful tool for deterring uninvited users on your wireless connection.

Click Wireless from the main menu and select the Wireless Network Name (SSID) field. Enter a name for your network's SSID. This is the name that comes up in wireless network lists, so something easy to identify as your own is best. After you've entered a name, select the Disable radio button for Wireless SSID Broadcast and then select Save Settings when you're done.

Security Settings

From the Wireless menu, select Wireless Security tab and choose WEP from the Security Mode drop-down menu. Select 126 bits 26 hex digits from the drop-down menu and enter a password in the Passphrase field. Make sure your password is relatively strong, consisting of numbers, symbols and a mix of upper and lower-case letters. If you think you'll have a hard time remembering the password, write it down somewhere you can find it as needed. When you're done creating the password, click Generate, followed by Save Settings.

Connection Test

If you're setting up a wired connection, visit any website in your browser to test the connection after you've finished the setup. If the connection doesn't work, walk through the set-up steps again and double-check that your settings were saved.

If you're using a wireless connection, disconnect the Ethernet cable from your computer and click the Network icon in the system tray. Select your wireless network from the list and enter the password you created, then allow the computer a few seconds to connect with the router. After the Network icon shows that you're connected, open your browser and visit a website.