How to Use Wireless Routers with Satellite Internet

By Finn McCuhil

Satellite Internet service is the only option for many rural homes to get broadband service. One drawback of satellite Internet service is the fair access policy. Due to the cost of satellite bandwidth, companies restrict usage to a set download amount in order to provide adequate bandwidth to all their customers. The biggest risk you take setting a wireless network up with your satellite connection is unauthorized use of your allotted bandwidth.

Things You'll Need

  • Satellite Internet modem
  • Wireless router
  • 2 Ethernet patch cables
  • Computer with browser and network interface card

Step 1

Connect your satellite modem to the router with an Ethernet patch cable.

Step 2

Turn on your router. Allow it to complete the boot process. A new router will self-configure and automatically attach to the satellite modem. If you are connecting a router that has been used previously, press and hold the reset button for at least 30 seconds to return the router to its default, or factory, settings.

Step 3

Connect the router to your computer with an Ethernet patch cable. Insert one end of the cable into an Ethernet port on your router. Insert the other end into your computer’s networking port.

Step 4

Set your network card to accept DHCP. This allows your computer to automatically obtain an IP address from the router.

Step 5

Open your browser. Enter the router’s IP address into the browser’s address bar and press the "Enter" key. Most home network routers use 192.168.1.1 as a default address. Consult your product documentation if this address doesn’t work.

Step 6

Enter the default user name and password when prompted by the router’s user interface. You will be able to find these in your documentation as well as on the manufacturer’s website.

Step 7

Click on the “Wireless” tab on the main page of the router’s user interface screen.

Step 8

Change the SSID name from the factory default to any name you wish. Then select "disable" on the SSID wireless broadcast option. A user needs to know the SSID to connect to a wireless network. Default names are easy to guess, especially for common brands of routers. By changing the name and disabling the name broadcast, most casual hackers will be discouraged and move on to easier targets.

Step 9

Click on the “Wireless Security” tab. You will be given the option to turn on several different security keys. Refer to your router’s manual to determine which, if any, you wish to use.

Step 10

Click on “Wireless MAC Filter.” This setting allows you to determine which computers are allowed to access your wireless network by MAC address. The MAC address is an address that is unique for each computer. If you have three or four computers that regularly access your network, this may be the easiest and most secure method to use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Change your router’s wireless settings with a computer that is hard-wired into the router. A mistaken setting entered from a wireless computer could lock you and all other wireless users out.
  • Most neighbors or casual users will connect to your network out of idle curiosity if it pops up on their available networks. Disabling the SSID broadcast will keep people honest. For a determined hacker, use one of your router’s built-in encryption schemes as well as MAC filtering.
  • If you do lock yourself out of your router, simply press and hold the reset key and begin the process again.
  • Other than bandwidth restrictions, there is no difference between using a wireless router with satellite Internet connection and DSL or T1.