View Full Version : Configuring A Wireless Router

The Tech Professor
10-21-2009, 07:16 PM
Hello Everyone,

Here are the basic "how to" instructions that I use and recommend giving to inexperienced clients. Let me know if ya'll do anything different.

A) Buy a router that supports the 802.11n standard (the latest and greatest Wi-Fi certified version). 802.11n will give you faster data speed and a wider range. The brand doesn’t matter much: D-Link, Belkin, Linksys are all about the same.

B) Hook up the router and go into the routers configuration page (enter your routers default IP address (such as into your web browser .

C) Now that you are in the routers configuration page do the following five things:

1) Re-name the router (don’t name it Belkin or Linksys or D-Link). Give it a personal name that means something to you and that you will remember.

2) Change the default password (usually the default password is “admin”). Many people know this and can break into your router using the default password.

3) Turn off WAN (Wide Area Network) administration. On some routers WAN administration is called Internet Administration. You don’t want to cover a broad area just your personal area (room, office or building).

4) Turn on encryption (use only WPA2 encryption – it is much harder to crack – use a strong password for the WPA2 encryption (like a sentence that you will remember with numbers, capital and small letters).

5) Turn off Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). UPnP opens you up to being attacked and possibly controlled by a malicious website.

The Tech Professor

10-21-2009, 07:19 PM
Inexperienced clients most likely won't be able to do this IMO. It's like talking to them in another language.

10-21-2009, 07:31 PM
Inexperienced clients most likely won't be able to do this IMO. It's like talking to them in another language.

Agreed. I wouldn't give this to clients either.
Each router interface is different, so no instructions would work for every router. And if they **** it up, whos going to get the blame ?

Good steps for a bit more security though. But I wouldn't advise my clients to

Mr I
10-21-2009, 07:54 PM
The problem of educating the clients is that we are being responsible for what they do. The instructions might be clear but if they don't follow them and the results are not the expected, then you might get into trouble.

ProTech Support
10-21-2009, 07:59 PM
B) Hook up the router and go into the routers configuration page (enter your routers default IP address (such as into your web browser .

You will loose them right there. In no way are they just going to assume that "hook up the router" means to wire the router directly to the computer. Instead they will connect the modem to the router and try to connect to the wireless.

I have seen it a million times...

Secondly, why would you even have the client do this at all. You are in the computer repair business, no? That is like me calling my mechanic about a new transmission and him sending me a book on how to install transmissions? I called my mechanic because I lack the knowledge in automobiles to accomplish the task, and accomplishing this task is what he does. Seems your just throwing away business and passing the buck to the "client".

10-21-2009, 08:13 PM
I was called out to someones house to reset their wireless router. I made $70 for 20 minutes of work, why would I tell them how to do it themselves???

Also, if you were to give instructions on how to do this, you need to be very specific and very detailed. You can't create generic instructions that apply to all models of routers. The general public will need to be hand-held and told exactly where to go and how to change the settings you've mentioned. Not to mention you did not tell them what to enter for the user name and password when you try to enter the Config page.

10-21-2009, 08:31 PM
Good list for advanced customers to follow who don't know about some of the security pitfalls of the default settings.

-- Patrick B.

10-21-2009, 08:33 PM
Good advice but one not to give the average customer.

There's an hours paid work and a grateful customer there. :)

10-21-2009, 09:59 PM
Thank you, TechProfessor for the tutorial.

I would sell them the wireless router and configure it onsite to include the three computers, the xBox, the PS3, the iPhone, the iTouch, the TiVo and the wireless printer. About an hour to two hours time plus the markup on the router. $

While I was there I would suggest a backup solution for all their irreplaceable photographs and schedule an appointment to install the external harddrive with automatic backup software. $$

Their neighbor comes by, sees how nice and professional and knowledgeable I am and I take their son's laptop with me to disinfect and tune up. $$$

(This is ACTUALLY what happened to me last week on a service call. . . minus the TiVo)

Alternately, for those who don't want to pay for my expertise, most wireless routers include some pretty pictures of how to set them up, and nice people (in Delhi) who are ready to assist them by telephone for free. When they are frustrated enough, they will call me.

10-21-2009, 10:49 PM
As everyone said good steps.

However, I don't think you average user will want to do this.

One thing to add is that I always explain the speed. There are people outthere that see the rounters speed and say "My router says 100mb and I can only downl load 3mb" etc

The Tech Professor
10-22-2009, 12:59 PM
Hello everyone

Thanks for all of the great replies! A bit of clarification: The post was part of a larger post on my blog (where I was teaching people how to configure a router). I teach tech to high school students and it is hard for me to get out of "teaching mode".

I will say this though: When I go to a clients home I will ask them if they would like me to explain to them what I am doing, why I am doing it, and if they would like to see how I do it (they can sit beside me and watch if they so choose).

Most clients will be uninterested and say " no, just fix the thing and tell me how much I owe you". But sometimes you'll get someone who is interested (especially if the client has a teenager in the family).

I think this is very beneficial to customer relations and since my heart is in education it just comes naturally to me. I don't just give the client a handout and say "here now you do it".

If a person learns how to do something on their own - good for them! They will probably never be able to do it as good as the tech but they will recommend you to their family and friends.

The Tech Professor