Fortunately, it’s far easier to configure a brand new router in 2021 than ever before, thanks to great instructions, plenty of tutorials, and helpful articles like this one to clear away confusion.
Here’s what you can expect when configuring your new router right out of the box, including some pro tips to make the experience faster, easier, and stress-free.
The router is here, the box is open, and you’re ready to set things up. Start with these steps before you move on to connection, configuration, and more.
Secure All Components
All the bits and pieces that come with your router should be identified and kept together in an organized manner.
Make sure you’ve got every piece – including cables, plugs, etc. – so you can do any assembly necessary to move the process forward.
Nowadays, routers are minimal in terms of total components. The best new routers on the market are fully assembled and ready to plug and play!
We know – instructions manuals are tedious and not always helpful. But when it comes to configuring a new router, you don’t want to toss the instructions away.
Read the manual front to back and don’t skip any steps. There may also be a paper card that gives you crucial info like network name and password – you’ll be needing those.
Some routers have passwords located on the hardware itself, so track down that information, then duplicate and save a secure location. You’ll be able to customize them later on.
Place and Plug in Router
Depending on the layout of your home, you may have limited options when it comes placing your router. Oftentimes there is only one usable outlet that connects to the internet, so locate that plug and set your router up in an accessible location.
Ideally, you can place your router where it won’t be knocked around by kids, pets, or interfere with the flow of your space. Today’s routers have a modern look and won’t disrupt the aesthetic of your home either.
Connecting to the Internet
Time for the main event – connect to the internet and it’s “all systems go”.
Test the Connection
Every piece of hardware is different, but you’ll be able to proceed once the lights are on, signaling a strong connection. Ethernet or WiFi – connect your first device and make sure the connection is stable.
From there, it’s always wise to run a few tests when your router first turns on.
A speed test is a good place to start. Simply search for an internet speed test and run the numbers for download and upload rates.
You can also walk around your home with a wireless device to see how the connection holds up in each room, and if there are any dead zones to contend with.
Speed and stability are your top priorities when setting up a router, so try all sorts of configurations to get the best results.
Access Web Portal
Here’s where you get some more insight into your new network and the capabilities of your router. The manufacturer will give you a website to access and log in with your credentials, then configure your router as needed.
The web page is usually numerical and found in the instruction manual, so type it in carefully and bookmark it immediately!
In this portal, you’ll be able to do change the network name, customize the password, enable firewalls, and access other features that complete the network setup process.
You can also set up third-party software products like VPNs in this portal, but that requires another set of steps from the developers themselves.
Keep in mind that much of the information located in this web portal will not be of much use to the average user. Still, you should be able to navigate this page and make the changes you need for a more secure and accessible network – that’s the key!
Better yet, some routers have dedicated apps that you can access on your phone or computer, streamlining the whole process while keeping the control in your hands.
Router configuration doesn’t have to be a challenge when you’ve got a proprietary app guiding you through each step.
Connect All Devices
With your new network name and custom password ready, you can start connecting all the devices in your home and bring everyone up to speed.
Phones, tablets, game consoles – even smart appliances, security systems, and garage doors. These things must be connected to your network, and remember to keep an eye on performance as you go.
The best routers can handle dozens of devices at once and have no issues with speed, stability, or traffic. If too many devices pose a problem for your network – or coverage is lacking - you may need to upgrade your service or try a mesh network.
Control and Configuration
Every router has a unique set of features, some more robust than others.
Here are a few features we like to see from high-performance routers, and some tips to configure them for the best results in your network.
Security and Controls
We don’t need to explain the importance of security in this always-connected age, especially if you’ve got a growing family and an expansive Internet of Things in the home.
Security at the network level is preferred to protecting individual devices and applications, from both a convenience and cost standpoint.
Routers with built-in network security features are easier to set up and protect your information more effectively, so look for routers that simplify the entire process.
The same thing applies for parental controls, which can be difficult to configure with third-party software. Routers with parental controls make digital parenting so much easier, and let you configure features exactly as you need.
Achieve Your Ideal Router Setup
Upgrade your router to upgrade your entire internet experience!
With new standards like WiFi 6 coming into the picture, now is a great time to make the leap. Configuration can be easy and fast if you’ve got smart routers to help you along the way.
Remember, you’re the one in control when setting up routers and creating the perfect network. Keep optimizing your setup with better hardware, more features, and a secure network for your family and business.
Configure a Router | Dummies
Change Wireless Router Settings | MetaGeek
Ser Up a WiFi Mesh Network | PC Mag