SETTING UP YOUR NETWORK
guide to setting up your very own network through routers, data cards
and tethering, which is bound to boost your standing among your peers
Using a router for your home
we've already seen, routers connect networks. We told you in the
preceding chapters, that if you want to give all of your computers
access to ceding the internet using one modem, you need to use a router
or a modem with a built-in router Routers have a very wide range -from
your PC running the good ol’ internet sharing software to zillions of
dollars' worth of systems of specialized hardware and software.
The router is designed to act as an interface between your local
network and the internet and take care of most of the more confusing
networking options for you. This in itself is quite a
headache-alleviator but routers even go a step further by providing
firewall protection between the computers on your network and the rest
of the internet.
Physically, the router is situated between
your laptop and the internet connection or broadband modem. All
computers on the local network connect to this router and not directly
to the modem. Routers are configured by logging into them. The router
has an IP address, and you use your web browser software, to connect to
the router, log in and set the configurations. We'll now give you a
step-by-step guide to connecting and configuring your very own router:
Connecting your router
it may seem very daunting technically, setting up a router can be a
piece of cake. In fact, after it's setup, you rarely, if ever, have to
reconfigure or mess with the router.
Let's take a look at
the hardware side of the router. The only connections you have to worry
about are situated on the rear. You may refer to the directions that
came with the router for specifics on how things are set up, but
generally the ethernet cables from your PCs hook into the LAN
connectors. A single connector is designated for the broadband modem,
which also plugs into the router by using an ethernet cable.
routers come with on/off switches. Now-a-days you just need to plug the
router into the wallsocket to turn it on. There's no need to turn off
the router unless you’re troubleshooting the network or you plan on not
using the network for an extended period; most people just leave their
broadband modems and routers on all the time. Another important item you
need to locate on your router is its reset switch. It's probably
located on the back of the router. The reset switch is most likely
The front of the router is far less interesting than the
back. The front features a few lamps that flicker as traffic flows into
and out of the router, plus perhaps a status light or three.
Setting up your router
you'll learn how to set up a Wi-Fi router to use with your laptop. In
general, this process begins by connecting the router to the same
computer that is attached to your broadband modem (in this example,
your laptop); this allows automated configuration software to obtain
the information it needs without any intermediary devices along the way.
Here's a typical setup:
The first thing you need to do is turn off the power to your broadband
modem. If your modem doesn't have an on/off switch, remove the power
supply to the device.
Ø Now, connect the power adapter to the back panel of the wireless router.
Ø Plug this adapter into any AC outlet and make sure that the power LED illuminates.
Ø Once you've ensured that the power LED is glowing, connect an ethernet cable to the broadband modem.
Ø Restore power back to the modem.
Ø Insert the other end of the ethernet cable into the WAN (wide area network) port on the back panel of the wireless router.
Insert another ethernet cable between LAN Port 1 (on the back panel of
the wireless router) and any available ethernet port on the NIC (network
interface card) of the laptop, which you're going to use to configure
the Wi-Fl system.
Ø Shut down the laptop connected to the Wi-Fi router and restart it.
Open your web browser and in the address bar of the browser, type the
URL for the built-in setup screen of the wireless router.
Ø For example, type http://192.168.0.1 for most D-Link routers.
Now you may need to log in to the router. The below table shows a list
of the standard addresses for setup screens as well as default usernames
and passwords from several major makers.
Once you're "in" the
router, you'll see a web page which is basically the router's
configuration program. You may now refer to the directions that came
with the device for the basic configuration of the router. In addition
to those directions, you can use your web browser to set a various
options. Some of the most important ones are discussed below:
Ø Change the router's administrator password:Pick
a strong password. Especially for a wireless router, you don't want to
pick something obvious or easy that your nosy next door neighbor or a
novice hacker will guess. Note that Windows may not even connect to a
wireless network that lacks a password.
Ø Ensure that the router's firewall is active:The
firewall most likely is active, but do check, just in case. Use the
router's web-based interface in your PC's web browser to navigate to the
firewall option screen.
Ø Set a Service Set Identifier (SSID):This
is the name by which the wireless network is known. Set the encryption
for the network (Wired Equivalent Privacy). Make sure that you note down
the password! It will be a long string of numbers and letters, and you
must enter it exactly to access the network.
Ø Selective Access:You
can configure the base station to allow connections only from known
computers. You specify this setting by listing the MAC address of the
wireless ethernet adapter in each PC.
Ø DHCP: Tell
the wireless router to provide IP addresses dynamically for all
computers on the network. This is also known as Dynamic Host
Configuration Protocol (DHCP).
Congratulations! You've now
successfully set up your very own Wi-Fi router. The router remembers its
settings, so there's no need to reconfigure it after a power outage.
After its setup, you'll probably never need to mess with it again.
Networks on the go
a wireless modem is only good within a certain range. But what happen
when you're on the go and you want to connect your laptop or tablet to
the internet. You'll be lucky if you can find a Wi-Fi hot spot - but in
India, you might be hard-pressed to find one. If you're traveling by car
in unfamiliar territory, for example, Wi-Fi is a not-so-convenient
option. So what do you do?
This is where wireless data cards come
into the picture, if you're looking for flexibility, reliability and
security, there's simply no substitute for a wireless data card. It
provides access anytime and anywhere to anything you need on the web
from your laptop.
What's a wireless data card?
wireless data card makes use of cellular phone technology to connect
your laptop to the internet. What it does is it dials into the wireless
data network of your cellular carrier, and your laptop sees 'this as an
always-on connection. This is very similar to your DSL or cable modem at
home. Access to the internet is through the network coverage of the
relevant telecommunication company provider via Code Division Multiple
Access (CDMA), Evolution-Data Optimized (EVDO) or High-Speed Packet
Access (HSPA) technologies. In India as well as abroad, all cellular
carriers now, offer data cards to meet the ever-growing and
ever-changing needs of its subscribers and the array of laptops,
netbooks and now tablets.
Types of wireless cards
Ø Plug-in models:You
have to simply plug these data cards into your laptop. You get them as
USB cards and Express Cards. These Express-Cards are like a smaller
version of the older PCMCIA cards they've supplanted and have a much
better battery life. You can move these USB wireless cards and Express
Cards from one computer to another, assuming the computers can accept
the card type. USB cards are usually recommended, however, because they
can be shared between computers and they work on Macs, PCs and even
Linux OS computers. Also, many small laptops don t have the room for an
Express Card slot.
Ø On-board wireless data cards:There
are certain data cards which are built into the laptop. This makes them
an excellent addition to the mobile gear of people-on-the-go. The only
downside is that these cards are dedicated to the laptop on which
they're installed, and so they cannot be shared between devices. They
also can be tougher to troubleshoot and are recommended only for true
Ø Multi-device cards:The third and
the last type of data card is one that can share the same connection to a
cellular carrier among multiple devices at once. The pioneer of these
devices is the MiFi, about the size of a credit card. You can use it in
1. You can either connect it directly to your laptop with a USB cable, like the USB data cards mentioned above or,
can leave it disconnected and turned on. It will then act like a Wi-Fi
hotspot for access by as many as five users (although three users is a
practical maximum). Note that this use of MiFi cards can be confusing at
times and is usually recommended for the computer savvy. Just make sure
you remember to charge your MiFi card.
How does it work?
A USB broadband card interfaces with the connected computer using a Universal Serial Bus (USB) connector.
the device is connected, the computer interprets the device as a
network adapter and the machine's operating system begins sending
network traffic to the device using standard networking protocols.
When the broadband card receives networking data from the computer, it
converts the data into radio waves in order to interface with the
wireless broadband carrier's point of presence or hub.
on the card's vendor and the wireless broadband carrier, the frequency
of radio waves may vary considerably: some carriers use the 800
megahertz (800MHz) frequency while some specialized carriers use
frequencies reaching up to 38 gigahertz (38GHz).
broadband employs an advanced data encapsulation method known as Time
Division Multiplexing which helps the broadband card balance upstream
(upload) and downstream (download) data packet transfer for optimum
network and frequency utilization.
How to set it up
many different cellular services offer their own data card, the
installation procedure varies from one Data Card to the other. In this
section we'll be describing the most generic way of setting up your own
network. You should be able to getting yourself up and running with
Wireless Broadband with very few deviations, from what is outlined
USB modem setup
1. Connect your Wireless modem to an available USB port on your computer.
connected, your USB modem will automatically check that the Proprietary
Connection software has been installed onto your computer. The first
time you connect the USB modem to your computer, the modem will
automatically install all the necessary software.
setup wizard will guide you to install the software. Just follow the
onscreen instructions to complete the software installation. Then click
4. Double-click on the Service
Provider's Wireless Broadband Icon on your computer desktop or taskbar
to launch the Connection software.
5. The Wireless
software will locate the Service Provider's network and will display
the available network in the bottom left-hand corner.
6. Once the modem has located the Service Provider's network, click on the CONNECT button.
7. Congratulations, you're now connected to Wireless broadband. Open your internet browser and start surfing the internet!
Data card setup
1. If your data card came with an installation CD, insert it into the CD drive of your computer.
2. If your data card didn't come with an installation CD, insert the data card into a compatible PCMCIA port on your laptop.
Your CD or data card will then install the Connection software-." onto
your computer. When instructed, follow the onscreen instructions to
install the connection software and complete the software installation.
4. Once the software has been installed, double-click on the Service Provider's Wireless Broadband Icon.
The Wireless software will locate the Service Provider's network and
display the available network in the bottom left-hand corner.
6. Once the modem has located the network, click on the Connect button.
7. Now, open your browser and start surfing the internet!
advanced users can make use of wireless data cards along with a special
router, to create their very own DSL-type connection - the data card,
becomes their ISP. Plug as many as five cards into an 802.11b/g/n router
to do this. For example, if you've a temporary research site, and you
needed, to connect multiple computers to the internet; you can use the
data card's internet connection and the router to set up the link.
made passing references to tethering before in this book. Let's take a
closer look at what tethering is all about - iPhone tethering as well as
Tethering is a general technique available on
many cell phones and' smartphones to access the internet. With the right
software and data plan from a cellphone carrier, it allows users to
connect their smartphone to a computer and use the phone's 3G internet
connection to provide wireless, l always-on connectivity to the
When you use an
iPhone as a wireless modem to provide internet access to a computer or
other Wi-Fi-enabled device, like an iPad or iPod Touch, it's called
iPhone tethering, you must have an iPhone 3GS or higher, running iOS 4
or higher, with a data plan that supports tethering.
often requires a monthly data plan subscription in addition to the
standard phone contract. Most major iPhone carriers offer data plans
that include tethering.
can connect to the iPhone when it's in tethering mode three ways, via
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB. USB is the default method when using Personal
Hotspot, but it is easy enough to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth sharing,
too. We'll be telling you more about this shortly. Keep in mind that
tethered connections are generally slower than broadband or Wi-Fi
connections, even if they're more portable.
tethering is the general name for this functionality, Apple's
implementation of it and the way its onscreen iOS functions are labeled
is called Personal hotspot.
Check if tethering is enabled
are two ways to check if iPhone tethering is enabled on your account.
First, you can log in to your wire less account online and check your
plan. Tethering will appear if you've added it to your plan.
Another way to go about it, is to check it on your iPhone itself. To find out, tap the Settings icon, then go to General > Network.
Scroll down to the Personal hotspot button. If it reads "off or on",
tethering is enabled. If it's not, the button will read "Set Up Personal
How to use tethering
first thing you need to do to begin setting up your Personal Hotspot is
tap on the Settings icon on your home-screen. Then tap on "General".
Then tap "Network".
2. In the Network Setting screen, you’ll see a
button labeled "Set Up Personal Hotspot" about halfway down the screen.
Tap this button. You'll only read this before setting one up the first
time. The next time you do it, it will simply read "Personal Hotspot".
If a pop-up comes up like the one shown alongside, it means that you
haven't' added the Personal Hotspot service to your iPhone's data plan,
or don't already have tethering enabled. In order to use this option,
you'll need to add tethering to your iPhone data plan, as it supplies
both - tethering and the Personal Hotspot service. To do this, call your
cell phone carrier or add it via your web based account.
you've added the Personal Hotspot/tethering to your data plan, you'll
see a screen like the one below when you tap on the Personal Hotspot
menu on the Network screen.
5. Now in order to start up your
Personal Hotspot, slide the Personal Hotspot slider to "On". If you want
to change the password, tap the password field and edit it on the next
screen. Anyone wanting to connect to your hotspot via Wi-Fi will need to
supply this password in order to gain access.
6. As we told you
before the default mode of connection to your Personal Hotspot is USB
only. When you turn on your personal hotspot, you'll see this pop-up
asking if you'd like to turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to allow for
wireless connections. Tap the Turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth button, as you
Congratulations! You're done setting up your Personal Hotspot and are ready to let others connect to it.
When other devices are connected to your Personal Hotspot, you'll see a
message in blue at the top of the screen or on the lock screen
indicating that the Personal Hotspot is active and the number of users
connected to it.
Now that your Personal Hotspot has been set up, when
you want to turn it on in the future, simply tap the Settings icon and
you lI find a new Personal Hotspot menu item at the top of the screen,
just under Airplane Mode and Wi-Fi.
Android devices: Tethering and portable Wi-Fi hotspots
like in the case of iPhone, Android phones also give you the option of
sharing your Google Android device's mobile data connection with a
single computer via a USB cable or via Bluetooth. This may, however,
depend on your model of Android device and your carrier. You may also be
able to share your Android device's data connection with up to five
devices at once, by turning your phone into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot.
already shown you how to share a connection from your Android Mobile to
a laptop or tablet, by creating a Wi-Fi Hotspot or tethering via USB or
Bluetooth. However there is a small catch - it only works on Windows 7.
If you want to tether your Android device via USB to a computer running
Windows XP, you must prepare your computer as described:
1. Download the configuration file "tetherxp.inf" to your Windows computer fromhttp://www.android.com/drivers/tetherxp.inf
2. Use the USB cable that came with your phone to connect your phone to your computer.
3. On the Android phone, press Home, press Menu, and touch Settings to open the Settings application.
4. Touch Wireless & networks > Tethering & portable hotspot.
5. Check USB tethering.
6. When Windows's New Hardware Wizard opens, select "No", not at this is time and click "Next".
7. Select "Install from a list or specific location" and click "Next".
Click "Browse" to browse to the directory where you installed the
configuration file you downloaded in Step 1 and click "Next". Windows
uses the configuration file to configure itself to support USB tethering
with the Android phone.
9. When Windows finishes installing the software for Android USB Ethernet/RNDIS, click "Finish".
You can now use the new Windows local area network connection provided by your phone via USB tethering.
all been in situations when we felt the urgent need to access internet
on multiple devices like laptops, tablets and mobiles. Sometimes a data
card is, not enough for your networking needs; maybe because you can't
connect it to your phone or your tab. A pocket router is your solution
to this problem.
With a pocket router, you can create a secure Wi-Fi
hotspot anywhere almost instantly. Weighing around 80gm with a size that
can fit in your pocket (hence, the name), these routers offer speeds up
to 3.1 mbps. You can get a pocket router with a Tata Photon or an MTS
connection at around Rs.5000. Or you can buy D-link DIR-457 pocket
router for Rs.10,000 and use any UMTS/HSDPA SIM card. Completely
portable and with a battery life of about four hours, you can connect
five devices (16 for Dlink) to the pocket router.
look at how to set up a pocket router. Here we’ll be taking a look at
the Tata Photon D-link DIR-457 pocket router.
1. First, open the back cover and insert the battery and the SIM card.
2. There are two modes of connection: USB and Wi-Fi
You can switch the mode using the selection switch. Once in USB mode,
you can connect your router to your computer with the USB cable provided
and power on the device. The Connection Manager should start up
Now, let's configure the 3G connection.
Go to Settings > Switch to USB Modem ConnMgr
You'll have to 'set up a new profile. Click on the Profile button.
Click on the New button to create a new profile.
Select your profile type. You can choose Preconfigured settings or create your own User Defined Profile.
If your service provider isn't listed in the preconfigured list, choose
User Defined Profile and click on "Next". Fill in your profile name,
phone number, APN, user name, password and authorisation type. You can
get these details from your service provider.
Click "Finish" and you're ready to connect.
You can now connect to the internet by clicking on the black connect
button, once connected, it will turn green. To disconnect, click on the
green disconnect button.
To configure your Wi-Fi settings:
1. Go to Settings > Switch to Wi-Fi and Basic Settings and select "Wi-Fi settings".
2. Here you can manually choose your SSID and select the security mode.
3. Click on the Security mode dropdown box and select WPA2 security.
4. Enter your desired password.
5. To check your usage, go to View > Usage and select the Current Month tab or the Previous Month tab. You can also control usage using the connection manager.
6. Open the connection manager.
7. Select Tools> Preference and select the usage tab.
After checking the “Limit by Data” checkbox, you can put in a limit on
your use. Once you’ve exhausted this limit, you’ll be disconnected
you know how to connect to the internet, let's look at how you can use
this pocket router to send text messages to other phones. The D-link
router can be used to perform all the text messaging functions that can
be done on a mobile phone such as sending, receiving, replying,
forwarding and deleting.
1. To start messaging, click on the SMS tab in the connection manager.
Click on "New message" to compose a new message. Enter the recipient's
phone number or select it from your contacts stored on your SIM card.
Type in your message and click "send".
3. To reply or forward a
message, select and click on "Reply/Forward". You don't need your mobile
handy whenever you want to send a message because the router has its
own contact manager which can be used to add, edit or delete contacts.
To add a contact, click the Contacts button. Now, select Add" and enter
the contact name and the phone number. Click "OK" and the contact will
be saved on your SIM card.
Ø To edit a contact, click the Contacts
button and select "Edit". Make the necessary changes and click "OK" to
save your changes.
Ø To delete a contact, select the contact and
click on the delete button. To delete all contacts, click "Select All"
and hit the Delete button.
If you already have your contacts in
vCards, you can import them here in just a few clicks. Go to Contacts
and click the Import button. Select the vCards you want to import and
click Open. After the import, a message will display the important
contact information. You can also export your existing contacts by
clicking the Export button and selecting the destination to save the
vCards. Click "OK" to export the cards. A message will be displayed
after the transfer is complete.