Home Router Configuration

Home Router Setup 43 M

Need to setup a wireless router at home? In this course, learn how properly configure and get a home network up and running.

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  • Home Router Configuration
    • Setting Up a Home Router
    • Port Forwarding

Setting Up a Home Router

26 M

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  • Episode Description
  • Transcript

In this segment, Wes and Daniel show you how to setup a home wireless router. They walk you through wireless options like setting the Service Set Identifier (SSID) name, configuring the encryption type, and changing the default channels that the wireless access point operates on.

[MUSIC] All right, greetings everyone, and welcome to another great episode of ITProTV I'm your host, Daniel Lowrie. Joining me on the show today is none other than Mr. Wes Bryan. How's it going today, Wes? >> It's going great, man. Great to be here, great to be with ITProTV. And today, we get to talk a little bit about your home router set up. And I think that's something that everybody at one time, or if you're not into computers, might be challenged with. So I really think this is something that's gonna be beneficial to really just everybody what wants to set up a home network, and we'll see if we can demystify a little bit of this and brush off a little bit of the dust. And hopefully by the end of the show you'll know exactly how to do this. Now one of the things that you are going to want to keep in mind that when it comes to setting up your home router is locating the documentation to that home router. Now if you bought one inside of a store you know it comes in a box a lot of times you are going to have that documentation right inside of the box itself. However, there might be sometimes maybe you buy a third, you know like a refurbished, or maybe not even refurbished, maybe you buy it off of Craigslist something like that, save you a bit of money. Well, sometimes the documentation's not going to be included. So one of the things we can do there, is we can always go to the vendor's website. We can use the Internet out there and hopefully find that documentation. >> So when I buy my router off of some dude in a van- >> [LAUGH] >> And it doesn't have any box, or documentation. I can still get the documentation. Most of the vendors if you go to their website, they'll have a support area, or downloads area. And this is fantastic because that documentation believe it or not it has all the required instructions for you to get these boxes of blinking lights up and running. So that you can enjoy Internet via a wireless environment. It is very nice. So don't, I always try to tell people, don't throw away the documentation, keep anything that you have electrical equipment, laptops. It doesn't matter what it is. Put all that stuff in a file folder somewhere. You never know when that documentation is gonna come in handy. But if you do lose it, Wes is completely right. You can just go to that vendor's website, find that documentation area, and download that guide directly onto your computer. So that is a very helpful tip. >> Yeah, so let's go ahead, and let's get logged into our home router here. Now if, let's say you have bought something second hand and you don't have it from the store, keep in mind that you might have to do a factory reset on it because the documentation might not help you. You say well I found the vendor's documentation, I tried to log in to the router, and it still didn't work. You might have somebody's configurations that owned the router before you even bought it still there. So just look on the back of the router and a lot of times you'll see just a little red re-switch button, probably have to break out, you know, a ballpoint pen, and you can hold that button in for about 10 seconds or so, and it'll typically reset that. So we're gonna go ahead, and we're gonna log in to our router. Most of the routers that you'll log in to, the home systems will usually have an IP address of Other times you might see so definitely pay attention to the specifics. Now, one of the first things that we have to do if we're going to log in is, well, once you've got your the IP address to the web configuration page, you're going to have to enter a username and password so that's going to be important. Now, we also have to take a little bit about how did I make a connection to this web page? Well when you first configure the router one of things that your going to need to do, typically get you an ethernet cable and just plug directly into the router because the wireless network a lot of times isn't set up to where you can even make it in there, into the network to make some configurations here. All right, so, we are going to go ahead, first thing, we are gonna do on this one here is, we are gonna click Setup, and you notice, it is gonna challenge me right away. It is gonna say, hey, if you are gonna do this, you need to know the username and password here. So I am gonna go ahead and type out our super secret user name 'admin' and then type in our password here. And notice how the configuration page changes a little bit. It's grayed out, and this will be specific to the vendor itself. But notice it's not grayed out anymore, it says, hey, let's go ahead, we'll make some configurations and we're ready to go. >> Now Wes, where did you find that super secret password, I mean, are you, did you, does it ask you to set it up, or is there a default, or how's that work? >> Yep! That's exactly, usually there's a default. For instance, in this one here the default is admin and root, and I went ahead and just kept it. For the show, I went ahead and kept the password here. One of the things that you do wanna make sure that you do is that you change that default user name and password, so that when you go to log into the machine, you're logging into something that's unique. All right, so on the basic setup page that we have, the first thing that you have is your router's name. Now, some of these settings are optional, and some of them will tell you right here, for instance, this says optional setting. So you might want to change this around a little bit. One of the first things that we're gonna do here is, let's go ahead, I'll tell you what, and figure out if we're going to use DHCP or not. So right here you can see that DHCP is enabled. And this is something that we definitely want to have turned on on your own home network. What it means is that when your mobile devices connect to the network, or if you plug into one of the switch ports on the home router there, it just means it's gonna get an IP address all ready. You're gonna be ready to talk to the network, and you don't have to do any manual configuration and that's important. We're not gonna really modify any of these settings. You could if you wanted to because they're all private internal IP addresses, you typically have the flexibility that you can configure them in any way that you'd like to. >> Wes, I will tell the good folks out there that sometimes, for the most part, this is fine. You can go with the standards, whatever it gives you by default. But every now and then, you'll have a cable modem, a DSL modem or something that also has DHCP and it's got the same IP range and that's gonna cause a conflict. So if you have plugged all the stuff up, you follow all of our instructions and things still aren't working you can't get to the Internet, that might be one of the places where you need to start troubleshooting. And an easy thing to do is that if you're even scared that that might happen, just go into that DHCP setting right there and change the IP range. Just change it to something different that way it can have its, it's basically a router right? It's got two separate networks, one for the wireless network, and one that's actually connecting to your cable modem, DSL, whatever your Internet connection is. So make sure that you just change that into something different, so that they're not conflicting, having the same kind of information and then that should alleviate that problem. >> That's a great idea, let's go ahead and let's look at our router's interface and see if we change our DHCP settings. Now in the router here, you're gonna notice that one of the things that we can't do, notice that we don't have the option to change what the range is. Notice how it says 192.168.1, that looks like it's hard-stamped in there. It's letting you know there's no configurations that you can really change here. So if this is the case where, maybe, the modem and the router are gonna conflict, you have to figure out which side do you want operating DHCP. In this case, if you're modem is in that 192.168 range, you might wanna disable DHCP on the modem. Or I can come right in here, and if I really wanted to I could just choose Disable here on DHCP and turn this off, and then I don't have that conflict. Now the next thing that we're gonna do is we're gonna look a little bit at the wireless interface. The wireless interface is, well, one of the reasons we buy one of these home routers. The day and age where we don't need wireless communication today has definitely come and gone, so we'll go ahead and go to the wireless side. Now with the wireless side, one of the things that you'll notice is that if you have a dual band router you might be setting these configurations twice. That just means that you got some that are operating in that 2.4 gigahert range, and other ones are gonna be operating in the five gigahert range. And with dual band, they're gonna act as two totally separate networks. So whatever the configurations you set on the 2.4, you're going to have to turn around and double that on the next network as well. Here in this one you're going to notice that if I look at the wireless mode, it's set for ap, that means It's gonna be the managing device, and there's other settings that you can set it to if you want it to be a client and act like another wireless device. That's typically not why we bought our home router here, so we'll leave it as an AP. Now I want you to notice that it talks about the wireless network mode. Now what this means is the 802.11 standard that you might be running, if you're running older devices, I would run in a mixed mode. Because that means it's gonna support newer end devices, but then it's gonna be backwards compatible. It's gonna support things as far back as G, or B really. In this case. Now notice it says 2.4 gigahertz and it doesn't say anything else. That's not a dual band router. It's just got the single band. So we just need to figure out. Now if you have relatively new devices, if you've kept up on your current technologies, and your like me, you gotta have 15 tablets so you always got the newest, latest and greatest. Then you can typically just go ahead and say hey, I'm gonna do n-mode only. Now, the benefit to that is that you're gonna get 40 megahertz of bandwidth. We could say, oh actually 20 megahertz of channel width. And you're not gonna separate these channels to where some of it's gonna supply communications to your older devices and your newer devices. We're gonna go ahead and we'll be in the future here. We'll just go ahead and say N only, and we're going to say full 20 megahertz. And another thing you also have to figure out is what is the SSID going to be? And let's call it a service set identifier, guys just think of it as a network name. If you've ever opened a mobile device and you've gone to connect to a wireless network. You'll see that it populates a list of all the available access points within the proximity of that device. Well this is the name that that device is using, or that that device sees. So pay attention to how you name it. It can be customized. This one right here you see it says DDWRT. What should we call this one, Dan? >> We'll call this one, >> FBI Van? >> Yeah, FBI Van. >> FBI Van. I can tell you, if you call an FBI Van, most people are going to stay away from your network. So we'll call this FBI band or van, excuse me. The next one that we got here is the wireless SSID broadcast. Now this is interesting from a security standpoint right? Your SSID or network name. It's being broadcast out and everybody can see it. Everybody can open up a phone and see the name of your network. Now if you disable this broadcast, what you're doing is you're saying now, I don't want it to be broadcast to everybody. I don't want everybody seeing it. But a lot of times what this does guys, I know that they stress that hey, it's a security technique to disable the SSID broadcast. But most people who say that, are coupling it with other technologies to help secure the wireless network, and not just relying on this. Cuz if you just rely on not broadcasting the SSID, the only thing you're really doing is keeping the legitimate people out of your network. The people that are supposed to be there can't find it, cuz it really does nothing to stop the hackers. Yeah, we like to broadcast the SSID. If you're in a home network it's kind of the purpose, right? I want people who come to my house to be able to turn up their laptop, to get their mobile device out, and say search for networks and say, oh there's Dan's access point. That's exactly what I'm looking for. But connect and if I'm not broadcasting, the SSID out, they're not going to be able to find it. They're going need to know that it's called Dan's Access Point or whatever I've named it and then be able to connect. So it's not really good, especially in a large transient environment where people are moving in and out of your network. That's not going to be very helpful. So for you that's going to cause a lot, Help, I'm going to have to help. People go how do I get connected to your network? Dude I don't even see it here. And you are like okay yes, you have to type in this thing. And you are like why do you even do that? Well because I am being secure and you have secured me right out of this thing. Thanks a lot. So in a I think in small networks, home networks it's easier just to leave it open for people to find. >> Yeah, yeah that's right cause again you can add other technologies. Like the next one here that we have is Mac filtering. So if we I tell you what we'll get to Mac filtering in a second here let's go ahead and go to wireless security. The next one we have to figure out is do we want a secure network? Well that's kind of a funny thing here of course we want a secure network. So one of the things you wanna make sure is that you're securing the wireless network. So, to do that, you have to consider which of these security protocols that you're gonna use, and there are a few different ones. So if we turn this to Enable, or maybe not Enable, to a big old list of security protocols, we've got a few different ones to choose from. Notice WEP is at the bottom of the list. WEP you should pretty much just stay away form. It's not very secure and there is a whole bunch of other options here. One of the ones that we really use today is the inside of the home environment is the WPA personal mode. You have some of these enterprise level modes, and they typically take a lot of extra infrastructure, which is why they call them enterprise modes. It's something that you're going to see more in a corporate environment, cuz they can justify added security at the cost. So we're going to go ahead and we're going to choose WPA personal mode mixed. And if we give it second, its going to give us the ability to choose some different algorithms. Now we're going to go ahead and you have to be careful with the security that you implement on your home network if you have older devices. SOme of these older devices are not going to support the higher levels of encryption that some of the more modern encryption standards and protocols give you. So just pay attention to that. So I actually use a combination of TKIP and AES. And that just means that some of the older computers or devices, if some of those older devices have a problem connecting to things like AES, they'll still be able to communicate on your network. So again, we always have to worry about backwards compatibility, when you are supporting the mobile devices and wireless devices within your network. >> Now, Wes, that does kind of open us up with a huge gaping security hole, trying to be backwards compatible. Because those older encryptions, the WEP, the and the WPA, the first version of it, not WPA2 Is pretty easily cracked by anybody with the wherewithal to do that. So if you need to be backwards compatible, yeah you gotta go with what Wes is saying. But it is a good incentive to know that, to get your network up to snuff to have some compatibility with, not some, all compatibility with the latest and greatest WPA2. Because then you don't have to worry about getting your network compromised. So upgrade those devices. Don't stay on those older settings. Try to get yourself up. If you need to though, it is still there. So it's nice, we'll still have wireless capabilities. >> Yeah, yeah. And you know, if you've got newer devices, by all means go with AES, go with the strongest level of encryption you can get, cuz you're gonna get just more protection within your networks. And remember, you're responsible for what happens on your networks, even if it's not you doing whatever it is on that network. So if you set this up for relatively weak encryption, and then you go on a vacation somewhere. And somebody jumps on that network, it's like Dan said. I mean, I've seen people crack a web key in two minutes, in the time that it takes to play a video. They're on your network, and if you're out there on vacation somewhere. Somebody does something on your network, well they're gonna hold you accountable. So make sure that it's secure. Now the next thing we have to understand is that inside of your security settings, you're gonna have what's known as a pre-share key. Guys, preshare key is just technical lingo for a password. Right? If you think about it If I'm going to log into a system, I have to know the password beforehand. And the system that I'm logging into also has to know that password beforehand, and that's why they call it a pre-shared key. >> I was gonna say hence the pre-shared key. >> That's right. That's essentially what it is. It's a pre-shared key, and this is the same key that's gonna be in the dialogue box. When you go to join the network, this will be the same exact password or phrase that it's asking you to put in so that your device can associate itself with the network and then start communicating here. So, I'm gonna put our super secret password of, well, let's see. Let's see if it will let me do this. Same thing for my luggage here. One, two, three, four, five, six. And we're gonna see if it'll save that setting. We'll apply the settings. Now, that's another good thing here. Notice that it has Save Settings and it has Apply Settings. Save Settings is saving the configuration file, but it's not doing what the next button would seem like applying it to the configuration. So I'm, be careful as you'll go through these. Remember, we were doing some basic settings here and we set up the mixed mode, oh, actually we didn't, I didn't. And I changed the SSID to FBI VAN. So I wanna go ahead and save those settings. Because a lot of times these pages will refresh, all right, and when they refresh, unfortunately, like you've just seen, those settings are gone. So, one, two, three, four, five, six. >> So you make a change to the setting, and then you hit Save to make sure the configuration is changed. >> Yep. >> But it hasn't applied. That's why they have Apply Settings. And it can be a little confusing. But you don't wanna apply the settings until you're ready to apply the settings. Cuz if I'm making changes to the SSID name, and the encryption type, and the passwords that I'm logged in, well it's gonna kick me out. And then I can't, I have to log back in and I continue my configuration. And every time I hit Apply Settings I'm gonna get kicked out and I'm gonna have to do the same thing over and over again. So here you can make widespread changes, save them, and then when you're done, you hit Apply Changes. >> And that's a good thing, when you're configuring your access point, that's another good reason to be wired in, rather than hitting your wireless network. Because I can't tell you how many times I've done that. Where I apply a change and the change, my wireless adapter on my card wasn't ready for the change and it kicks me off, I have to reenter and reconfigure my network adapter to connect back to the network. So that's another good reason to just hard wire in there because you're not worried about connecting to the wireless when you apply these settings. Now if you want to, you can also enable MAC filtering. MAC filtering, you can use a prevent or permit. So white list versus black list. If you black list and these are not allowed on. And if you white list, only these are allowed on. Keep in mind that it is one thing that you can add with disabling the SSID broadcast. That you can say, okay, I know that I only have a certain set of computers that are gonna be here, so I'm just gonna allow only these MAC addresses. Now, keep in mind that that'll start to get a little bit tough to manage if you talk about a lot of mobile devices that you might wanna connect and disconnect from your network. If you enable a strict MAC filtering that does this, only the people on this list are allowed to connect. Well that means every mobile device, and I'm including like cell phones on this too, they connect to your wireless network. You're gonna have to go into the device. You're gonna have to find that 48 bit MAC address and you're gonna have to come back here and enter it into the access point. So when we increase our security sometimes we also increase the administrative overhead to keep the network running. So just be careful if you are gonna use this because it does take a moderate amount of administration to make sure that it's implemented correctly. All right, so that's got us set up for our wireless security. It's got us set up if we were gonna use MAC filtering. There are some other things that we also need to consider here, too. You've got some different services that you can set up, and you can see things like your MAC tables here. If you're setting up things like VPN communications, this one actually offers you the ability to create a PPTP server, if you want. If you're not using these, you don't really have to configure them, so I wouldn't worry too much about them if you're not gonna use them. Some of the things that you can also do, imagine being able to connect to your wireless access point and having access to things like, for instance, your files. Well, you can also, sometimes these devices will have extra USB ports that you can plug in like a 1 terabyte USB device. And you can store things like movies or files there, connected to the back of the access point. And then when you need to access those files, you're accessing them directly off the access point. So it's a really good thing if you have those files, or if you need those files to have them handy like that. All right, now, some of the more advanced, I want to jump back here some more of the advanced settings, because there are some things that we have to consider inside of wireless. And those are the channels, all right? We've already talked about the fact that when you have dual-band, you might have to set these up twice, but you also have to consider what channel you're broadcasting on. Because of the fact that there are non overlapping channels, inside of the 2.4 gigahertz spectrum you have 1, 6, and 11. And if you leave the defaults, a lot of it, if for instance, you're in an apartment complex, sometimes people will leave the defaults. They'll set them up and they just say go ahead and we'll just allow the channels to do what they want automatically. So let's go ahead and, let's switch back over to the access point and make sure that our channels are where we expect them to be. Now, by default, you're going to see, there isn't any channel selected here. We've got this wireless channel section here, but it's on auto. And that's where the problem starts. If people don't change the auto configuration, it's gonna default to whatever thinks that it should default. So let's go ahead and look at this. Now, you've got a whole bunch of options. You've actually got 11 options, and these are the individual 11 channels that are available in that ISM band. And there are three of them that do not overlap, and that's important just from a performance stand point, making sure you don't get channel congestion. Now in our wireless analyzer we see that a lot of them are sitting right there at channel 11. So if I was to put this one on channel 11 or leave it at the defaults and it is on channel 11 by default on that auto configuration, well now I've got maybe the seventh device on channel 11 and now we're all in contention so that could definitely cause some performance degradation there. So I think what we're gonna go ahead and do, I noticed that when our wireless spectrum analyzed or wireless analyzer there, there weren't a lot of devices on one. We had a handful of devices on six. We had a whole bunch of them on 11. But we didn't have maybe one or two on the channel one here so we're going to go ahead and switch this up to channel one and we can save that setting. Alright, now we should, for the most part, we have our wireless network configured. We have some of the basic configurations ready and set where we want them. One of the things that you will still have to look at, some additional things that if you want to set up things like gaming and stuff you can also do dynamic DNS. But you really want to verify your WAN link. Now, I don't have a WAN link, I don't actually have this plugged into an ISPs network, but remember that you're gonna be connecting to your ISP's network so, that IP address, if you see what you see here it is a You might have to reboot the router where you shut the router down and you turn it back on, a lot of times what it'll do is it'll connect to your Internet service provider. And then one of the things, finally, that you have to do to make sure that this router is where you need it to be is to take a wireless device, connect it to it, enter the password, double check your password. Make sure that you got it entered right because if you don't connect the first time it could be that the password is wrong, verify that it is going to hand out some IP addresses if that's what you need. You can always tell if you, if you enter the password right but then you don't have a connection there it could be the fact that you have disabled the DHCP. So for the most part, if you've connected to it, you've done your configurations on it. You've configured your wireless network, your SSID, your security settings and you definitely want your security settings. Verify that it's connected to the WAN interface, which is basically your ISPs network. Once that's done, you can try to connect a device to the wireless network just by joining it, entering the password, and verifying that you can maybe connect to the internet, maybe connect to your favorite game or your blog or something like that. Whatever you use your home network for and once you have a connection there, you should be good to go. You should be ready to go inside of your network. If not, then you're just gonna want to step back a few, try a whole troubleshooting method. Start back with step one and make sure that your configurations are right. And one of the major things, make sure you apply the settings. You don't wanna go through all the configurations and then log out of your configuration page and wonder why, well nothing's working. It could have been the fact that you didn't apply those settings right. Also make sure that, if you are gonna do configurations, it's a good idea to plug directly into the router so that when you do apply the settings it doesn't disconnect you from your network and lock you out of your access point. That right there should have you ready to go and you should be good to go on the inside of your network next time you need to connect to it. >> Yeah, awesome stuff, Wes. You would think this would be a much simpler process. And to leave all those other configurations, it is, but it's not the best way to do it. So you'll wanna get in there, look at that documentation. Take a lot of Wes's advice here, especially when it comes to that channel, because the great thing about that is if you're on a channel that gets super saturated, well, you can go in there and change the channel that's it's on to something that's it's not. And you can do that every time you feel like maybe you're having a little network contention. A very nice little tip or trick there. And I also, leave it to old pros here, I guarantee Wes, you have done this before. You configure these things and it doesn't work, right? >> Right. >> Just like Wes said, sometimes the best idea, just start from square one. I like to just just grab that ballpoint pen and hit the reset button >> Yep. >> And make sure I get my settings all correct. If you're going through that process and everything has been verifies you should be connected after that. Wes, thank you so much for- >> Yeah. >> That demonstration >> I appreciate it, man. >> How we do this. It's something we all definitely need to know and it's gonna serve us well in the future. We're gonna go ahead and sign off foe this episode for IT Pro TV. Ive been your host, Daniel Lowery. >> And I'm Wes Brian. >> And we'll see you next time. [MUSIC]

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