While software drivers for networking are fairly easy to find and download from the Internet, purchasing software directly from a computer retailer is recommended as a way to keep your network free of faulty software. A higher incidence of spyware and viruses makes downloading free software inadvisable, especially for something as sensitive as a computer network.
Purchasing software from one of the major companies, such as McAfee or Symantec, will also provide you with another vital component of wireless home networking: a firewall. Because wireless networks are difficult to secure, the best option is to buy software that not only allows you to network, but is built specifically to keep out uninvited users. Firewalls are designed to protect your valuable information behind a tightly secured ‘wall’ which can’t be accessed unless a very specific encrypted code is used.
Now that you have all the components, you’ll want to set up the router first. Install the software driver onto each computer that will use the network. Set up a passkey that is fairly hard to break. Avoid simple or obvious terms that an outside user could easily guess. Set up each computer with this information.
The company that is providing your wireless connection will usually assign you a name and a passkey. However, in some configurations, you will be able to reprogram this information.
No matter how expertly a system is set up, on occasion a technical problem manifests, resulting in a lack of connectivity for computers. There are a few ways to quickly check what’s working and what’s not.
Usually, problems are caused by one of two things: the software on the computer itself is malfunctioning, and not allowing the computer to connect. You can test this by seeing if any other computers can connect to the network. If they can, the problem is local to that computer. A simple reboot of the software should solve this problem. However, if the software continues to be unable to connect to the internet, you will need to uninstall the software, and then reinstall it. Sometimes, a version can become corrupted. By wiping it clean and starting anew, the problem should resolve itself.
The second most common problem is that the router needs a quick reboot. If you purchase a quality router, you will not have this problem very often, although every now and again even the best routers need a quick reboot. Turn the router off for at least thirty seconds. Switch it back on, and check your connectivity in about ten minutes. This gives the system plenty of time to reset itself.
If this doesn’t work, the wireless provider may temporarily be out. Call your wireless provider to determine if they are experiencing an outage, and when you can expect the resumption of service. If all of these methods don’t resolve your problem, there is a basic flaw in your initial setup.