General Question

Jude's avatar

Technotard here. You have a cable modem, a home computer, a router and a laptop; how do you set up WIFI?

Asked by Jude (32101points) March 14th, 2011

I have the software to do it. I am going to be sharing internet with my neighbor downstairs. He has a cable modem, the home comp, and I am going to give him my router, and will be using my laptop upstairs (wifi).

Do you have to notify the internet (cable) company that you’re going to be setting up wifi?

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15 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Only if the cable company is renting you the unit for a monthly fee.

They can’t see the difference on the internet, so have at it.

bolwerk's avatar

The only hard part might be configuring the wifi on the (I assume wireless) router properly. You’ll want to make sure you use some kind of encryption, preferably WPA2 I believe. Your laptop will need to have a wifi adapter built in, but most do these days.

You’ll have to mention what router it is if you want detailed assistance. But, by plugging a computer into a router with an ethernet wire and going to (linksys) or (often netgear) you can often directly access the administration interface. Common factory logins/passwords are admin/admin or admin/password. This perhaps should be changed. From here, configuration is hopefully fairly self-explanatory.

YoBob's avatar

Around here you do not have to notify the cable company. Not sure if the laws are different elsewhere. But the bottom line is you pay them for an internet connection. How you use that internet connection is up to you.

Your router doles out IP addresses for each system on your network and then routs them out the address you rent from your cable company (thus the name router). Most modern ones are uber simple to set up. Plug them into the cable modem and then plug your main PC into one of the Ethernet jacks and most will pretty much configure themselves from there.

You will probably have some software that will let you set up a password for your network. It’s probably a good idea to do this to keep out the riff raff.

As for your PC, you need to set up your network configuration to use DHCP, which means that router gives it an address as opposed to it being hard coded. If you have been using your wifi connection elsewhere it’s probably already set up to do this.

theninth's avatar

You don’t have to tell the cable company. You’re basically just setting up an in-house network (even though you’re not technically in the exact same house). My roommate and I share a connection.

Just make sure the router supports wireless.

iamthemob's avatar

What @theninth said is the most important. The router MUST be wireless. If that’s the case, then you’ll be walked through the network setup via the software.

One thing that you might have to do is also get a “booster” that will increase the strength of the signal so that you can pick it up in your apartment.

Jude's avatar

The router is wireless.

We do share the same house.

Jude's avatar

This is my router.

Is this okay?

iamthemob's avatar

@Jude – That’s the same line that I have. YES. It’s awesome.

Set it up, and see if the signal is powerful enough. I bet it is…

bolwerk's avatar

@Jude: I have a similar model. It had a pretty obnoxious CD configuration feature and installs some easily removable junk software (Network Magic it was called?), but you may want to just go with that. After configuration, it works pretty well.

You can try plugging it in with an ethernet cable and going to, as I suggested above, too. This will let you do a manual configuration.

WasCy's avatar

If the router is going to be in the same house, then I’d suggest leaving it in a common area (not a locked room, in other words) that you both have access to. Once in awhile things go wonky and you forget a password, for example, and need to reset the router. You do that with a paper clip to push a button on the router housing (to reset user-defined id and passwords back to default values of “admin” / “password”), but you need physical access to the router in order to do that.

When that happens you’ll also need a (temporary) wired connection to the router, same as when you first set it up.

blueiiznh's avatar

You don’t need to notify them. They only see packets and it doesn’t matter how many IP’s you support on your side of the router (wireless or hard wired). Some ISP’s are now capping your monthly traffic, so check if they are and how much they allow you. It may get close if you are downloading a lot or streaming video.
Make sure you put the location of the router somewhere that the coverage area gives good signal strength for the wireless to anyone using it.
As far as setup of the router there are many rules of thumb here. Certainly lock it down and use as high a level and commonality of encryption that all the various PC’s can support.
You can even go so far as to not broadcast your SSID if you are in a congested area and don’t want technogeeks trying to ride for free as well.
Feel free to ask me anything if you need assistance.

koanhead's avatar

IPv4 has three netblocks reserved for private networks. All these wireless routers must use an address in one of the ranges (unless it’s an IPv6-enabled router- and if these are cheaply available then I want one).
The ranges are: – Used in Linksys WRT( D-Link( and some Netgear – I’ve never seen this one used in home wireless routers – Used in some Netgear(

You don’t need to worry about the slashes after the network ranges unless you plan to have more than one network. If you do, I recommend that you look up what they mean before proceeding (look up CIDR or read this).

The correct IP address to which to point your browser should be listed somewhere on the outside of the router, or in the documentation that came with it. If you don’t have the docs you can google the make and model of the router to find out what IP address to use.
Once you log in to the router, the administration pages should have plenty of documentation available. It’s a pretty straightforward process, as long as you take your time with it and make sure you understand what you are doing and why. If you have any trouble, feel free to contact me.

blueiiznh's avatar

ummm not for nothing and with all respect, but @koanhead don’t you think that is a bit off the question and somewhat irrelevant for the OP question?

Jude's avatar

Kids, it’s all done. Yay!!

Piece of cake (although, my neighbor did it).

blueiiznh's avatar

@Jude NICE JOB!!!!!

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