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FVI Tech Corner
Wireless Routers


As households get more computers, laptops, and smartphones, there is a need to connect them all to the Internet. A wireless router is what you need to connect your smartphones, tablets, desktops, and more.

Do I need a wireless router?
Not everyone needs a router. FVI service will work without a router, but it will only provide Internet service to the one device connected to the ethernet cable. In general, you will need a router if:

You would like to use any device's WiFi features (laptops, tablets, smartphones, etc.)
You would like to share your Internet connection between several devices and computers.


Which wireless router should I get?
To start, look for a wireless G (802.11g) or, if your devices support it, one of the newer wireless N (802.11n) routers. Avoid routers marked DSL/ADSL or combination modem-routers as these are incompatible with our service. Wireless N and wireless G routers are backwards compatible and may instead be advertised as .a/b/g/n. routers. An .a/b/g/n. router is a wireless N router that is compatible with other WiFi standards. Many routers will boast a variety of features, but in the end, they should all work with our service. If you have any doubts, we sell the Linksys E1200 wireless N router that can be purchased in our office.

I bought the router, what now?
READ THE MANUAL FIRST! If you are not technically minded, call a friend who can come help you. Now it's time to connect and configure the router. Router designs and functions will vary, but your router will likely have one power input, one Internet port (may be labeled as WAN or Modem), and 4 local ethernet ports (may be labled LAN). Following your router setup instructions, you will have your FVI connection plugged into the Internet (WAN) port. Any nearby wired computers will plug into one of the local ports. WiFi devices will be ready to connect after you finish configuring the router. Your router may say to connect the Internet port to a modem; in this case, you will be connecting your router's Internet port to the power adapter of the FVI antenna.

If you have a computer connected to a LAN port of the router, you may be able to connect out to the Internet at this point, as your router will ask your FVI subscriber unit for most connection information moments after it turns on. You are not done, however, as you still need to configure the WiFi part of your router. Your router may have an included setup CD to walk you through this process, otherwise you will need to enter the information supplied by your router manual on a nearby connected computer. The most important things to configure on your new router are the WiFi network name (SSID) and WiFi password. Depending on your router features, you will also set up those features at this time.

If you are having difficulty enabling a certain feature on your router or need further assistance setting up your router and the included CD or manual is not helping, you may find additional help online at your device's manufacturer web site, usually printed on the box and the first/last page of the manual.

Security
When configuring your router, you should always set a password on your WiFi network. Failing to do so puts any sensitive information you send over WiFi at risk. Additionally, a wireless intruder may steal your service for their own uses or commit crimes, which you could be blamed for.

Your router will support multiple security/encryption options: None, WEP, WPA and WPA2. Use WPA or WPA2, unless you have a very good reason not to. WEP does not provide good security, but it is still featured in newer routers for compatibility with older WiFi devices and is considered "better than nothing".

Tip: When you set your password, be sure to write it down and store it in a secure location in your home. It will save you from the inconvenience of having to reconfigure your router if you forget the password.
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