The modem and router are the two key pieces of equipment that you need to connect your computer to the internet. Understanding how these devices work and interact with your internet-capable devices can save you time, money and frustration.
There are different kinds of modems and routers, each with their own functions and capabilities. It’s important to understand the difference between them so you can choose the right device for your needs.
A modem is required to connect your computer to the Internet, but a router is needed to set up and maintain a Wi-Fi network at home. Using these tools correctly can make your home’s internet experience more productive and secure.
If you have a wired connection, such as DSL or cable, you can simply plug a computer into your modem. However, this is not recommended because it bypasses many of the features built into your router that protect your data and keep hackers out.
You can also set up a wireless connection with your modem and router, but this requires more knowledge of how these devices work. In addition, it can be more difficult to access your wireless settings if you don’t have the proper setup instructions.
First, check the status lights on your modem and router. The light should be solid green if the connection is successful and flashing green or orange if there are problems.
Next, connect an Ethernet cable from one of the port on your modem to a LAN (local area network) port on the router. The LAN ports are usually labeled “Internet” or “WAN”. You can also use a USB cable if you have an older modem that doesn’t support Ethernet.
The Ethernet light will be green when you have successfully connected your computer to the modem and router. If it’s orange or flashing, you might have a bad cable or a router that doesn’t have enough power.
Once you’ve plugged the Ethernet cable in to your router and the other end into your modem, you should see the router’s light turn on and off. The router should also show a blue LED that indicates that it’s connected to the Internet.
If you don’t see these lights, you may need to call your ISP and ask for help. It may take a while for your internet service to be activated.
Your ISP might also require you to provide them with a MAC address for the modem, which is a unique 12 character string that helps your ISP identify your modem and configure it properly. You can find your MAC address in the user manual for your modem or on the back of your modem.
You can also use a mobile app that enables you to change your MAC address and other settings on the go. Some routers come with a web-based interface that lets you configure the device and manage its settings from anywhere.
If you need more help setting up your router, check out the instructions on the product’s manufacturer website. You can also consult a router-users’ guide.