Saturday 22 December 2012

Tricks for deciphering your wi-fi router

Tricks for deciphering your wi-fi router

All of us are not nerds or geeks, atleast I am not, therefore I use a lot of googleing to know about correct uses of technological products.  And believe me, a whole lot of people don't know relevant settings for the relevant products.  Therefore the best practice is to go to three four websites and learn the best settings through trial and error method.  Sometimes you fail and sometimes you hit a jackpot.
Today I will try to decipher a little product that sits in almost all Broadband Internet users homes.  The wi-fi router.

First things first, if you thinking of buying a wi-fi router now, go for a 5GHz one.  It has a higher bandwidth plus it is less prone to interference from other Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth signals from your and your families mobiles, which makes it more suitable for streaming and gaming. If you want to know the speed of your network there are many websites which test the speed of a network.  The one I use is Speedtest.

But if you already have a wi-fi, you did be owning a older 2.4GHz band.  Next to check is the standard.  It is either 802.11b, g or n standard.  The latest in the series in 802.11n standard.  If you have a 802.11.b or g, its time to get a external USB wi-fi adapter.  

The most common wi-fi routers available in India are D-Link, Netgear, Belkin or Linksys.  MTNL gives a Beetel 450 TC wi-fi router and  BSNL gives a UTStarcom wi-fi router.  Beetel 450 TC doesn't have a good wireless range hence the better option is to spend a few extra bucks and upgrade to a MTNL compatible router available in the market.  To know about MTNL compatible wi-fi routers google it and you will find a suitable web page to guide you.

Next if you have a wi-fi router but don't know the settings, you can get free manuals for them from manualsonline. If your router already supports 802.11n, you might want to make sure your router's firmware is up to date. Instructions for checking the firmware will be in your router manual.  A Firmware is a operating system of a particular device, the latest the firmware is the more bugs the Firm producing it has fixed.  Most updates fix minor bugs, but sometimes a major update significantly boosts performance or offers features that didn't exist when the router was originally sold. 

Now I hope you have understood the Hardware part.  Lets go to the software part and tweak the software setting to optimum.  This is to be done through Internet Explorer or Chrome or your favourite browser.  Open your browser of choice, type in the router's IP address and hit Enter. Common IP addresses are for D-Link and Netgear routers, for Linksys routers, and for Belkin routers. If you want complete details of your routers IP address please visit here.  

Please refer to the manual for others which are not available on the website.    Next you will need a Password.  If you don't know what this is, check your manual for the default option. Most common passwords are admn or password. 

In the network options check if you are running on "802.11n only".  If you have older devices then kindly uncheck that but if you have latest Android, Nokia, Windows or iPhone there is no need to uncheck it.  After changing this setting if you are unable to connect kindly select the original option.  

Next if you have a dual band router you can split your home wireless network in two. Connect to the 2.4GHz band network for Web browsing and file downloads; reserve the 5GHz band network for gaming, video streaming and Internet voice/video calling.

If you are geeky kindly go into Quality of Service option (QOS) QoS allows you to assign priorities to certain types of traffic so they aren't interrupted. Some routers prompt you to simply enable various QoS features, and then they automatically assign a higher priority to audio and video streams over other kinds of data.  Some routers allow you to assign priorities for your specific apps like Sype or Youtube.    This feature is useful if you are a online gamer or watch HD movies by streaming.

As said above, no site will give you specific settings.  It will be based on trial and error, so just fiddle around with the setting till you get the perfect one for your self.  Change the default password to something more unique.  This will not allow others to mess with your network and save you from future trouble. 

Kindly post your comments if this blog was helpful to you.  For World's cheapest and tiniest USB wi-fi adapter, I have written separate article blog.

Vijay Prabhu

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