How to Hook Up a Wireless Router

by Joe Murray

Wireless routers open up a completely new world of remote connectivity for your laptop, netbook, smartphone, streaming media player and even your game console. The more sophisticated dual band wireless routers perform at upload and download speeds that approach many hardwired units. If you already have Internet service and a cable or DSL modem, adding a wireless router is simply a matter of plugging in both ends of a CAT-5 cable and plugging in the power cord to your nearest wall socket.

Look at the “Quick Start” card that came with your router. If you are familiar with the basic terminology and the principles involved with wireless routers outlined there, proceed with the set up. Generally, this begins with installing the software on the DVD or CD.

Turn off and unplug your modem and computer from the household current. If the CAT-5 cable that comes out of your modem goes directly to the network interface card CAT-5 socket on the back of your desktop computer, unplug the end going into your modem and plug this end into any of the numbered sockets on the back of your wireless router.

Connect the modem to the wireless router using the CAT-5 cable that came in the box. Plug the router end into the socket on the back of the unit marked “Internet” or “Modem” or something similar. Do not plug it into any of the numbered sockets or into any socket marked “Ethernet” or “Home Network.”

Reconnect the power to the modem using the power adapter that came with your router. Your wireless router is now ready to work.


  • If you are not acquainted with the workings of a wireless router, read the detailed instruction manual to learn how your router functions and tips on placement and operation. If you have a modem with a battery backup, make sure to disconnect the battery before hooking up your wireless router. Use the software that came with the router to guide you through the remainder of the set up. If you run into problems call the support line before making any further adjustments to the router settings.


  • Do not press the reset button on the back, side or bottom of your wireless router unless specifically told to do so by support staff.

About the Author

Joe Murray began writing professionally in 1980. As a technical writer, he authored white papers and articles for Hewlett Packard and Intel. Since retiring, Murray has written several home-exchange travel articles for and CHECtravel,com among other outlets. He holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Santa Clara University.

Photo Credits

  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images