How to Turn a DSL Modem Into a WAP

by David Weedmark

Any number of devices in the home today can benefit from a wireless access point, including laptop computers, cell phones, Smart TVs and game consoles like the XBox 360 or Playstation 3. If you have a DSL modem with built-in wireless, setting it up as a WAP is very easy to do. If your modem isn't wireless, you can still set it up for wireless connectivity just by connecting it to a wireless router.

Using an External Wireless Router

Consult the documentation that came with the wireless router as setup varies on some models. Some Linksys routers, for example, require you to connect to the router with a network cable. D-Link routers often let you configure the router wirelessly.

Plug in the wireless router's AC adapter. Connect a network cable to the "Internet" or "WAN" port on the wireless router to any ethernet port on the DSL modem.

Connect a network cable to the wireless router if needed. This is required for Linksys routers. Other brands, like D-Link routers, can be configured via Wi-Fi. To connect via Wi-Fi, click the "Network" icon in the bottom-right corner of the Windows desktop and select the router.

Launch a Web browser and type the Internet Protocol address for the router into the browser's address bar. For a Linksys router this is "" For a D-Link router this is "192.168.01."

Type the username and password required by the router to access the administrative panel. Most routers, including D-Link and Linksys use "Admin" for the username without a password.

Select "Setup" and then "Wireless Settings." The menu names will vary depending on the model of your router. Select "Wireless 802.11g" if you are given the option. Otherwise ensure the "Wireless" is enabled.

Disconnect the network cable from the computer. You can now access your new wireless access point from any wireless computer or wireless device.

Using a Wireless DSL Modem

Connect a network cable from your computer to the wireless modem. If your wireless DSL modem allows you to configure it wirelessly, you can use any computer with a wireless adapter.

Click the "Network" icon in the bottom-right corner of the Windows desktop and select the wireless DSL modem. This is usually identified by the manufacturer's name or the name of your Internet service provider.

Launch a new Web browser window and type the IP address of the modem in the address bar. The IP address is included in the modem's documentation, such as ""

Select "Advanced Setup" or "Setup" and then select "Wireless Settings." The names of these menus will vary depending on the model.

Select the "Wireless" option to turn it on.

Disconnect the network cable. You can now access the wireless network and the Internet from any computer or wireless-enabled device like a smartphone, TV or game console


  • To protect your Internet access and the data on your computers from being accessed by neighbors or passersby, enable the encryption security on the wireless DSL modem or router. Select "WPA2" to activate the highest-level encryption and then enter a password to protect the network. No one will be able to access your wireless network without this password.

About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

Photo Credits

  • Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images