Routers can support multiple settings to set up a local area network (LAN). Some of these router settings are very essential, and network administrators work with them on a regular basis. Some of the typical router settings include internet username & password, MTU, wireless protocols, channel number, SSID, security options, etc.
How to access router settings?
But before we delve into the details of router settings, let’s see how to access router settings window. For this, the primary requirement would be to know the IP address of your router. This is important to avoid future IP address conflicts.
We have created a separate webpage to find the public IP address of any router (Provided you are on the same network). After you have access to router settings, you can continue ahead in this article.
Basic router settings to connect to the internet
It is essential to ensure the correct broadband router settings for having fast internet access on your home network. The names of these settings, on the administrative console, can vary from router to router.
Internet Connection Type
Home routers are manufactured to support all types of broadband Internet service. You can pick from a list of Internet connection types according to the network you are connected to.
The connections in the list will depend on the underlying technology and not the name of your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Some of the standard choices for Internet connection include DHCP or dynamic IP, static IP, L2TP, PPPoE and PPTP.
Internet Username and Password:
To connect to the internet, your ISP might have provided you with a user account and password. Enter this combination of username and password on the router’s control to access the internet.
It is critical to keep this account information confidential to avoid the breach of security. In case you forget this piece of information then you may have to reset the router.
Maximum Transmission Unit
Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) refers to the maximum size of a packet that can be transmitted over your network. MTU is measured in bytes. Routers can set a default value for this unit to 1400, 1460, 1492 or 1500 bytes.
These values are set as an attempt to match what your internet connection needs. In case your ISP’s network requires a different number, enter that in this field.
It is essential to set a correct number for MTU as mismatched router settings can cause network timeouts when you are trying to visit Web sites. If you are unsure about this number, contact your ISP.
Basic wifi router settings for wireless networks
However, other basic parameters can be adjusted and tuned to your needs.
You can change the Wi-Fi mode to control for which wireless standard you want your router to support. For example, if your router uses 802.11g standard for communication, it can provide backward compatibility support for older wireless standards such as 802.11b.
However, you can turn off this backward compatibility and improve the performance of your network.
- Suggested read: What is infrastructure mode in a wireless network?
Routers come with some proprietary features to improve the performance of your network. You can turn on some exclusive features such as ‘speed boost’ and ‘extended range’ which are disabled by default.
In the U.S. and some other countries, Wi-Fi channel numbers can range between 1 and 11. By default, your router may use channels 1, 6, or 11. This number can be changed to work around interference of other home appliances with the wireless network.
SSID stands for Service Set Identifier which is the technical name for ‘network name’. Routers come manufactured with a generic name which is the name of the model of the device. Changing SSID to a unique name for security purpose is essential.
Router Security Settings
When you install a router, you will notice that some essential network security features are turned off by default. This is done to simplify installations. There are two parts to ensuring the security of your network.
Sometimes, the administrative username and password are set to default values, such as admin or left empty, to ease the router login process. When you log in to your router, make sure you change the default values to something unique.
This is because these default values are known to everyone and default values can make your network vulnerable to security risks.
Wireless security protocols & mode
When communicating over the internet, it is vital that the information that you are sharing is encrypted so that it cannot be stolen en-route. For this purpose, enable the right security feature on your router.
You can choose a security mode between WEP, WPA and WPA2. Among the three, WPA2 is the most recommended mode as it has the best encryption. Further, you need to choose a passphrase for the network.
All the devices on the network will connect using this passphrase, and it is essential to choose a strong passphrase that cannot be guessed easily.
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