Adding a wireless router to an existing local area network adds a Wi-Fi access point to the network so you can share a single Internet connection. The wireless router and other network devices, such as switches and hubs, handle most of the configuration process automatically. However, the process varies if you're connecting the router to a network with an existing shared Internet connection or running the Internet connection through the new wireless router. The ports you use to connect the router to the rest of the network change depending on how the network connects to the Internet.
Extending the Network With Wi-Fi
Plug the wireless router's A/C adapter into a power outlet and connect the ends of an Ethernet cable to the computer's LAN port and one of the router's LAN ports.
Follow the wireless router's
Follow the wireless router's model-specific setup instructions included with the device to enable Wi-Fi. The computer used to set up the router can be disconnected from the main network during the process.
Disconnect the router's
Disconnect the router's Ethernet cable from the computer and reconnect the computer to the network.
Move it to a position where it's close enough to reach the existing LAN's network switch or hub with the Ethernet cable
Power down the wireless router if necessary and move it to a position where it's close enough to reach the existing LAN's network switch or hub with the Ethernet cable. Reconnect the router's A/C adapter if necessary.
Connect one end of the Ethernet cable
Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to any LAN port on the current network switch or hub.
Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable
Connect the other end of the Ethernet cable to the wireless router's uplink port if the device has one. If the wireless router doesn't have an uplink port, connect the cable to the WAN port.
Adding the LAN to the Wi-Fi Router's Network
Place the router
Place the router so the Ethernet cable can reach from it to both the modem and the existing LAN switch or hub device.
Connect one end
Connect one end of an Ethernet cable to the modem's LAN port and the other end to the wireless router's WAN port.
Connect one end of a second Ethernet cable
Connect one end of a second Ethernet cable to the Uplink port on the network switch or hub and the other end of the cable to any of of the LAN ports on the router. If the hub or switch has an "Uplink/LAN" toggle button for the Uplink port, push the button to the "Uplink" position.
Follow the wireless router's model-specific setup instructions
Follow the wireless router's model-specific setup instructions included with the device to enable Wi-Fi.
The wireless router configuration process varies among models. The router will either include setup software or have you connect to the network gateway IP address through a Web browser to configure the device.
WAN and uplink ports are outgoing ports from the device, whereas the LAN ports are for computers.
The method described in Section 2 is the easier of the two to configure. Any devices that connect to the Wi-Fi network through the wireless router in either method share the same bandwidth when connected to the rest of the network. With the Section 2 method, all devices connected to the Wi-Fi router have their own dedicated network bandwidth when connecting to the Internet.
Advanced network security may block communication between devices, and the network may require reconfiguration to allow the router to connect.
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images