How to connect a wireless access point to your router

Having access to the internet in our homes has become so commonplace to most people, that any break in service with downtime or trouble connecting feels like a huge inconvenience. Many of us have come to rely on near-constant internet access so if you want your home network to be accessible using wi-fi, or if you want to improve the quality and reliability of the signal, then adding a wireless access point can help you to achieve this.

Set up your wireless access point to work with your router

The first step is to ensure that your access point and your router can ‘talk’ to each other by checking the IP address of the router that you have connecting your Local Area Network to the internet. If you are running Windows, then you can find your IP address by accessing the command prompt using Start > Run > CMD.

Once you have the window open, type: ipconfig and you will see lines of text including one entitled ‘IP Address’, which will show your computer’s IP as well as one called ‘default gateway’ which will have the IP address of your existing router that is providing your current internet connection. This will usually be somewhere in the range of 192.168.x.x.

Find the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) range

The dynamic host configuration protocol is a system which automatically assigns IP addresses to the devices in your network. Using DHCP means that you do noTt have to ‘give’ each device an IP address yourself – they will be assigned to anything that you try to connect to the internet. The IP addresses are usually allocated on a ‘lease’ basis, meaning that the address expires after a set amount of time. Devices that are continually connected to the network will simply be allocated another IP address, whereas the IP addresses of those which are not will available to another device in order to ensure that your network is maximised to accommodate as many devices as possible.

You will need to know the range of IP addresses that your DHCP uses in order to ensure that your access point is using an IP address that is outside that range. You can usually log in to your device’s administrative interface by typing its IP address into your web browser, and your DHCP range will look something like this: to

Connect and configure your wireless access point

You will need to connect a computer to the wireless access point via a LAN port, using a network cable, and then you will need to reboot the computer to enable it to get an IP address from the access point. Then, you can log in to the admin page of the access point and you’ll need to allocate it an unused IP address from the same range as the other devices on your LAN. If your wireless access point has a DHCP server, then you will need to disable it to ensure that only one device is allocating IP addresses on your network. This should be a simple radio button in the admin screen.

Connect to the LAN and test

Once your access point is configured, you can connect it to the LAN using a LAN port and a network cable to connect it to your existing router. Connect a computer to another LAN port and reboot it to check whether the access point is now connected to the network. You can do this by accessing the admin panel and once you have done so it is important to set up your security, using WAP2 if supported. Make sure your key is strong but memorable as you will need to use it to connect devices to your network. You should now be able to use a wireless device on your network, so once you have tested that it connects automatically your set-up is complete.

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