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Access Point Configuration Example - Netgear WG602

Our first example Wireless Access Point is a Netgear WG602v3. The WG602 is easily configured in a few minutes and provides an excellent backbone for a wireless network.

Netgear WG602V3The WG602 comes with a default IP address of 192.168.0.227 and a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. The default username is admin and the default password is password. There is no encryption or security set and the SSID transmitted is NETGEAR to make the device identifiable as initial configuration is possible via wireless as well as by ethernet. Plug the access point into a power outlet. If you are configuring the device via wireless manually configure the IP address on your wireless card to 192.168.0.100 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 and join the NETGEAR wireless network. If you are connecting to the access point via ethernet connect it to your switch with a network cable and ensure the computer you will be using is also connected. The WG602 is able to sense if it is connected to a switch or directly to a computer so it may also be connected directly to the computer if necessary without a crossover cable. Not all devices are autosensing. Configure the IP address on your local area connection to 192.168.0.100 with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0. These actions are described in better detail in the tutorials section. We recommend that you initially configure things like access points using an ethernet connection as it avoids the possibility of locking yourself out of the router when you configure the wireless security settings.

WG602 Login - Click to EnlargeOnce you have connected the access point to your computer its time to login and configure it. Open up a web browser (such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or whatever you would normally look at web pages with) on your computer and in the address field type http://192.168.0.227 . If you have configured your network adapter successfully a box will appear on the screen prompting you to enter a username and password. Into this box enter the access points default username of admin and into the password field type in the default password, which is password. Both should be entered into the login box in lower case with no spaces.

WG602 Information Page - Click to EnlargeOnce you have logged into the access point you will be taken to an information page that summarises the current configuration of the WG602. On the left hand side of the page you will see a menu with several different categories. The main settings we will change are found under Setup, that is IP settings, Wireless Settings and Security Settings. We will also change the password for the router which is found under management. Click on the IP settings option under Setup.

WG602 IP Settings - Click to EnlargeIn IP settings we can set the IP address and subnet mask of the WG602 access point. The WG602 has the option of being a DHCP client, where it obtains its IP address automatically from a DHCP server. This can be convenient from a configuration standpoint however it means that your access point will not always have the same IP address, which can be annoying if you wish to change some aspect of its configuration. You have to be able to find it before you can configure it after all. I recommend using an IP address that is outside of the range of addresses that your DHCP server hands out to its clients. The network that our example will be used in is 192.168.1.XX and the fictitious DHCP server used on this network assigns addresses 192.168.1.100 - 192.168.1.150 so we will set the access point to 192.168.1.10 and disable the DHCP client feature. The subnet mask will remain as 255.255.255.0. You may also change the access points name if you wish. It is recommended that you leave spanning tree protocol enabled. Once you are satisfied with your your new settings click apply. You will get a message in your browser that says "Please wait, your AP will change to the new settings". Because we have changed the network that the access point runs on from 192.168.0.XX to 192.168.1.XX we will now have to reconfigure the IP address on our computer so that it can once again communicate with the access point. Change your computers IP address to something on the same network, say 192.168.1.100 and into your web browser's address bar type http://192.168.1.10 and log into it to continue configuring your access point.

WG602 Wireless Settings - Click to EnlargeOnce you have logged back into the WG602 click on Wireless Settings on the menu on the left to take you to the Wireless Settings page. The first option to configure here is the Service Set Identifier or SSID. The SSID is like a beacon that is broadcast so that you may easily locate your wireles network when doing a scan from a client computer or device. Change the SSID to whatever you prefer it to be, such as bobsnetwork or DIYWIRELESS. You may also turn the SSID broadcast off which is a great way to avoid casual break in attempts as the network will not be visible during a scan for wireless networks, however we shall leave this on simplify client configuration, turn it off after all your computers have been configured. Select a channnel (frequency) that your network will run on. I tend to select a channel either high or low in the range as most wireless equipment including cordless phones and doorbells tend to be set at the factory at channel 6 and avoiding this channel will reduce interference from these devices. Mode selects which standard to use. G is the faster and newer 54mbs standard and B is the older 11mbs standard. For compatibility it is best to select both. Finally, data rate can allow you to specify how fast the client computers can connect to the network. Select Best and the client and access point will negotiate the fastest possible speed that is reliable. Once you are satisfied with the settings click apply.

 

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