Wi-Fi is a big part of everybody’s daily life. However, it can cause frustration if not set up properly or optimally. Worse than that, it can get you into big trouble if it is not secure.
Understanding more about routers and setting up Wi-Fi on PCs, Macs, and mobile devices, can provide a better and safer experience when getting online wirelessly. The following articles explain about the hardware used for Wi-Fi, and how to set it up securely on different platforms including mobile devices, configure and optimize the hardware, install and use alternative firmware for the hardware, customize Wi-Fi settings, and stay secure when using Wi-Fi on a home or public network.
All About Routers and How to Configure and Optimize Them
Before discussing securing your Wi-Fi network and using Wi-Fi in different situations, you should learn about routers, switches, and network hardware. The following articles help you to understand routers and how to configure and optimize them.
- HTG Explains: Understanding Routers, Switches, and Network Hardware
- Change Your Wi-Fi Router Channel to Optimize Your Wireless Signal
- How to Configure Your Router for Network Wide URL Logging
Using DD-WRT on Your Router
Most of us have a wireless router on our home network. If your router seems short on features, the following articles shows you how to use an open source, alternative firmware for routers, called DD-WRT, to boost your router’s range and add features, such as setting up a VPN server. DD-WRT unlocks features that aren’t available on all routers, such as static routing, VPN, repeating functions, and more. Even if you don’t use all these features, DD-WRT can make your router work better.
- Turn Your Home Router Into a Super-Powered Router with DD-WRT
- How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Network Signal and Increase Range with DD-WRT
- How to Setup a VPN Server Using a DD-WRT Router
Using Tomato on Your Router
Tomato is another alternative firmware for routers. It adds many useful features not available in the basic firmware available on most routers, such as bandwidth monitoring. It’s easy to use, making it useful for novice, as well as experienced, users. The following articles show you how to install Tomato on your router, how to use it to monitor and log your bandwidth and to connect to your home network from anywhere, and other tips for getting the most out your router.
NOTE: Tomato only works with certain routers. The first article listed below also lists router model numbers on which Tomato has been tested and is known to work.
- Boost Networking Performance by Installing Tomato on Your Router
- How To Monitor and Log Your Bandwidth Usage with Tomato
- Connect to Your Home Network From Anywhere with OpenVPN and Tomato
- How To Extend Your Wireless Network with Tomato-Powered Routers
- 5 Tips For Getting The Most Out of Your Tomato Router
Working with Verizon FIOS Routers
If you’ve signed up for Verizon’s fiber optic internet service, FIOS, you may not realize that the router they install for you is not as secure as it could be. By default, they enable the WEP encryption, which can be cracked really easily, allowing anyone to use your internet connection for whatever nefarious purposes they want. The following articles show you how to make the Verizon FIOS router more secure and how to reset or change the password on the router.
- How to Make Your Verizon FIOS Router 1000% More Secure
- How to Reset or Change the Password for Your Verizon FIOS Router
Securing Your Home Wi-Fi Network
Securing your home network is vital. If you don’t protect your Wi-Fi network against unauthorized access you could end up in a lot of trouble. Anyone within range of your network could get into it and access your private files and use your internet connection to do illegal things in your name. The following article helps you understand Wi-Fi security and shows you how you can secure your home Wi-Fi network against intrusion.
Working with Wi-Fi in Windows
Now that you know about routers and securing your home network, let’s learn about how to customize Wi-Fi in Windows. The following articles show you how to change settings for Wi-Fi in Windows to make it more secure and to work more efficiently and also how to share the connection and even turn your Windows 7 laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Turn Your Windows 7 Laptop into a WiFi Hotspot with Connectify
- How to Change the Priority of Wired/Wireless Network Cards in Windows
- Change Wireless Network Priority to Make Windows 7 Choose the Right Network First
- Keep Your Windows Computer Secure on Public Wireless Hotspots
- How to Enable User-Specific Wireless Networks in Windows 7
- Share an Internet Connection Between Wireless Machines with an Ad Hoc Network in Windows 7
Using Wi-Fi When Travelling
With all the portable devices out there that allow you to access the internet, such as laptops, networks, tablets, and smartphones, finding free Wi-Fi is very useful. Even though the number of available free Wi-Fi hotspots increases, finding a connection is not as easy as you might think. The following articles provide tips, tricks, and apps that help you find free Wi-Fi access as well as set up SSH on your own router so you can securely access the web from anywhere.
- The How-To Geek Guide to Scoring Free Wi-Fi
- Setup SSH on Your Router for Secure Web Access from Anywhere
Using Wi-Fi in Mac OS X
If you’ve recently switched from Windows to Mac, you might be confused on how to do some tasks that seemed very simple in Windows, but confusing on the Mac. One of the things you might be trying to do is to find out the connection speed of the current Wi-Fi network. The following article shows you how to find this out in Mac OS X.
Using Wi-Fi with Mobile Devices
Most of us today are carrying around some sort of mobile device or multiple devices that provide us with portable connectivity to the web or to your desktop PC or laptop. The following articles show you ways to transfer files between your PC and Android phone without the use of a USB cable, how you can use your Android phone as a modem for your laptop so you don’t have to pay for an extra service, and how to wirelessly access network shares from your iPhone or other iOS device. You can even wirelessly stream video to your iOS device from Windows or Mac OS X.
- How to Transfer Files Between Your PC and Android Phone Wirelessly
- How to Use Your Android Phone as a Modem; No Rooting Required
- How To Wirelessly Access Network Shares from Your iOS Device
- Stream Video to Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch from Windows or OS X
Now that you’re enlightened about Wi-Fi hardware and firmware and how to stay secure when connecting wirelessly, you can feel better and safer when using Wi-Fi at home and on the go.
Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.
- Published 01/28/12