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How To Setup A Wired Network

Connect a single computer to the Internet

To connect your computer to your Internet connection using a wired network

1.

Contact an Internet service provider (ISP) and have them configure an Internet connection to your home. If possible, have your ISP place the modem in the room with your computer.

2.

Determine if your computer has a network adapter, and add one if necessary.

3.

Shut down your computer by clicking Start, and then clicking Turn Off Computer. Then click Turn Off.

Turn off computer screen

4.

Connect the network cable supplied by your ISP to your network adapter.

Network cable connecting to network adapter

5.

Connect the other end of the network cable to your modem.

Network cable connecting to modem

6.

Start your computer and log on to Microsoft Windows. Windows automatically detects that you are connected to the Internet.

 
Connect multiple computers to the Internet

To connect more than one computer to the Internet, you need a router. A router (which might also have wireless networking built in) allows you to connect several computers to each other and to the Internet. The router sits between your computers and the modem provided by your ISP. You connect the router to the modem, and then connect all your computers to the router.

Diagram showing how a desktop computer and a laptop access the Internet through a wired connection

To connect a router and multiple computers to the Internet

1.

Contact an Internet service provider (ISP) and have them configure an Internet connection to your home. If possible, have the ISP place the modem in the room with your primary computer.

2.

Connect your router to your modem in one of the two following ways:

If you currently have a computer connected directly to your modem: Unplug the network cable from the back of your computer, and plug it into the port labeled Internet, WAN, or WLAN on the back of your router.

If you don't currently have your computer connected to the Internet: Plug one end of a network cable (included with your router) into your modem, and the other end of the network cable into the Internet, WAN, or WLAN port on your router.

Inserting network cable into modemInserting network cable into router

3.

Plug in your router. After a minute or two, the Internet, WAN, or WLAN light on your router should light up, indicating that it has successfully connected to your modem.

Status indicator lights on router

4.

Determine whether your computer has a network adapter, and add one if necessary.

5.

Shut down your computer by clicking Start and then clicking Turn Off Computer. Then click Turn Off.

Turn off computer screen

6.

Connect the network cable to your computer's network adapter.

Network cable connecting to network adapter

7.

Connect the other end of the network cable to your network equipment.

Network cable connecting to router

8.

Start your computer and log on to Windows. Windows automatically detects that you are connected to the Internet.

9.

Repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 for each one of your computers.

Now that you have your computers networked, you can do much more than access the Internet. Computers can share files and printers, and you can play network games on them.

To connect a computer in a different room in your house

1.

Determine whether your computer has a network adapter, and add one if necessary.

2.

Shut down your computer by clicking Start and then clicking Turn Off Computer. Then click Turn Off.

Turn off computer screen

3.

In the room with your computer, plug one wall-plugged network extender kit into a wall power outlet (not a power strip or extension cord).

Network extender kit plugging into wall power outlet

4.

Connect a network cable to the wall-plugged network extender kit.

Network cable connecting to wall-plugged network extender kit

5.

Connect the other end of the network cable to your computer.

Network cable connecting to computer

6.

In the room with your modem, router, or switch, plug one wall-plugged network extender kit into a wall power outlet (not a power strip or extension cord).

Network extender kit plugging into wall power outlet

7.

Connect a network cable to the wall-plugged network extender kit.

Network cable plugging into wall-plugged network extender kit

8.

Connect the network cable to your modem, router, or switch.

Network cable plugging into router

9.

Start your computer and log on to Windows. Windows automatically detects that you are connected to the Internet.

Your wired connection to the Internet is now ready, and you can browse the Web reliably and securely.