Installing Ethernet Routers Hubs and Switches

Installing an Ethernet router, hub, or switch requires you to remove the device from the packaging and plug it into a power source using the power cable provided by the manufacturer. After you plug in the device, you should see it begin to flash green- and amber-colored lights. The network device will accept connections and begin transmitting data when the initialization process completes. You can tell that the initialization process has completed when most of the lights on the unit settle down and quit flashing.

After the initialization process completes, you need to connect the network cables to the Ethernet router to provide connectivity to the computers and devices that you want to network together. To establish an Internet connection, connect a network cable between your cable/DSL modem and the Ethernet router's Internet port. Cable modems should automatically assign an IP address to your router for external connectivity to the Internet. DSL modems usually require a client username and password. You should have received this information when you signed up for Internet connectivity, or you can contact support and receive this information from your ISP.

When you have added the first connection to the Ethernet router, you must then connect the cables to the network cards on your computers and devices. When you have completed this task, you should see a green LED light up on each network card and possibly see the amber activity light. If you see both of these signs, you have successfully completed the physical connectivity portion of the networking process. If you do not see both of these lights, it does not mean you have failed, as there may be no data transmission on the line while you are connecting the cables.

If you want to connect more computers or devices than the ports on the Ethernet router allow, you'll need a hub or switch. With a hub or switch, you connect a network cable between the hub/switch and the Ethernet router. Then, instead of connecting the cables for computers or devices directly to the Ethernet router, you connect the cables to the hub or switch.

To finalize the router setup, you need to configure the network services available on your router. Using the DHCP, you can assign IP addresses to the computers and devices connected to your router.

With the help of your router's user manual, log on to the router and select the screen to configure DHCP. Usually, this requires opening your web browser and typing the address of the router's configuration page, which is either http://192.168.0.1 or http:// 192.168.1.1. Then when prompted, enter the default username and password for the router. Typically, the username is admin and the password is either blank or one of the following words: admin or password. If these don't work, refer to the documentation for the router.

You need to assign a network IP range for use on your network. If you have only a small group of users, use the 192.168.0.1 range for use on your network, or a similar network ID. Most routers have the functionality turned on automatically. You may also need to input the DNS addresses of your ISP or the MAC address of a network card.

To complete connectivity to the network, you must configure the network cards on your computers and devices. See the section "Configuring IPv4, IPv6, and Other Protocols" on page 567 for details.

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