My brother bought a Netgear WGT624 wireless router and sent it with a friend of mine to India. It is a 108Mbps Atheros chipset modem and is pretty good even for heavy Internet usage. It is actually around 3 years since Netgear introduced this product, but it has some features that make it a decent buy even today. For a full set of features, visit the Netgear’s site.
I wanted to use this device as an access point so that I can browse from anywhere in the house. Also, with none of the neighbours using any wireless networks I needn’t be worried about security at least at this moment. So, I set about configuring this device last weekend and it was not so easy. Especially, if you want to use this as a access point, it is a pain. Hence the post to make the life of others who want to configure it as an access point slightly easier. It is a breeze to configure the device to act as a router and by following the first few steps in the setup wizard the router gets configured for browsing pretty easily. The problems started when I had to activate the wireless network. The problem is that none of the manuals mention about the configuration on the laptop/PC side for the wireless network. I don’t know too much about the performance of the router as it is only for a couple of days that I have been using it.
To configure the router in a wired setup:
Refer to the steps listed in the manual (or the setup wizard) till it asks for you to login to
. If your setup has been successful till now, then you should be able to browse the Internet in the wired setup. By wired setup, I am referring to having an Ethernet cable connecting the PC/Laptop to the router and the router is connected to the modem.
The connections should look similar to what is available in the diagram above. The wireless routers have a few ports for the wired connections. The wireless connection is blanked out as it will not be working at the end of this section of the setup.
The setup is slightly tricky if you have static IP address and DNS. More on how to configure for Static IP later.
To configure the wireless setup:
The connections don’t change here except for configuring the wireless interface on both the laptop and the router. (The first 4 steps basically reinforce the wired connection and can be skipped. I am adding it just to ensure that people know what all are being done while configuring a network connection.)
1. Login to
. This is pretty simple, unless someone had changed the password earlier. The login is admin and password is password.
2. Once you have done that the screen will display an option for activating a reminder for firmware upgrades. Preferably choose ‘Yes’. I feel this is one of the smart things done by Netgear.
3. The next screen will prompt you for the Basic settings.
It asks for all these
- Login and Password to connect to the ISP. (Most probably for DSL and Cable connections, you can leave these blank. If your ISP does require you to Login, then choose Yes for the first question and you will be taken to another page to fill those details)
- IP Addresses
- DNS Server Addresses
- MAC Addresses
Fill all these details and the basic configuration is done.
4. Once you are done with the basic configuration, use the TEST button to figure out if things have gone fine so far. The TEST option opens the Netgear site and displays a Success message.
5. To start configuring the wireless interface click on the wireless settings on the left side pane. Another screen similar to the Basic settings screen appears. This screen asks for
- Network Name (You can type in any name you want)
- Region (By default it is USA, but since Wi-fi is a unregulated frequency, you can use it anywhere inspite of the region)
- Channel (You can choose any of the channels. If there is any interference, then change channels and reconfigure the router.)
- Mode (This router is capable of 802.11b and g. So, choose the option which has both.)
- Security options (Choose WEP as WPA might not be supported)
- Choose the key mode as Shared. (I wasn’t able to get the router working with Automatic or Open chosen. I might have overlooked some configuration. So, I will focus on using the Shared option alone.)
- Generate the Security keys (This isn’t displayed in the above diagrams) Note down the four keys that are displayed. Also, choose the key you want to use.
With this the configuration on the router end is complete. Push the “APPLY” button and you are done with the wireless configuration at the router end.
6. Configuring your PC:
The configuration on the PC should match exactly with the router configuration.
The manuals says that once you switch on the wireless radio on the PC, it should be able to detect and connect to the network. I found this to be slightly misleading as it required some configuration on the PC side also.
- Go the network/wireless connections and on the left side you will find the option to configure wireless networks.
- Start the wizard and the initial couple of pages will ask for the network name etc. Fill the same network name as what you typed in the router.
- Once you get to the stage where it asks for the security protocol, choose WEP (or the same as what you chose for the router)
- If you had chose WEP, then the next screen will prompt for the security keys. Type in the same key that you wanted to use if there is only one option for the key. If it asks for four keys, then type in all four keys and choose the same key as what you chose in the router for usage.
- Once this is done, the laptop/PC should be able to detect the network.
- If it doesn’t happen immediately, then try rebooting the router. I don’t know of any other way to solve problems unless I am able to get my hands on a specific issue.
The power, Wireless and the Internet button should be glowing on the router all the time and if there is a wired connection the LED corresponding to the Ethernet port should be glowing during the operation of the router.
Now your Laptop/PC should be able to connect to the wireless router thru’ the 802.11x connection. The speeds are pretty impressive. Go ahead and have fun. There are some advanced features like logging, filtering etc. More on that later, if I find time.
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