If you’re planning to set up a wireless hotspot for your home or business there a few things to consider that can help you make the most of your efforts. Factors such as cost, signal range and equipment will determine how to proceed. Here are 10 tips for setting up a wireless hotspot that you’ll need to know:
- Make sure you select a router that works with all three of the current standards – 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g, and consider models that include the 802.11n for best performance capability. Bear in mind that with 802.11n, your coverage area will be wider, which may or may not be desirable if you want to limit accessibility.
- Check out DD-WRT.com for open-source Linux-based firmware that offers a boatload of features and makes setting up your hotspot a much simpler task.
- Determine the coverage area of your planned hotspot. How accessible do you want it to be? Is it going to be a service you’re providing to customers on the premise? This will help decide the location of your router, and whether you choose to limit access, which we’ll discuss a bit later.
- Choose an ISP whose policies regarding sharing connections are compatible with your own.
- If your coverage area is relatively small, avoid using an external antenna and stick with the internal antenna of your router.
- Your router should have a feature that allows you to set up your network using what is known as a Guest Zone. This limits access to your network only, and restricts access to your own private network.
- If your area coverage does require an external antenna, make sure its placement doesn’t interfere with other nearby hotspots.
- When setting up your network, choose WPA-2 encryption, as WEP is not as secure and can be hacked more easily.
- If you’re following manufacturer instructions for router installation (and you should be), remember to change the Admin password and default SSID. These can be easily compromised, and you’ll want to change them to something only you will know – and remember.
- Make sure the built-in firewall is enabled. It should be enabled on installation, but can be disabled as well.
Most of your work will be a step-by-step process of following the instructions that accompany your router, and on their website. It can be tedious and appear daunting, but with these few extra tips and some patience, you’ll have a hotspot up and running in short order.