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Home Networking: The Missing Manual by Scott Lowe

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Manually Configuring Your Router

Okay, so what happens if your basic network setup turns out to be not-so-basic? No problem. The two most likely culprits are that you've got a static IP address or your Internet service provider makes you use a PPPoE connection. In either case, you've probably got to take matters into your own hands and manually configure your WiFi router. (If the term "manually configure" makes you nervous, relax. It really just means "typing stuff into boxes on screen and clicking OK.") If you've got a static IP address, read on; if you're a PPPoE person, skip ahead to "Information PPPoE People Need" on Section 3.5.1.4.

Information Static IP People Need

If you have a static IP address, you need to obtain the following bits of info from your ISP before you can move ahead: the IP address, subnet mask, default gateway, and DNS servers. You'll need all this arcane technical jargon to configure your router correctly. All these terms are described in the following sections.

The IP address

Every computer connected to the Internet, even temporarily, has its own exclusive IP address (IP stands for Internet Protocol). An IP address is always made up of four numbers separated by periods. Think of your IP address as the number of your house on your street—350, 1060, whatever. If you have a static IP address, make sure your Internet service provider has given you an address that works. If the static address falls within any of three restricted ranges—192.168.0.0 to 192.168.255.255, ...

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