THE  WIRELESS  NETWORK  MODEM / ROUTER


In this section I am going to show you how to install the TP-Link TD-W8968 wireless n300 modem/router, with TalkTalk broadband settings, using the router's own Quick Installation Wizard; as opposed to using its Installation CD that does not fit inside the MAC DVD Drive and has no Mac Installation Software anyway - It's a pure Windows installation cd. Although this set-up is specific to TalkTalk settings, this section as a whole will also be helpful to those who have a different broadband provider such as AOL, BT, Bulldog, Demon, Orange, Pipex, Tiscali and Tesco!!


At this point, because you will be using the router's own Installation Wizard to set-up your broadband connection, you need to make sure all the cables going into the router and computer are connected; so you can then access the router's Control Panel (via its IP Address) and therefore access its Installation Wizard (Installation Software).

CONNECT  THE  ROUTER  CABLES

Begin by plugging the Microfilter's TELEPHONE CABLE into your wall mounted TELEPHONE SOCKET and then plug one end of the Grey ADSL (Broadband) CABLE into the Microfilter's MODEM SOCKET. The Grey ADSL Cable is the same at both ends, so it does not matter which end you plug in. After that you need to plug your TELEPHONE CABLE (the actual telephone's cable) into the Microfilter's PHONE SOCKET. So to clarify. The microfilter has two sockets on it - MODEM and PHONE. The grey adsl cable goes into the MODEM socket and your normal telephone's cable, that you normally plug into the wall mounted telephone socket, is plugged into the microfilter's PHONE socket instead. This is because the wall mounted telephone socket is now occupied by the microfilter's telephone cable.

When you have made these connections get the other end of the Grey ADSL (Broadband) CABLE and plug it into the ADSL SOCKET located at the back of the modem/router. Now get one end of the Yellow ETHERNET CABLE (both ends are the same) and plug it into the LAN1 SOCKET located at the back of the modem/router. With the other end of the Yellow ETHERNET CABLE plug it into your Computer's/Laptop's ETHERNET SOCKET. So one end is plugged into the back of your modem/router (i.e. in the socket called LAN1 SOCKET) and the other end is plugged into your computer's/laptop's ETHERNET SOCKET. Finally, plug the black POWER CABLE into the back of the modem/router and its actual PLUG into a wall mounted plug socket and switch on the modem/router - Make sure the little black PUSH BUTTON at the back of the modem router is pushed in (switched on).

LOGIN  TO  THE  CONTROL  PANEL

Once you have connected all the cables and switched on the modem/router the next step is to login to its Control Panel. This is done by opening your favourite web browser (usually Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome), typing the router's default IP Address (192.168.1.1) into its Address Bar edit box and then pressing the ENTER keyboard key. As you do this a message requester (dialog box) will appear asking you to enter the router's default User Name and Password into its relevant edit boxes. The default User Name is admin and the default Password is admin, which can be changed later if you prefer. Once you have entered those default router details into the message requester click on the LOG IN button to continue.



Fig 1.0  Enter 192.168.1.1 into your web browser's Address Bar edit box - Enter admin into the Name and Password edit boxes - Click on LOG IN

If you want the apple mac Keychain feature to remember these default login details, or any changed login details you may do in the future, simply put a tick next to the REMEMBER THIS PASSWORD IN MY KEYCHAIN option before clicking on the LOG IN button. I only recommend this keychain option if you are the only person using the computer, and only because it saves you the time and hassle of having to remember and type in "yet another password". In "normal" circumstances though you would leave the keychain option unticked (don't remember).

THE  QUICK  SETUP  INSTALLATION  WIZARD

Once you are logged into the router's Control Panel the next step of the installation process is to run (launch/execute) the actual Installation Wizard, by clicking on the QUICK SETUP link located on the left side of the main control panel window.



Fig 1.1  Click on the QUICK SETUP link, located on the left side of the main control panel window, to launch the Installation Wizard.

The first step of the actual Installation Wizard is the standard "Welcome Message". Read it if you must! before clicking on its NEXT button to continue.



Fig 1.2  The standard "Welcome Message" - Read it if you must! and then click on its NEXT button to continue

The second step of the installation wizard is the real first step. It is asking you what mode you want to operate the TP-Link TD-W8968 modem/router in. If you want to use it as a modem and router, which is the default (normally selected/used) option whereby the modem is used to dial-up your broadband provider in order to give your computer an internet connection and the router is used to route the wireless signal (spread the wireless network/broadband) then keep the default ADSL MODEM ROUTER MODE selected.


If you want to use your 3G Dongle (i.e. O2, 3 or Vodaphone 3G Broadband Dongle) as the router instead, for whatever reason(s), simply select the 3G ROUTER MODE option. Otherwise you need to select the WIRELESS ROUTER MODE if you want to use this TP-Link TD-W8968 modem/router as an Access Point (router) only - This option is for those who already have an internet connection via another modem or modem/router for example and possibly want to expand their network only. Anyway, forget those technicals! In this example I am assuming you need to use this TP-Link TD-W8968 modem/router as a dial-up modem and wireless router as mentioned above. If so, make sure the default option is selected (ADSL MODEM ROUTER MODE) and then click on the NEXT button to continue.



Fig 1.3  Make sure the default option is selected (ADSL MODEM ROUTER MODE) and then click on the NEXT button to continue

The third step of the installation wizard is Very Important - This is because the installation wizard needs to know about your ISP's (Internet Service Provider's) Internet Connection details (i.e. your TalkTalk internet Connection details), which include your broadband User Name and Password, in order for the tp-link modem to dial-up your ISP's computer (server) and authorise/validate you as a valid user. Once authorised/validated, your ISP's computer (server) can then grant your computer, and more precisely the tp-link modem, a valid internet connection.

THE  INTERNET  CONNECTION  SETTINGS

For TalkTalk and many other ISP's the internet connection details are more or less the same, bar the difference in User Name and Password of course. It's those details that make your internet connection unique to your house, as well as the number of your landline/broadband line. Hence why a neighbour for example could not set-up your internet connection in their house. Anyway, back to the details!

COUNTRY - The first detail is the COUNTRY where the tp-link modem/router is being set-up. In the UK for this example. When I bought this equipment its default country setting was set to IRELAND, hence why I have since changed it to the UK by clicking on the COUNTRY drop-down menu in order to select the UK setting.

ISP - The ISP drop-down menu allows you to indirectly, and therefore automatically, pre-programme ISP (Internet Service Provider) settings. TalkTalk settings in this example. By clicking on the name of an ISP (such as TalkTalk) you are telling the installation wizard that you would like it to use (set-up) pre-programmed settings for that ISP, which in turn means you don't have to worry about setting up (programming) settings such as VPI and VCI yourself. This does all the work for you. Saying this; if your ISP is not listed you will need to click on the OTHER menu-item and therefore do a manual set-up of the VPI, VCI and CONNECTION TYPE settings.



Fig 1.4  Click on the ISP drop-down menu and select your ISP's name (menu-item), if it is listed. Otherwise, click on the OTHER menu-item.

As you can see from the screenshot below, clicking on the TalkTalk menu-item above has meant the VPI, VCI and CONNECTION TYPE settings have been set-up (pre-programmed) for me. If I had clicked on the OTHER menu-item (above) I would of had to manually set-up those specific settings; and if I didn't know them I would of had to search the internet for them or ask my ISP for them. Saying this, many ISPs do use VPI - 0, VCI - 38 and CONNECTION TYPE - PPPoA for their broadband settings. Anyway, when you have selected your Internet (Broadband) Service Provider from the ISP drop-down menu, or manually type in your broadband settings using the OTHER menu-item, click on the NEXT button to continue.



Fig 1.5  Select your Internet (Broadband) Service Provider from the ISP drop-down menu and then click on the OK button to continue

VPI - VCI - CONNECTION TYPE - If you do need to manually programme your ISP settings the VPI setting is normally set to 0, the VCI setting is normally set to 38 and the CONNECTION TYPE is normally set to PPPoA - If your CONNECTION TYPE is PPPoE you will more than likely have totally different settings to programme and therefore need to search the internet for them or contact your ISP for them; as stated above. Note well: VPI and VCI settings in combination are also known as MULTIPLEX settings and CONNECTION TYPE is also known as ENCAPSULATION.

The next step of the installation wizard asks you for your actual broadband User Name and Password. If you are with TalkTalk this should be your phone number followed by @talktalk.net (i.e. 02071234567@talktalk.net). So enter this into the USERNAME edit box and then type your broadband password into the PASSWORD edit box. You will also need to type your broadband password into the CONFIRM PASSWORD edit box just to confirm you have not made a mistake with the password (both passwords will be compared to make sure they both contain the same wording and therefore no mis-spellings between them). Click on the NEXT button to continue.



Fig 1.6  Enter your broadband User Name and Password (with confirmation of password) into the relevant edit boxes before clicking on the NEXT button

With the internet (broadband) connection settings out of the way the next step asks you if you want to enable the 3G feature of the tp-link modem/router - If you have a 3G Broadband Dongle you can plug that into the back of the tp-link modem/router and use it as a router, which is ideal for emergency scenarios for example. By default (normal behaviour) this feature is disabled (switched off / not enabled), and in this example I am going to leave it disabled and just click on the NEXT button. This feature can always be set-up and used at a later stage via the tp-link control panel.



Fig 1.7  Ignore the Enable 3G feature and just click on the NEXT button to continue

At this point you should have internet access (a live internet connection) via the plugged in, yellow or blue (or grey) Ethernet Cable; known as a Wired Internet Connection. And the POWER, ADSL, INTERNET and WIRELESS lights on the tp-link modem/router should all be green, as well as the LAN light where you have the Ethernet Cable plugged in. If the ADSL and/or INTERNET lights are not green (i.e. they are red or amber) that indicates a problem with your broadband (isp) settings, as just programmed above, or that your phone line has problems (i.e. your ISP has not connected you to broadband yet or your phone line has other issues - If you are a new customer you normally have a "Connection Date" before broadband is provided. Phone your ISP if necessary).

THE  WIRELESS  NETWORK  SETTINGS

Assuming all is well with the Internet Connection (try visiting the Google homepage in another Safari web browser window/tab for example) the next step is to set-up the Wireless Network (Wireless Internet Connection) settings. Most of them are already set-up (pre-programmed) for you, but you might want to change some of them slightly.

WIRELESS - You should ENABLE the wireless setting if you actually want to use a Wireless Internet Connection. If you don't, click on the DISABLE radio (dot/circle) button instead. ENABLE is the default setting.

WIRELESS NETWORK NAME - This is the name (ssid) of your actual Wireless Network (Wireless Internet Connection). It will appear in the Apple list of available wireless networks when you are trying to connect to a wireless network per se. The default wireless network name will be something like TP-LINK H562F, but I would change it to something more meaningful such as HOME, OFFICE or Yoingco in my case. This is the wireless network your friends, neighbours and office colleagues will connect to, with your permission (and wireless network password) of course.

REGION - This is the country where the tp-link modem/router is based and therefore being set-up (programmed); In this example the UK. Simply click on the REGION drop-down menu and select a country to make region changes.

CHANNEL - A wireless network, and more precisely its broadcasting (floating in the airwaves) wireless internet connection signal, can suffer from frequency interference problems normally associated with Baby Monitors, Cordless Phones, Microwaves, other Modem/Routers and Thick Walls. This is because the TP-Link TD-W8968 modem/router and the devices just mentioned will normally use the same 2.4 Ghz frequency. More to the point your wireless network (its wireless internet connection signal) will be using a frequency channel between 1 and 13 to broadcast on. Problems can arise when neighbouring wireless networks (wireless internet connection signals) broadcast on the same frequency channel as your tp-link modem/router and clash (overlap/interfere) with each other.


By default the installation wizard is set to AUTOmatically detect the best frequency channel for your tp-link modem/router and therefore for your wireless network, which is a great setting for most people. However, some people prefer to set-up (programme) the frequency CHANNEL setting themselves using a specific frequency channel, as they have since checked what frequency channels their neighbours are using; with an application called inSSIDer. For this example just keep this setting on AUTO - Only click on the CHANNEL drop-down menu and select a specific frequency channel if you have previously suffered from frequency interference with another modem/router for example.

MODE - This is basically the rate of data speed. Ignore the technicals and just leave this setting on 11 BGN MIXED.

SECURITY - Security (Data/Password Encryption method) should be set to WPA-PSK/WPA2-PSK where possible. If you ever see a WEP security setting in your router's control panel avoid it as it is an old, unsecured, Data/Password Encryption method.

When you have set-up the above settings (Fig 1.8 below) enter a password, inside the PASSWORD edit box, for your new wireless network. When you have done that click on the NEXT button to continue.



Fig 1.8  Enter your Wireless Network settings and then click on the NEXT button to continue

Apart from changing the SSID (Wireless Network Name) and entering a PASSWORD for your new wireless network the above default settings should be okay for most setups. After setting up your new wireless network, as above, you are then given a preview/confirmation of its settings. Simply look them over and then click on the SAVE button to continue. Note: In this example (below) the VPI and VCI settings have been given a new title of DSL PVC - Just ignore this detail and click on the SAVE button. If you need to change any details at any time you can always click on the BACK button instead.



Fig 1.9  Glance over the confirmation of wireless network settings and then click on the SAVE button to continue

After clicking on the SAVE button a series of configuration operations (saving of settings) will happen whereby you will, hopefully, receive a SUCCESS marker for each configuration operation. Simply wait until you see the word SUCCESS next to each configuration operation and then click on the FINISH button. This denotes that the whole installation process for the tp-link modem/router and its wireless network have been completed successfully - Completely set-up (programmed).



Fig 1.10  Click on the FINISH button when you see the word SUCCESS next to each configuration operation

Now all you need to do is test your new wireless network by connecting to it - Unplug the yellow (or blue or grey) ethernet cable, click on the WIRELESS NETWORK menu bar at the top of the desktop screen and then select your new wireless network's name (Fig 1.11 below). From there, enter your new wireless network's password into the message requester that appears (Fig 1.12), click on the JOIN button and you should, within a few seconds, then be connected to the internet wirelessly - You can test your wireless internet connection by visiting a website using the Safari web browser, by checking for Apple Updates or by downloading something.



Fig 1.11  Click on the WIRELESS NETWORK menu bar at the top of the desktop screen and then select your new wireless network's name




Fig 1.12  Enter your new wireless network's PASSWORD into the message requester and then click on its JOIN button to continue

You can give out your new wireless network password to visiting friends and/or work colleagues within your premises so that they can now use (connect to) your new wireless network. You can also plug your yellow ethernet cable back in and/or let your visiting friends and/or work colleagues plug their laptops into your spare ethernet sockets so that they have a wired internet connection as opposed to using your wireless network (wireless internet connection).

SAVE  YOUR  NEW  WIRELESS  NETWORK  SETTINGS


One of the things that many people never do once they have set-up their, new, modem/router is make a copy (backup) of their modem/router settings. When things go wrong with the wired and/or wireless internet (broadband) connection whereby the fault lies with the modem/router these people wonder why they never made a backup of their modem/router settings!! ALWAYS MAKE A COPY OF YOUR MODEM/ROUTER SETTINGS.

To backup your new wireless network settings begin by looking at the menus on the left side of the control panel. Find the menu called SYSTEM TOOLS and click on it to reveal its sub-menus. Now you are looking to click on the sub-menu called BACKUP & RESTORE, which will display the Backup & Restore page whereby clicking on the BACKUP button will then download (save) a file called conf.bin. This is the actual configuration (settings) file with all the modem/router settings inside it, including your new wireless network settings and login settings.



Fig 2.0  Back-Up your modem/router settings by clicking on SYSTEM TOOLS >> BACKUP & RESTORE >> BACKUP

If you ever need to restore the modem/router using these saved settings simply click on the CHOOSE button, locate the conf.bin configuration file within the file requester that will appear and then click on the RESTORE button.

CHANGE  YOUR  MODEM/ROUTER  ADMINISTRATOR  PASSWORD


Another thing that many people never do once they have set-up their, new, modem/router is change the default User Name and Password of the modem/router. As many control panels can be accessed wirelessly, without the need for an ethernet cable to be plugged in, using their default IP Address together with their default User Name and Password it pays to be a little more security conscious. Meaning, once someone gets inside your modem/router's control panel using its default User Name and Password they can break into your network and steal documents for example.

To change your modem/router's default control panel User Name and Password you first need to click on the SYSTEM TOOLS menu and then on the sub-menu called MANAGE CONTROL. Doing so will display a section of the page called ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT. In this section you can change the User Name and Password of the modem/router before clicking on the SAVE button. In the example below I am changing the default User Name from admin to Yoingco and the default Password from admin to I Wonder What!!



Fig 3.0  Change your control panel User Name and Password by clicking on SYSTEM TOOLS >> MANAGE CONTROL >> SAVE

There is no need to change any other details on the page containing the Account Management section; Just change the User Name and Password and then click on the SAVE button. Next time you login to the modem/router's control panel (via IP Address 192.168.1.1) you will need to enter the new User Name and Password, as changed above. The old admin / admin credentials will no longer be accepted - If you lock yourself out of the modem/router you will be forced to press the physical reset button located on the back of the modem/router, which in turn will also reset the modem/router back to using its default manufacturer settings.

CHANGE  YOUR  MODEM/ROUTER  TIME/DATE


One last thing that's worth checking up on is the modem/router's Time & Date settings. Making sure its time and date are correct is important for Log File, Firmware Update, DNS and Security reasons. An incorrect date or time can potentially be unsafe, for security reasons for example.

The TIME & DATE settings can be found and changed by clicking on the SYSTEM TOOLS menu and selecting the TIME SETTINGS sub-menu. After modifying the TIME ZONE, DATE and TIME settings, if need be, click on the SAVE button.



Fig 4.0  Change your modem/router's Time Zone, Date and Time settings by clicking on SYSTEM TOOLS >> TIME SETTINGS >> SAVE

As said at the beginning of this section. The router installation is done via the router's own control panel Installation Wizard as opposed to using traditional installation software found on an accompanying cd or dvd. Companies don't want to manufacturer installation discs (cds and dvds) anymore because they would rather you download their installation software or run (execute/launch) it internally, as in this example from the control panel. So get used to the above kind of installation process for other types of hardware too.