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5 settings to change on your new router



If you've recently moved to a new home or apartment, one of the first items on your long list is probably: Call your cable company (or your local ISP) to operate the Internet.

Here are some tips on setting up your new Wi-Fi router to help you surf safely and quickly in no time. I am an Xfinity (Comcast) participant. The general points here should translate no matter who you use as an internet service provider, but some details may vary slightly.

Change the network name and password

To change the user name and password, you must log in to your website or mobile app of the provider. Log in to your account and search for an area for network or Wi-Fi settings. On the Xfinity website, I clicked on Edit Wi-Fi to change the name of my Wi-Fi network and set a new password. Choose a password ̵

1; or better yet a passphrase – that you will remember, but is not that easy to guess.

  xfinity-wifi-settings

Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Select a security mode

If you've set a strong password for your router, you've taken the first step to securing the network instead of leaving it open for everyone. With a password set on a modern router, you are most likely using WPA or WPA2 encryption.

WPA or Wi-Fi Protected Access is a 256-bit encryption protocol that is more secure than the older, weaker WEP standard uses 64-bit or 128-bit encryption. WPA2 improves WPA by using a stronger encryption algorithm. It uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithm, which is more secure than WPA and its Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) algorithm.

Many routers offer a mixed mode of WPA and WPA2, so older devices that precede WPA2 can connect to your network, but WPA2 has been around for more than 10 years. So I bet most, if not all, of your network devices are compatible with WPA2. When choosing the security mode for your router, I would use WPA2 – often listed as WPA2-PSK (AES) – and switch to mixed mode only if you have an old device that does not connect to your WPA2-protected network [19659003] Check network mode and bands

If your router is new, it is probably an 802.11ac model that broadcasts in two frequencies: 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz. These are the frequencies at which your wireless network sends radio waves to transmit information. Both frequency bands should be enabled by default, but check the advanced settings of your provider's website or app to check the status of both to make sure they're active.

The 2.4GHz band is overcrowded as it is the frequency of many common electronic devices in your household, from cordless phones and baby monitors to garage door openers and microwaves. You may experience network interference at 2.4 GHz, but older devices may connect to your network. The 5 GHz band is less congested and faster, but has a shorter range than the 2.4 GHz band.

If both modes are working, the router will choose the best mode for each of your network devices

Enable Parental Controls

Look for a Parental Controls section or access restrictions to set some limits on your children's devices. With Xfinity, click the People tab to set up profiles for your children. You can assign devices for each profile, and then pause one or all devices in a profile to give them a break from Instagram, Snapchat, SMS, and anything else on the Internet.

You can also enable parental controls on a profile to "reduce the risk of accessing offensive sites and apps and enable Google, Bing, and YouTube protection settings." You can also set active hours for your children's devices. Xfinity calls it Bedtime Mode, which allows you to set the hours when the Internet is available and unavailable. There are several options for weekdays and weekends.

  xfinity-parental-controls "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/w87du8Wg-RbXNl5Fj_OxUW1KvWM=/620x0/2018/09/17/666509c5- ecb0-4094-b109-4b9d921db51e / xfinity -parental-controls.jpg

Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

Setting Up a Guest Network

Creating a guest Wi-Fi network does not allow visitors to gain access to shared computers and files on your network, and they need to tell you the complicated or embarrassing Wi-Fi password. Search for "Guest Network" or "Home Hotspot" in your account settings.

  xfinity-guest-network "data-original =" https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/WiC60BY66SJClORA-y5YxKeFFQg=/620x0/2018/09/17/f396dd5b-f5cf-4d6d-ae5d-e5fa9d586f5a/xfinity -guest-network.jpg

Screenshot by Matt Elliott / CNET

With Xfinity, I could not find this setting with the other Wi-Fi settings, but had to move to my general account settings instead. From the main account page, it was listed under Settings. When it was activated, Xfinity started to send a separate network called "xfinitywifi" that guests can use without having to search for a password.

Originally published on June 13, 2018.
Updated on September 19, 2018: New information added.


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