Getting your church on broadband is really not that hard, however there are a few tips and tricks that will make your life easier when you decide to expand your network later.
The first thing to do is to get an ISP that offers good broadband. Read up on “Choosing an ISP” and select an ISP that suits your needs.
Secondly you will need router. Many ISP’s will include a router or modem in their deals. This is not always as good as it sounds. Often those deals involve contracts and the modems are often the most basic unit and Ive seen some that are down-right in-secure. The best thing to do is buy your own router.
So what do I look for in a router? You want an ethernet, adsl modem/router with NAT capabilities at the minimum. You can get USB modems but they aren’t as good when you want to get more than 1 computer on the Internet.
I have used the Netgear DG834 without any major problems but the following units are also good examples of what you need. While your at it make sure your router/modem comes with an ADSL filter or buy one if it doesn’t. If you want to be able to use the phone line for phone or fax calls, you’ll need it.
- D-Link DSL-504T
- Linksys AG241
- Netgear DG834
The third thing you will need to sort out is an ethernet connection from your new router/modem to your PC. Many PC’s now days come with an ethernet port as standard. If yours has one all you will need to do is connect a cable from the router/modem to your PC and connect your phone line to your router and do a bit of programming.
If you don’t have an ethernet port on your PC you can get them very cheap these days. Netgear, Netcomm and D-Link all have 10/100 network cards for under $20.00 each. They all come with drivers and installation is pretty simple.
Lastly we need to put it all together. By now you should have all of the following things:
- An account from an ISP (preferably all connected and ready to go)
- A username and password for your connection – as provided by your ISP.
- A router/modem
- An ADSL filter
- an ethernet cable to run from your PC to your router/modem (there is usually on in the router box)
- And your PC with a network card (Follow the instruction that came with your Network card for installation)
Most of the equipment that you’ve just bought will come with instructions and you will need to refer to them for some of the specific information. Once you have your router un-packed you need to put it somewhere near your phone line socket. It needs to plug into the phone line and everything else (Fax’s Phones, Modems and even securiy systems) need to go through a filter. You don’t always need a filter for every phone, but every phone needs to go through a filter – You can share 1 filter between all your phones/faxes etc if you can. This is generally limited by your cabling.
Once you have that connected, go ahead and plug your PC into the modem/router. All the units I suggested above have a 4 port switch built right into the router so you can plug in up to 4 devices straight away. most often – if your PC is fairly new, it will be connected to the new network straight away.
You now need to read your router manual. Normally you will use your PC Browser to enter a web site like http://192.168.0.1 or something similar and your will need to put in a default password.
Following the instructions from your router, you will need to set your username and password and save the settings. If all went well you should be able to browse the Internet.
Dont forget to do the following.
- Record your Internet Username and Password somewhere safe – You WILL forget it
- Make sure you change your router password – Don’t leave it as the default.
- If your router has Wireless then you need to secure it – New article on that soon.
- Athough your router has a NAT Firewall – Get Virus Protection for all your PC’s
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