How to set up your home wireless network

How to set up your home wireless network

You can use a wireless network (WLAN) to share Internet access, files, printers, game consoles, and other devices among all the computers in your home. After you’ve completed the initial wireless router setup and added your computers and devices to the network, you can use your home network to surf the web or to play online games—whether you're sitting in your living room or relaxing in your backyard.

How to Make a Category 5 / Cat 5E Patch Cable

Due to an overwhelming response to our category 5 & 6 tutorial, and many requests for information and wiring diagrams of "straight through" and "crossover" (cross-pinned) patch cords, I have made this informational page and technical video. On this page, we will cover making patch cords, and other technical and non-technical issues relating to category 5 and 6 patching and connectivity from device to device. Below, you will find the diagrams for 568A, 568B, and crossover patch cables. I suggest that you read on, past the diagrams for some very useful and important information.

As always, there continues to be Controversies over standards and practices regarding the use and making of patch cords, and UTP cable in general. Please see our section below titled: "Controversies and Caveats : Category 5, 5E, and Cat 6 Patch Cables". I hope that you will find it interesting and informative.

568-B Wiring

Pair # Wire Pin #
1-White/Blue White/Blue 5
Blue/White 4
2-Wht./Orange White/Orange 1
Orange White 2
3-White/Green White/Green 3
Green/White 6
4-White/Brown White/Brown 7
Brown/White 8
< 568-B Diagram

568-A Wiring

Pair # Wire Pin #
1-White/Blue White/Blue 5
Blue/White 4
2-White/Green White/Green 1
Green/White 2
3-White/Orange White/Orange 3
Orange/White 6
4-White/Brown White/Brown 7
Brown/White 8
< 568-A Diagram

Notes for wiring diagrams above:

1. For patch cables, 568-B wiring is by far, the most common method.
2. There is no difference in connectivity between 568B and 568A cables. Either wiring should work fine on any system*. (*see notes below)
3. For a straight through cable, wire both ends identical.
4. For a crossover cable, wire one end 568A and the other end 568B.
5. Do not confuse pair numbers with pin numbers. A pair number is used for reference only (eg: 10BaseT Ethernet uses pairs 2 & 3). The pin numbers indicate actual physical locations on the plug and jack.

What is IP Address ?

What is IP Address?
IP addresses are used to uniquely identify individual TCP/IP networks and hosts (computers and printers) on those network in order for devices to communicate. Workstations and servers on a TCP/IP network are called "HOSTS" and each will have a unique IP address which is referred to as its "HOST" address. TCP/IP is the most widely used protocol in the world. The Internet or World Wide Web uses only IP addressing. In order for a host to access the Internet, it must have an IP address.
In its basic form, the IP address has two parts; a Network Address and a Host Address. The network portion of the IP address is assigned to a company or organization by the Internet Network Information Center (InterNIC). Routers use the IP address to move data packets between networks. IP Addresses are 32 bits long (with current version IPv4) and are divided into 4 octets of 8 bits each. They operate at the network layer, Layer 3 of the OSI model, (the Internetwork Layer of the TCP/IP model) and are assigned statically (manually) by a network administrator or dynamically (automatically) by a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server. The IP address of a workstation (host) is a "logical address" meaning it can be changed. The MAC address of the workstation is a 48-bit "physical address" which is burned into the NIC and cannot change unless the NIC is replaced. The combination of the logical IP address and the physical MAC address help route packets to their proper destination.
 There are 5 classes of IP addresses (A thru E). Only the first 3 classes are used commercially. A network address in the table to get started. The first column is the class of IP address. The second column is the first octet which must fall within the range shown for a given class of address.
Classes of  IP
1st Octet Decimal Range
1st Octet High Order Bits
Network / Host ID (N=Network, H=Host)
Default Subnet Mask
Number of Networks
Hosts per Network (usable addresses)
1 – 126*
126 (27 – 2)
16,777,214 (2 24 – 2)
128 – 191
1 0 
16,382 (214 - 2)
65,534 (2 16 – 2)
192 – 223
1 1 0
2,097,150 (221 – 2)
254 (2 8 – 2)
224 – 239
1 1 1 0
Reserved for Multicasting
240 – 254 
1 1 1 1 0
Experimental, used for research

* Class A address 127 cannot be used and is reserved for loopback and diagnostic functions

Loopback IP Address is the loopback address in IP. Loopback is a test mechanism of network adapters. Messages sent to do not get delivered to the network. Instead, the adapter intercepts all loopback messages and returns them to the sending application. IP applications often use this feature to test the behavior of their network interface.

As with broadcast, IP officially reserves the entire range from through for loopback purposes. Nodes should not use this range on the Internet, and it should not be considered part of the normal Class A range.
Zero Addresses
As with the loopback range, the address range from through should not be considered part of the normal Class A range. 0.x.x.x addresses serve no particular function in IP, but nodes attempting to use them will be unable to communicate properly on the Internet.
Private Addresses
The IP standard defines specific address ranges within Class A, Class B, and Class C reserved for use by private networks (intranets). The table below lists these reserved ranges of the IP address space.

How to disable Windows Firewall

Firewall is a device or program to control the traffic between public and private networks. The traffic is controlled by enabling or disabling some TCP/IP ports through which traffic is coming. Firewall comes under two categories:

1. Hardware Firewall

2. Software Firewall

It is proven that hardware firewall works faster and efficient than software firewall. But due to the gradual improvements software firewalls perform well now.

Windows Firewall

Windows Firewall is an upgraded form of traditional Internet Connection Firewall introduced by Microsoft. Even though Windows Firewall integrated with Windows OS ,some times it creates some conflicts with other security products as well as wireless systems. It is shown that Windows Firewall some times creates issues in wireless accessing and may block the wireless access from the computer. If you are running any third party security software which includes firewall on your computer it is advised to disable the default Windows Firewall on your computer.

Steps to disable Windows Firewall on your computer

The steps to disable Windows Firewall on your computer are:

1. Click on start

2. Go to Control Panel

3. Click on Security Center

Security center can be accessed by click on the icon shown below.

Steps to disable Windows Firewall

Now the Windows Security Center window will be opened.

4. Click on Windows Firewall

How to disable Windows Firewall on your computer

Now the Windows Firewall control panel will be opened.

5. Turn off Windows Firewall

To turn of Windows Firewall click on the button Off.
Turn off Windows Firewall

Now the Windows Firewall is turned off in your computer.

How to disable the Windows XP firewall.

Windows XP firewall

To do this perform the following steps...

  1. Click Start,
  2. Control Panel,
  3. double–click Network Connections,
  4. right-click the desired connection,
  5. Properties,
  6. Advanced tab,
  7. Under Internet Connection Firewall,
  8. uncheck the "Protect my computer and network by limiting or preventing access to this computer from the Internet" check box.

Windows XP SP2 firewall.

In Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Firewall is turned on by default.
To turn off is much simpler, just perform the following steps...

  1. Click Start
  2. Control Panel
  3. Windows Firewall
  4. Select "Off (not recommended)"

Disable the Windows XP firewall

Change Text on XP Start Button

I’ve read a number of articles on the internet about changing the text on the Start button in XP. On more than one occasion I’ve seen references to a five (5) letter limitation when the button is renamed. I always wondered if this was true or just an assumption someone made because the default ‘start’ just happened to fit the button size. So, I decided to run a test and see if there really was a five character limit.

As you can see from the screen capture above it would seem that the five character limit isn’t etched in stone. The button expanded to accept the text I entered with no problem. I’ve been using the system for a few weeks now with no adverse effects. That’s not to say I won’t discover something down the road a bit, but for now I feel comfortable with the changes. If you’d like to try the procedure I used, the instructions follow.

Step 1 – Modify Explorer.exe File

In order to make the changes, the file explorer.exe located at C:\Windows needs to be edited. Since explorer.exe is a binary file it requires a special editor. For purposes of this article I have used Resource Hacker. Resource HackerTM is a freeware utility to view, modify, rename, add, delete and extract resources in 32bit Windows executables and resource files (*.res). It incorporates an internal resource script compiler and decompiler and works on Win95, Win98, WinME, WinNT, Win2000 and WinXP operating systems. Navigate here to download Resource Hacker.

The first step is to make a backup copy of the file explorer.exe located at C:\Windows\explorer. Place it in a folder somewhere on your hard drive where it will be safe. Start Resource Hacker and open explorer.exe located at C:\Windows\explorer.exe as shown in Fig. 01.

Fig. 01

The category we are going to be using is String Table. Expand it by clicking the plus sign then navigate down to and expand string 37 followed by highlighting 1033. If you are using the Classic Layout rather than the XP Layout, use number 38. The right hand pane will display the stringtable as shown in Fig. 02. We’re going to modify item 578, currently showing the word “start” just as it displays on the current Start button.

Fig. 02

There is no magic here. Just double click on the word “start” so that it’s highlighted, making sure the quotation marks are not part of the highlight. They need to remain in place, surrounding the new text that you’ll type. Go ahead and type your new entry. In my case I used ElderGeek as shown in Fig. 03.

Fig. 03

Compare the screen captures in Fig. 02 and Fig. 03 and you’ll notice that after the new text string has been entered the Compile Script button that was grayed out in Fig. 02 is now active in Fig. 03. I won’t get into what’s involved in compiling a script, but suffice it to say it’s going to make this exercise worthwhile. Click Compile Script and then save the altered file using the Save As command on the File Menu. Do not use the Save command – Make sure to use the Save As command and choose a name for the file. See Fig. 04. Save the newly named file to C:\Windows.

Fig. 04

Step 2 – Modify the Registry

Now that the modified explorer.exe has been created it’s necessary to modify the registry so the file will be recognized when the user logs on to the system. If you don’t know how to access the registry I’m not sure this article is for you, but just in case it’s a temporary memory lapse, go to Start (soon to be something else) Run and type regedit in the Open: field. Navigate to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\ Windows NT\ CurrentVersion\ Winlogon

Fig. 05

In the right pane (Fig. 05), double click the Shell entry to open the Edit String dialog box as shown in Fig. 06. In Value data: line, enter the name that was used to save the modified explorer.exe file. Click OK.

Fig. 06

Close Registry Editor and either log off the system and log back in, or reboot the entire system if that’s your preference. If all went as planned you should see your new Start button with the revised text.

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