When properly configured, wireless routers broadcast a signal that allows nearby computers to connect to the router to exchange data and access the Internet. Netgear routers have a number of security settings that may prevent the router from openly broadcasting a wireless signal. The least secure settings will allow any nearby devices to detect and connect to your wireless network.
Web Administration Interface
You can alter your router’s settings through its Web administration interface. You can access the interface through the Web browser of any computer connected to the router via a wired or wireless connection. Open your Web browser and enter the router’s IP address in the address bar. By default, Netgear routers use the IP address “192.168.0.1” or “192.168.1.1”. When prompted, enter the correct login name and password. Netgear routers use “admin” as the default login name and “password” or “1234” as the default password.
Enable Wireless Access Point
Netgear wireless routers will function as standard 4-port hard-wired routers when their onboard radio is disabled. Select “Wireless Settings” under “Advanced” in the menu on the left side of the Web administration interface. Ensure the “Enable Wireless Router Radio” check box is checked. If it is not, check the box and click “Apply” at the bottom of the page.
Wireless routers identify their particular wireless network with a service set identifier (SSID). When you view a list of available networks on your computer, you are viewing a list of all of the SSIDs being broadcast in your vicinity. Netgear routers can be programmed to “hide” by not broadcasting their SSID. Check the “Enable SSID Broadcast” check box on the same “Wireless Settings” page in the “Advanced” section of the Web administration interface’s menu. Click “Apply” to save the change.
Access Control List
Some routers also prevent unauthorized access by only allowing certain computers to view and connect to the network. On the “Wireless Settings” page in the “Advanced” section of the Web interface, uncheck the “Turn Access Control On” box and click “Apply” to allow any computer to connect to your network. Ensure you have enabled some form of password-based encryption in the “Security Options” section of the “Wireless Settings” page in the “Setup” section of the menu, to prevent unauthorized computers from accessing your network.
If all else fails, you can reset your router to its default factory state to re-enable its wireless broadcast; however, doing so will also reset your router’s encryption key, login name and password and other settings. Insert the tip of a pen into the recessed “Reset” button on the back of your router. Hold the button down for 10 seconds until the “Test” light on the front of the router blinks. Your router will reset and begin broadcasting a wireless network under the SSID “Netgear.” Log into your router’s Web administration interface and click “Setup Wizard” in the left menu pane to reconfigure your router’s security settings.