Flow, Green Dot, Blink WiFi Router Setup
Why you need a Wireless Router. Particular reference to Flow, Green Dot and Blink internet services.
If you have a high speed internet connection its only a matter of time before you might need to share it with two ore more computers at the same time. There are many ways to achieve this, but the most effective way is usually to use a WiFi router.
This guide will not go into the details of setting up your router, but is intended to give you general information you wont usually get from the product manual or your ISP.
The tips provided here should point you in the right direction and help relieve the frustration of setting up your router to share internet access.
The truth is a router is actually overkill in most situations, and most home networks could actually just use a switch or wireless access point. That’s because most ISPs already give you a router which they use to connect your computer to their network.
The problem is the ISP’s router often has a single connection allowing you to connect only one computer. The other problem you may encounter is your ISP’s router (for whatever reason) may not assign an address to more than one computer at a time.
Also as mobile computer use is on the rise, and tablets, phablets and smart phones are becoming more popular, you may also need to provide wireless internet and network access throughout your home or office.
Since the price of a wireless router is often less than a wired one, even if you don’t need wireless the smart buy in most cases is often a standard four-port wireless router. Essentially killing a whole flock of birds with one stone.
What the router does
A router basically creates a new, separate network for your computers.
That means that it adds a layer of separation between your own computers and the rest of the internet. This is both good and bad news because while it can provide more security, it also may introduce various types of connection problems, and introduce complexities that go way beyond what the average user is prepared to handle.
Steps to set up your router
First READ THE MANUAL that comes in the box or on the setup CD.
After you have read the manual begin by powering off or unplugging your ISP’s router and your computer. (This is just a precaution but Note: If you have TSTT DSL do not switch it back on until you have finished setting up your wireless router.)
Connect the cables
Your wireless router will have one port labeled “Internet” or “WAN” and other ports labeled LAN.
Locate the network cable that runs from your ISP’s router to your computer, unplug it from your computer and plug this cable into the WAN port on your new router.
Next take the cable that came with your new router (If it didn’t come with a cable you will need to purchase one) and plug one end into the network port on your computer and the other end into one of the LAN ports on your new router.
When you are finished making connections start switching on your devices in sequence.
The ISP router first, unless you have TSTT DSL.
Then your new router, then any connected computers. (you should have only one computer in use during the setup process)
Connect to the web interface
Most consumer routers have a web interface which allows you to easily access and configure the router’s settings. All you need to do is open your browser and type in the router’s IP address in the address bar and hit enter.
You will usually then be presented with a login screen asking for a user name and password. The manual will provide you with the default IP address of the router (usually 192.168.1.1) as well as the default user name and password. Most routers use “admin” as the user name and the password.
Login and configure LAN
Once you enter the login details you will have access to the configuration pages. If you have TSTT DSL service you will first need to locate the LAN settings page and check the router’s LAN IP address. If it is equal to 192.168.1.1 you will need to change it to something like 192.168.2.1, otherwise just continue to the next step.
Reboot and configure Wireless
When you have saved your LAN settings and rebooted your router, return to the configuration pages and locate the wireless settings.
You only need to configure this if you intend to use wireless devices on your new home network. If you do not need wireless then you should disable this feature until you do.
At this point you should get a pen and paper to write down the settings you change.
Some routers require you to save and reboot after changing certain settings, so PAY ATTENTION to what you are doing.
First change the SSID. This gives your network a name so you can easily recognize it when you need to connect.
Then go to wireless security settings and choose an authentication type, and a pass phrase.
Remember to write down the settings you choose because you will need them to connect your laptop, PS3 or any other wireless device to your network.
When you are done reboot the router one last time, then switch everything off. Make sure all cables are connected securely and switch on in sequence like before.
Wait a few minutes for your internet connection to initialize.
Connect to wireless network
The router will assign a unique IP address to every device you connect to it and act as an internet gateway.
You should now be able to access the internet using the same computer you were using during the setup process.
If everything works as it should it is now safe to connect your other wired and wireless devices.
Using the security settings you wrote down before, it should be easy to follow the network connection procedure for whatever device you are using. Your device, or computer wireless connection utility will come with instructions for adding, and/or connecting to a new network.
If for whatever reason your device will not accept the authentication type or pass phrase you wrote down, you can always go back to the router’s web interface, change the settings, write down the new settings, and try again.
If you still encounter problems making a wireless link, try disabling authentication temporarily.
Flow U-Click router setup
Flow’s U-Click cable router is a special case.
For some unknown reason Flow’s router only gives out one DHCP IP address.
This means that only one computer, or router, or IP phone will work at a time.
Unlike other services, you MUST use a router if you need to connect more than one device to your U-Click internet service.
A basic “network switch” will not work.
Many people have reported problems setting up wireless with U-Click routers.
Here is the trick:
Flow’s router will not give a second IP address to another device until you reset it.
You need to unplug it before connecting your wireless router.
Some models also have a battery pack which prevents it from resetting when you unplug it. You also need to remove the battery in this case.
Once you have connected your Flow router to your Wireless router’s Internet Port, and your computer to your Wireless Router’s LAN port,
you can replace the battery in your Flow router and plug it in. Then plug in your Wireless router. Then switch on your computer.
You should already be connected to the internet at this point.
Now you can login to your router and finish configuring settings.
In this case the only settings you need to change on your wireless router are the wireless settings (password etc.).
Green Dot Router Setup
Green Dot provides a wireless internet service that can reach almost anywhere in Trinidad.
I have not had cause to work with Green Dot’s service directly because as I mentioned before, most wireless routers will provide a connection to the internet as soon as you plug them in, providing you plug them in correctly.
When I set up a router for Green Dot I usually just setup the wireless connection if its needed, or disable it if its not. Then I show the user which ports connect to where and they take the router home and get on the internet with no problem.
Follow the instructions under “Steps to set up your router” above and you should have no problems.
Before you connect anything between the ISP router and your computer first check to make sure everything works as is.
TSTT (Blink) Router Setup
Before you start
You may find that certain applications just do not work with your default setup provided by TSTT for example. Internet phones and file sharing programs may have slow or non existent connections.
If this is the case then your first order of business is to contact tech support and have the firewall removed from your account. After which you should check again to make sure everything works, then proceed to install your additional hardware.
Install your router.
TSTT DSL is the most difficult to set up if you are doing it for the first time. The main problem you may encounter when setting up your wireless router with TSTT is a complete failure to connect to the internet. The solution to this can be as simple as changing one number in your router’s IP address.
Many popular brands of routers come with a default IP address of 192.168.1.1, the problem is so does TSTT’s routers. The result is when you plug your router into the TSTT router you create two networks with the same address on both and nothing works.
All you need to do is enter your router’s LAN settings page and change the IP address 192.168.1.1 to something like 192.168.2.1
then save and restart.
As long as you have your DSL box plugged into your wireless router’s wan or internet port and your computer plugged into the wireless router’s LAN port, you should be able to surf the internet within seconds.
While it is also possible to change the IP on the TSTT box, it is not advisable until you become comfortable enough to handle most problems yourself, since every time you report an issue to tech support all of your custom settings may be reset without your knowledge, resulting in even more problems than you had before.