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How to turn on the Wireless Functionnality on an Actiontec GT701W

These instructions will show you how to turn on the Wireless functionnality on the Actiontec GT701W modems that Century Link provides. Turning on this feature will let you use your DSL modem as a wireless router. In other words, it will make your modem broadcast your Internet connectivity to your computer(s), wirelessly. You can connect up to 254 computers wireless to your modem, in theory, although it is evidently not recommended. We would recommend not to exceed 3 or 4 computers connected at the same time to the same modem.

Note: you will need to have or to buy a wireless adapter for each computer that you need to connect wirelessly to your DSL modem. Wireless adapters are sometimes built-in, especially on recent Mac computers and on recent laptops (both Mac and PC). But most of the time, you will need to buy an adapter. They can come in the form of a PCI card (that you put inside your computer, into the motherboard PCI ports), or a USB adapter (will look like a USB "keychain" drive, and that you can connect externally), or a PCMCIA card (flat cards that you can insert in a slot on the side of your laptop).

Note: some of the most recent modems that Century Link now ships are called Actiontec GT701, NOT GT701W, and they do not offer the wireless feature. If your Actiontec modem does not have an antenna, most likely, it is a simple GT701 with no wireless feature.

Here are the instructions:

  1. In your web browser, go to the Actiontec configuration page by typing in the address bar
  2. Click on "Setup / Configuration"
  3. Click on "Advanced Setup", then click the button labeled "Begin Advanced Setup"
  4. On the left hand column, click "Wireless Settings"
  5. Set "Wireless" to "On"
  6. Type the name for your wireless connection in "ESSID", for example "MYWIRELESS"
    (pick a name that your nieghbors won't have already picked). The ESSID name cannot contain anything else than letters, attached all together (no space).
  7. Set "Security" to "WEP"
  8. Click Next
  9. In "Authentication Type" choose "Open"
  10. In "Key 1", select the radio button, select "128 bits" then type in a WEP key.

    You can use 0-9 and A-F in the WEP key, the format is:
    00 11 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99 AA BB CC, or 13 groups of two, separated by a space.

    Note: do not use that key (too easy to guess). The WEP key is merely a big password, composed of 26 characters picked out of letters A to F only and any number you want. You cannot use characters such as T or H, or Y because they come after the letter F alphabetically.

    Note: if you do not want to write and remember a 26 characters string WEP key, you can choose to use only 64 bits encryption, and then onyl need 10 characters (5 groups of 2) instead of 26 (again, letters A to F and numbers 0 to 9)

    Make a note of this WEP key, you will need to enter it into your computer(s) later on.
  11. Click Next
  12. Make sure there is NOT a check by "Enable Access List"
  13. Click Next
  14. For "SSID Broadcast" select "Enable"
  15. For "802.11b/g Mode" Select "Mixed"
  16. Click Next
  17. Click "Save and Restart" on the lower left side of the screen

The modem will now restart, after a minute or two the lights should turn solid, and the Wireless light will be on as well. You can now configure your computer's wireless connection by following the instructions included with it.

Important notes

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