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:
- In your web browser, go to the Actiontec configuration page by typing http://192.168.0.1 in the address bar
- Click on "Setup / Configuration"
- Click on "Advanced Setup", then click the button labeled "Begin Advanced Setup"
- On the left hand column, click "Wireless Settings"
- Set "Wireless" to "On"
- 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).
- Set "Security" to "WEP"
- Click Next
- In "Authentication Type" choose "Open"
- 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.
- Click Next
- Make sure there is NOT a check by "Enable Access List"
- Click Next
- For "SSID Broadcast" select "Enable"
- For "802.11b/g Mode" Select "Mixed"
- Click Next
- 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.
- We can only help you turn on the wireless transmission on the Actiontec Modem, BUT we cannot offer any support for the rest of the setup, which consists in aquiring that wireless signal on your computers. Please consult the help for your wireless adapter or your computer to find out how to connect to your modem's wireless network.
- Usually, you just need to select the wireless network that you named during step 6 from the list of available wireless networks (don't be surprised to see several wireless networks available, since it is very common to see the name of your neighbors' wireless network in that list), and then enter the WEP key when prompted (usually with no space between characters). It may however be much more difficult if your wireless adapter uses a proprietary application to manage the wireless connectivity.
- If you need enahnced security on your wireless network, you can use some of the following options (at your own risk):
use WPA encryption with a passphrase, instead of a WEP key
use MAC authentication (will only allow wireless adapters that you specifically declare, using their MAC address, which is essentially a unique identifier for each networking hardware component, very much like a serial number)
do not broadcast your ESSID
etc... Again, we will not provide any support for any of those custom configurations.
- One last tip: make sure you can connect to your modem with an Ethernet cable if need be, since playing with the wireless configuration can disable your ability to re-connect to the wireless network. Having the ability to reconnect to the modem with a real cable is essential.
- Good luck!