How to Set Up a Linksys Network

Choose from several Linksys router installation and configuration options

Linksys Network

Linksys Network/Wikimedia Commons

After you acquire a Linksys router, you have several options for how to set up the computer network. The best one for you depends on your router model and its age. In most cases, the documentation that comes with the router recommends the best method to use to set up your home network.

Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Service

The new Linksys Smart Wi-Fi routers are bundled with the Linksys Smart Wi-Fifree service. The service works through a web browser in conjunction with a free Linksys cloud account. It provides a number of features that can be applied during setup or later. These features:

  • Create safe and secure networks.
  • Show who is connected to the network.
  • Create separate guest networks.
  • Set up safe web surfing to protect children.
  • Prioritize bandwidth to specific devices and applications.
  • Test the internet connection speed.
  • Control access to shared files.
  • Diagnose connectivity issues.
  • Customize router settings.
  • Keep the network safe from internet threats with the Security tool.

The original setup must be done locally, but then the cloud service accesses your router from wherever you are. The service walks you through each step of the installation and setup process.

Linksys Connect Software

A setup CD that contains Linksys Connect Software (initially called Cisco Connect) ships with some Linksys devices. If you didn't receive the CD, download the Linksys Connect software and use it to connect and manage your wireless network and devices.

Not every Linksys router is compatible with this software. However, many of the E-series routers, EA-series routers, and X-series gateways are compatible.

Linksys EasyLink Advisor

Linksys EasyLink Advisor (LELA) is a free software program from the manufacturer that was included on the installation CD of some older Linksys routers. LELA works as a setup wizard and uses a step by step process to configure a Linksys router and the other devices that connect to it. The LELA Setup Wizard can run on either Windows or Mac computers. LELA also provides additional capabilities that help manage a network after it is installed.

To use LELA, install the software on your computer and follow the screen directions to select your preferred language and start the wizard. The software checks the connection, installs the router, and configures it. Read and agree to the License Agreement and quit the setup wizard when prompted to do so.

Cisco Network Magic

Network Magic was a software program formerly available for purchase from Cisco Systems. Like LELA, Network Magic supported both the initial network setup process as well as ongoing network management. Network Magic software was used to add a new device to an existing network, troubleshoot connection problems, update wireless security settings, test network speed, share resources, and monitor how the network is being used.

Traditional (Manual) Setup

Although wizards make the job easier, wizards and third-party software are not needed to set up Linksys networks. These networks have traditionally been set up manually. The manual installation is started by linking one computer to a Linksys router by an Ethernet cable, opening a browser, and connecting to the router's console at This method allows you to:

  • Set up a broadband connection to the internet by entering appropriate IP address settings.
  • Set the Wi-Fi network name (for wireless routers), transmission mode, and security settings.
  • Configure additional security options including those related to the router's built-in network firewall.

Beyond configuring the router through its console, when following a manual setup procedure, set up the network on each computer with a Linksys network adapter and all other devices separately.