How to Set Up a Linksys Network

Choose from several installation and configuration options

Linksys Network
Linksys Network/Wikimedia Commons

After purchasing a Linksys router and perhaps other Linksys equipment, you have several options for how to set up the computer network.

Linksys EasyLink Advisor

Linksys EasyLink Advisor (LELA) (manufacturer's site) is a free software program that was included on the installation CD of some Linksys routers. LELA works as a setup wizard, taking you step by step through the process of configuring a Linksys router and the other devices which connect to it. The LELA Setup Wizard can be run on either Windows or Mac computers. LELA also provides additional capabilities that help manage your network after it is installed.

Cisco Connect

Cisco Connect is a newer setup method that replaces the LELA Setup Wizard on the installation CD of newer Linksys routers like the Valet. Connect consists of both a software utility program and a USB key. After entering basic setup data into the program, it saves the information onto this key allowing you to transfer settings to other computers on the network quickly and save some steps in the installation process.

Cisco Network Magic

Network Magic was a software program formerly available to purchase from Cisco Systems. Like LELA, Network Magic supported both the initial network set up process as well as ongoing network management. Using Network Magic software a person could 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 they make the job easier, you do not need wizards or third-party software to set up Linksys networks; these networks have traditionally been set up manually. The manual installation can be started by linking one computer to a Linksys router by an Ethernet cable (one is included with the unit when purchased), 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
  • (for wireless routers) set the Wi-Fi network name, 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 it's console, when following a manual setup procedure you must also set up the network on each computer with a Linksys network adapter and all other devices separately.