Hosting your very own filtered wired and wireless Internet home network is an exciting prospect. Our Wi-Fi Lifeguard network technology features easy yet broad customisation functionality, all according to your desired filtering choices and device management needs. This article will lead you through the entire process of setting up a robust home Wi-Fi Lifeguard network once you have received your Wi-Fi Lifeguard router(s). Rest assured, we have written the article to be easy to follow from a non-technical perspective. This process consists of eight steps, as below:

Change the network names of Internet-connected devices
Forget old networks for all Internet-connected devices to be filtered
Connect a Wi-Fi Lifeguard router to your pre-existing main home router
Mesh additional Wi-Fi Lifeguard routers to the newly created Wi-Fi Lifeguard network to extend Wi-Fi signal (optional)
Create a Safe Surfer account and configure the Wi-Fi Lifeguard network according to your needs
Connect Internet-connected devices to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard network
Change the web interface credentials of your main home router
Change the keys or disable the main home router SSIDs (Wi-Fi network names)

To ensure that everyone is using the filtered Wi-Fi Lifeguard network, it is critical that you plan out your Wi-Fi Lifeguard network implementation according to your specific household needs. If you have a medium-size or large-size home (e.g. 3 to 5+ bedrooms) with more than 5 devices using the Internet in total, we highly recommend considering the purchase of at least one additional Wi-Fi Lifeguard router to create a mesh network. This optional process as further detailed in Step 3 enables an extended Wi-Fi signal for your Wi-Fi Lifeguard network. You can find out more on this process further below at Step 3, or at this article: https://helpdesk.safesurfer.io/en-nz/article/how-can-i-create-a-mesh-network-with-multiple-wi-fi-lifeguard-devices-3m1e2o/

1. Change the network names of Internet-connected devices

The first step involves changing the names for as many devices as possible that will be connecting to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard. This means that it will be much easier to identity later who is using each device. For example, you could change a phone's network name to be "John's iPhone".

Windows: click the Start menu > click the Settings app > click System > click About > click Rename PC

macOS: click System Preferences > click Sharing > click Computer Name

iOS/iPadOS: tap the Settings app > tap General > tap About > tap Name

Android: tap the Settings app > tap About phone > tap Edit [name]

2. Forget old networks for all Internet-connected devices to be filtered

The second step involves disconnecting all your Internet-connected devices from your main home router. This means that your devices will not remember the wireless keys for reconnecting to your unfiltered main home router Internet. Repeat this process for any old networks that the device may have been connected to.

Windows: right-click the Internet icon on the bottom right of the taskbar > select Open Network & Internet settings > click Wi-Fi > click Manage known networks > click each network you wish to remove and click the Forget button

macOS: click the Internet icon on the menu bar > click Open Network Preferences > in the Wi-Fi menu, click Advanced > click the network you wish to remove and click the minus (-) button

iOS (or iPadOS): tap the Settings app > tap Wi-Fi> tap the i icon next the the Wi-Fi network you wish to forget > tap Forget this Network

Android (the exact steps may differ slightly per device): tap the Settings app > tap Connections > tap the Wi-Fi menu > tap the three dot icon and tap Advanced > tap Manage Networks > tap the network you wish to remove > tap Forget

3. Connect a Wi-Fi Lifeguard router to your pre-existing main home router

The third step involves connecting your first Wi-Fi Lifeguard to your main home router.

Connect the supplied Ethernet cable to a LAN port belonging to your main home router, and plug the other end to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard WAN port.

Make sure that you are plugging one end of the Ethernet cable to a LAN port belonging to the main home router, and the other end to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard WAN port. Router LAN ports are typically found in a group of four or five yellow ports together. The Wi-Fi Lifeguard WAN port is marked with a globe.

Wi-Fi Lifeguard (Generation 2) rear ports

Connect the supplied power adapter to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard. Plug in the adapter to a power socket on a wall or a power board.

4. Mesh additional Wi-Fi Lifeguard routers to the newly created Wi-Fi Lifeguard network to extend Wi-Fi signal (optional)

The fourth step involves connecting all devices that you want filtered to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard network.

If you are going to add any additional Wi-Fi Lifeguard routers to your Lifeguard network, only one SSID (Wi-Fi network name) will appear. This means that you will not have to pick either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz—the Lifeguard network will automatically choose for each connected device based on distance.

You can find our Wi-Fi Lifeguard mesh tutorial at the following link: https://helpdesk.safesurfer.io/en-nz/article/how-can-i-create-a-mesh-network-with-multiple-wi-fi-lifeguard-routers-3m1e2o/

5. Create a Safe Surfer account and configure the Wi-Fi Lifeguard network according to your needs

The fifth step involves connecting to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard network web configuration panel and creating a Safe Surfer account.

Connect a laptop to the new Wi-Fi Lifeguard network by selecting SafeSurfer-XXXX and entering the following password: goodlife

Open your favourite web browser (e.g. Google Chrome or Firefox) and type into the address bar https://mydevice.safesurfer.co.nz

Enter in the email address and password of your Safe Surfer account. If you do not have a Safe Surfer account, you can complete the registration process by entering the email address and password that you wish to use for your new account. Use a unique strong password that no one else will know.

Wi-Fi Lifeguard first time setup menu

Wi-Fi Lifeguard will notify you that you can change the default Wi-Fi password from "goodlife" to a password of your choice.

Change default Wi-Fi password warning

Later on, once you have connected other devices, you can enforce screentime restrictions for each connected device. Want to learn more? Check out our article on the Screentime feature here: https://helpdesk.safesurfer.io/en-nz/article/what-does-the-wi-fi-lifeguard-screentime-feature-do-13kzh4k/

6. Connect Internet-connected devices to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard network

Not using a mesh network and unsure what the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz is when connecting a device? A good rule of thumb is to try using 5 GHz if your device supports it. If you experience poor connectivity due to distance from the closest Wi-Fi Lifeguard, configure each device to forget the 5 GHz SSID (Wi-Fi network name) credentials by using the Forget button as mentioned above in Step 2, and connect to the 2.4 GHz SSID instead. Want to learn more? Check out our article on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz wireless bands here: https://helpdesk.safesurfer.io/en-nz/article/what-is-the-difference-between-24-ghz-and-5-ghz-wireless-bands-q50nqj/

The sixth step involves connecting all Internet-connected devices to the Wi-Fi Lifeguard network.

If you haven't created a mesh network, you will have the option of connecting to either "SafeSurfer-XXXX" or "SafeSurfer-XXXX-5GHz". As stated above, try using the 5 GHz band if your device supports it. If you will be accessing the Lifeguard network from a distance of approximately more than 20 metres, it might be worth considering using the 2.4 GHz band.

If you set a custom password for Wi-Fi, use this instead of "goodlife".

Windows: click the Internet icon on the bottom right of the taskbar > click either Safe Surfer SSID > click Connect > enter the password: goodlife

macOS: click the Wi-Fi icon on the menu bar > click either Safe Surfer SSID > enter the password: goodlife

iOS/iPadOS: tap the Settings app > tap Wi-Fi > tap either Safe Surfer SSID > enter the password: goodlife

Android (the exact steps may differ slightly per device): tap the Settings app > tap Connections > tap Wi-Fi > tap either Safe Surfer SSID > enter the password goodlife

7. Change the web interface credentials of your main home router

This step involves changing the password to the web configuration panel of the main home router.

Using a laptop or desktop that is connected only to your unfiltered Internet provided by your main home router, press both Win + R on your keyboard at the same time. The Run program should open.

Type in "cmd" to open up the Windows Command Prompt program.

Type into the Command Prompt "ipconfig". Look for the wired or wireless adapter that you are using for Internet for that device. For the appropriate adapter, in its Default Gateway value, you should be able to find an IP address that looks like 192.168.1.1, or 192.168.1.254. Remember the address that the adapter is using (as per the example below, circled in red):



Open up a web browser and enter into the URL bar the IP address stated previously in the Default Gateway listing. Enter the username and password for the router. Your router might have a physical sticker on it with the web configuration panel credentials. The default values for many routers are the following: Username: admin / Password: admin OR Username: admin / Password: password.

8. Disable or change the keys (passwords) of the main home router SSIDs (Wi-Fi network names)

This step involves changing the SSID keys of the main home router.

Just like in the previous step, using a laptop or desktop that is connected only to your unfiltered Internet provided by your main home router, use the default gateway IP address to access the web configuration panel of your main home router. Enter the username and password for the router. Look for the Wi-Fi settings menu within the router. Once you have found the SSID settings, you can either disable them or change the Wi-Fi password keys to the wireless unfiltered Internet that the main home router is providing. Save your settings, then log out of the router (if the router doesn't automatically restart). If you wish to use the wireless unfiltered Internet that the main home router is providing, you will need to manually reconnect with the new keys that you set up.

Conclusion

Once you have gone through all the steps, congratulations! You should now have your very own filtered Safe Surfer network. If you have any trouble with your new network, try looking through the various articles on our help desk.
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