Getting the best performance out of your new Viasat WiFi Gateway

Customers on the new ViaSat-2 network have a powerful new router

Viasat's WiFi Gateway contains the modem and the router. Often, a simple reset can resolve any problems.

Most customers on the new ViaSat-2 satellite network will have their home network with the WiFi Gateway set up by the technician. For those who may want to do some or all of the configuration themselves, here are some tips on putting it all together for the best performance in your home.

  1. Use a wired connection. If you have a computer with an Ethernet port, this is the recommended, and easiest, way to connect to the gateway’s network. Simply insert one end of the Ethernet patch cable (included in the box) into your computer and the other into either of the Ethernet jacks on the back of the gateway. While connecting wirelessly will still work, changes to the Wi-Fi setup require a reboot of the router, which will cause your device to disconnect from the Wi-Fi network at that point.
  2. If this is your first time logging into the gateway’s administration console, change the admin password to one that is easier to remember.
  3. Use your smartphone to take a picture of the label with the Wi-Fi and admin passwords on the gateway. This will make it easier to read and enter.

Once you’ve logged into the console, you’ll be taken directly to the WiFi Settings page for the gateway, shown below.

We’ll only be changing settings in the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz sections, so you can ignore the Advanced Settings drop-down at the bottom for now.  Both sections contain the same set of options to configure, so use the same setup in both.

Let’s start at the top and work our way down:

Network Name (SSID): This name is what the gateway will broadcast to identify your Wi-Fi network. By default, the 5GHz and 2.4GHz network names are different. To make things easier, it’s recommended that you use the same name for both. You can set a name that is up to 32 characters long, but it doesn’t need to be complex — network names don’t impact the security of your Wi-Fi network.  Something like “Smith_WIFI” is fine.

Security Mode: The default setting, “WPA2 Personal,” is generally considered the best option, so we recommend you leave this set at the default. If you have older devices, you may need to change the setting to “WPA/WPA2 Mixed Mode,” but the vast majority of connected devices used today are compatible with the WPA2 encryption standard. Don’t change this unless you need to.

Here’s a short video that explains a bit more about how Wi-Fi works in your home.

Password: By default, the Wi-Fi password is designed to be impossible for someone to guess.  Unfortunately, they’re also nearly impossible to remember. Changing this setting is one of the easiest ways to simplify connecting to your Wi-Fi network.  To create a password that is nearly impossible to guess, but easy to remember, follow these guidelines:

  • The length of your password has a lot to do with how secure it is — shoot for at least 16 characters
  • Pick 2 or 3 multi-syllable words to create a “passphrase.” Try to pick groups of words that are unrelated: “Crazy, Starting and Statue” is a better group of words than “Radio, Station and Listen.”
  • Sprinkle some numbers between two of the words, just to add complexity and further improve security

The key to picking a secure password is to create something so comical, you’ll never be able to forget it, but something so unique it won’t mean anything to anyone

SSID Broadcast: Unless you’re setting up a really complex home WLAN with lots of access points and coordinated channel overlaps, don’t change this. If anything in that last sentence didn’t make sense, don’t change this. If you wonder what this setting does, don’t change this. You get it: Leave “SSID Broadcast” set to “Public.”

Congratulations!  Once you’ve made the appropriate changes, click on the Save Settings button at the bottom of the screen.  You’ll see a notification that settings are being updated, and then you should be ready to enjoy your freshly reconfigured, custom, Wi-Fi network!

This is a quick-start guide to get your Wi-Fi network up and running. If you have more questions about your Viasat WiFi Gateway, check out the following articles:

What is a security mode and does it matter which one I pick?

Creating crazy-secure passwords (and where to store them)

Why setting your SSID Broadcast to Private could be a big security risk

 

Brandon Roding
About Brandon Roding 4 Articles
Wi-Fi product manager and avowed IoT junkie, Brandon Roding earned his tech chops maintaining the family IBM 8088 and building his first 2400 baud modem by hand. He's spent the last 15 years in telecom focused on meeting the needs of customers. As part of the Viasat Denver product team, he's dedicated to finding products at the intersection of smart, simple and satisfying.