<<< Got to the point where yo had to enter 192.168.2.1 to set up the security etc, and got no evidence that it was connecting to the 'net, even when hard wired.>>>
You are *NOT* connecting to the internet, you are accessing the router's built-in web-based interface by typing its IP address into a web browser ;)
If typing 192.168.2.1 into your browser doesn't open its Setup pages, it may be that its DHCP server hasn't allocated an IP address to your network adapter. Open the Network Connections folder, right click the Local Area Connection and select Properties. Highlight the entry for "Internet protocol (TCP/IP)" and click the Properties button. In the box that opens, click "Use the following IP address" and enter these settings:
IP address - 192.168.2.5
Subnet Mask - 255.255.255.0
Default Gateway - 192.168.2.1 (the router's IP address)
DNS Server address - 192.168.2.1 (the router's IP address)
Once everything has been configured in the router, you should normally set the PC's Local Area Connection settings back to getting IP and DNS server addresses automatically.