Advantages of a Wi-Fi Connection
A Wi-Fi network (or home gateway as it is sometimes called) gives you the freedom to be online anywhere in your house that is in range of your modem’s Wi-Fi signal. It can mean you are free from wires and Ethernet cables and can be online without having to run cables around your home. A Wi-Fi connection is different from a mobile broadband internet service. A Wi-Fi network lets you use your ADSL, ADSL2+ or Naked DSL wirelessly by transmitting the broadband signal from your home phone line into a wireless signal.
How can I get a Wi-Fi connection?
In order to set up a Wi-Fi network you will need a modem with wireless capabilities. You can purchase a Wi-Fi modem from your broadband provider or purchase a wireless router from any electronic store or online shop.
Most Wi-Fi modems will also have several Ethernet ports built in. This means you will be able to connect both wirelessly and via Ethernet. If your modem sits near your desktop computer it is generally recommended you connect via Ethernet. This will free up wireless bandwidth for your laptop and will save you having to purchase a wireless receiver for your desktop computer.
You will also need a wireless receiver to use your Wi-Fi connection on your laptop computer if it is not already built in. Many new laptop computers will have built in wireless cards and you will not need to purchase any additional hardware if this is the case. If you do not have a built in wireless card you will need to purchase on before you can connect wirelessly to your ADSL modem. Wireless USB hardware for your laptop or a wireless card for your desktop will usually cost around $50 and can also be purchased from your broadband provider or from any electronic or online store.
How fast will my Wi-Fi connection be?
It is important to understand that the more computers you connect to your broadband modem, the slower speeds each user will receive. ADSL bandwidth will be split between connected devices.
For instance if your broadband connection has a download speed of 1000kbps and you have four computers currently connected and browsing the internet, each device will only be allocated one quarter of the bandwidth.
This will also depend on the usage of the other connected devices. If you are using a high-bandwidth peer-to-peer download, this can slow the speed down for the other users of your broadband connection.
What is the range of my Wi-Fi connection?
Most Wi-Fi modems will have a range of about 100 metres depending on interference from solid objects like brick walls in your home. This is important to remember as your neighbours may also be able to access your Wi-Fi connection if it isn’t secured properly.
You will need to make sure your wireless network has a secure password to avoid other people using up your monthly download limit. Your modem should come with instructions on how to make sure your wireless network is secure. If not, you may want to contact the manufacturer or your broadband internet provider for advice on how to secure your network.
Any ADSL, ADSL2+, Naked DSL or cable broadband connection can be made wireless through the right modem hardware. Once you have found the right broadband plan for you on Compare Broadband, ask your provider about purchasing a wireless modem, or shop online to find a great deal on Wi-Fi enabled modems.