What is Wi-Fi?

  • Create a Wi-Fi or wireless network in your house
  • Connect different devices such as laptops, PCs, smartphones, tablets, game consoles
  • Be careful of neighbours stealing Wi-Fi connection

Wi-Fi is, very simply, a method to connect electronic devices without wires. It is a very commonly used system in Australian households, with many users creating a secure wireless internet network from their existing broadband connection. There are also many cafes, airports, restaurants and shopping centres which provide free Wi-Fi connections for customers.

How does Wi-Fi work?

A Wi-Fi network uses radio waves to build a connection – just like mobile phones, televisions and radios. It is just like transferring information via a wire, except, where the ends of the wire would connect into your devices, a wireless adapter translates the information into a radio signal and beams it out, where it is received by the second adapter and translated back into a digital signal.

How can I use Wi-Fi in my home?

Elementary uses of Wi-Fi can include connecting computers and internet devices all around the house. Computers can be networked via wireless internet to share information, photos and videos.

However, Wi-Fi is capable of so much more. So many devices in the average home are now able to be connected to a Wi-Fi network. Imagine being able to:

  • Send music from your PC or media server directly to a stereo for playback
  • Send movies and pictures to your TV
  • Connect game consoles, PSPs and mobile phones onto your home network

Wireless routers can handle up to 20 simultaneous connections in your house. However, if all devices are attempting to download information at once, it can cause the signal to degrade and the connection to be lost.

Important facts to remember when creating a home Wi-Fi network

Above all, you must remember to secure your home Wi-Fi network. The most common way to do this is to create an encryption key on your wireless internet router which everyone who wishes to connect must enter in. Another way is to enter the Mac address – the unique code found on every computer or piece of electrical equipment – for each device you wish to connect.

An unsecured network allows others to use your internet service and clog your bandwidth. Worse, they will be able to access your devices, retrieve passwords and load malware on your system.

What is public Wi-Fi?

Many shops, cafes, airports and restaurants have a free Wi-Fi service for customers. Their network ID will show up in your network availability list. However, bear in mind that hackers and identity thieves have been known to set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots in public places and use them to steal sensitive data. They may use a similar name to your trusted hotspot, perhaps only changing one letter, so ensure only trusted sources are used.

Wireless internet, or Wi-Fi, is definitely one of the easiest and most convenient methods for connecting multiple devices and accessing the Internet. However, all connections should have proper security enabled to ensure safe browsing on the web. All ADSL2+ ISPs provide wireless routers as a part of plan options – check our plans listing for more details.