WiFi - Wireless Networking
A home wireless or Wi-Fi connection offer wireless connectivity to your ADSL, ADSL+2 or Cable connection around your home. Connecting internet devices wirelessly gives you the freedom to move around the home without needing a long ethernet cable connected to a modem.
Wi-Fi is different from a mobile broadband internet connection as Wi-Fi requires an active ADSL, ADSL2+, Cable or Naked DSL connection. This connection runs into the modem and is then sent as a wireless signal to connected devices. This is opposed to mobile wireless broadband that runs a high speed broadband connection through the mobile phone network and can be used outside of the home. A Wi-Fi connection has all the advantages of a wireless connection with the added stability of an ADSL service over the home phone line.
To set up a home Wi-Fi network you will need a wireless modem or router. Most providers will charge an additional fee for this hardware. TPG offers a 4-port wireless modem for an additional $149.95 that will allow up to four computers to connect via an ethernet cable and an additional four devices connecting wirelessly. The advantage of purchasing a modem through your internet provider is that they will offer full technical support that is often not available on modems purchased elsewhere.
You will need a wireless receiver in all equipment that you want connected to your Wi-Fi network. These can be purchased form your ISP or local electronic store. Most laptop computers have a built in wireless adapter to allow connection to a home Wi-Fi network. For a PC you can purchase either a USB or network card adapter to allow a wireless connection to your modem. TPG offers a wireless card or USB adaptor for an additional $49.
You will need to be aware when multiple computers are connected that internet speeds will decrease as the plan speed is split between active computer connections. On an ADSL2+ broadband plan this will not be a problem however, on a 256kbps connection internet may slow below dial-up speeds when multiple computers are browsing the internet simultaneously.
A typical Wi-Fi connection has an average range of about 30 metres indoors, but may have difficulty transmitting through solid objects such as brick walls or concrete. In a case where there are many such obstacles, it is advisable to use a more reliable ethernet connection.