- A modem is a device that acts as a gateway between your WiFi-enabled devices and the internet.
- The process is straightforward for as long as you have the capable equipment and the proper instructions from your service provider.
- Traditionally, modems and routers are two different devices. However, NBN-ready modems are modem-routers in one.
Setting up your home WiFi modem can get a little overwhelming, especially if you’re a non-techie. There are several modem types, with each having different settings—it’s just normal to get confused. But no worries, we’re here to help you! We have the answers to all the questions you have and everything you need to understand in setting up a wifi modem.
A modem is a device that acts as a gateway between your WiFi-enabled devices and the internet. It plugs in directly to your internet infrastructure and transmits the signal to your home.
The good news is: most internet plans already come with a modem. So you don’t have to worry about it and just nicely ask your ISP’s technician to take care of the configuration process for you. But if you prefer buying your own or have an existing one, this guide will walk you through the process of setting it up.
Modem vs Router
Traditionally, modems and routers are two different devices. Modems connect your internet to your router, another device that transmits the signal to your home and is ready for you to use.
NBN-ready modems are a modem and a router in one (modem-router). In addition, these devices have combined the functionality of both a modem and a router in one device, which makes it less complicated to set up.
How to Configure a Modem
The process is straightforward for as long as you have the capable equipment and the proper instructions from your service provider.
If you’re not on the NBN...
If you have subscribed to a cable internet service, connect the modem to a cable port in your house. If you have DSL phone Internet service, just plug the modem into your phone port. You can install your modem anywhere suitable, like your home office or the living room.
Connect one end of your coaxial cable (Coax) into the TV wall jack. Internet providers generally include this cable in the package. The other end of the cable should be plugged into the coax port at the back of the modem. You should find a coax port at the back of your modem where you can screw the other end of the coax. With a DSL modem, the label like "Phone In" or "Phone" should be a visible mark on the modem’s port.
If you’re on the NBN…
If you’ve recently switched to the NBN, you can connect your modem to your NBN connection box, which your qualified technician should help you install.
Once you’ve confirmed that it’s active, plug an Ethernet cable from your connection box to the WAN port of your modem. Next, you can turn on your modem—make sure it’s plugged into a power source as it is not battery operated.
Wait for five to 10 minutes until the modem has completed its power cycle process. Then, notice how the lights on your device blink. If the lights are on steadily, then you’re all set up. Otherwise, if your lights are not steady or blinking, you need to call a technician to help you troubleshoot.
Here’s what the lights on your modem mean and the ports it corresponds to:
- Power light – means the modem is connected to its power source
- Online or Connected – means modem has now an established connection to the ISP
- Internet – means modem has an Internet connection
- Network – means there’s an established Local Area Network (LAN) connection which is where you plug your computer (PC)
The next step can get a bit more technical. From your computer, open a browser and type in your modem’s gateway address or URL. You can find this in your modem’s box. It can be in a number format (like 00.01.23.456) or a website (Telstra’s https://tesltra.gateway/). Next, enter the username and password provided by your ISP.
You should contact your ISP to confirm your modem configuration details, usually a PPP username and a PPP Password. Then, look for a tab named “PPP settings” or IPV4 on your gateway’s page, enter in the necessary details, and hit save.
Once that’s done, your internet is ready.