How to access Wi-Fi
You can either buy your Wi-Fi enabled ADSL, cable or NBN modem from an electronics shop, or you can purchase it through your Internet Service Provider (ISP). The advantage of buying it from your ISP is that the device often comes pre-programmed with your username and password (so all you have to do is plug it in), and the company may be obligated to offer you technical support if any issues arise.
Wi-Fi networks are ideal for people who have a laptop, notebook, tablet computer, or an internet-ready smartphone they want to be able to use in more than one location around the home. With a wireless network, multiple users can access the internet at the same time. Another major advantage with Wi-Fi is you never need to worry about tripping over an Ethernet cable.
To create a good Wi-Fi network you need to have a fast broadband speed. The minimum speed should be 1500kbps on ADSL1, but an 8000kbps speed, ADSL2+ (up to 24Mbps), cable (up to 30Mbps), or NBN (up to 100Mbps) connection speed will ensure you can connect numerous devices to the one signal simultaneously. You’ll never need to worry about waiting for a web page or video to load up.
When you can’t get a fixed line connection, but need to create a Wi-Fi network at home, a Mobile Wireless Wi-Fi USB modem will be your fallback option. This Wi-Fi network is not as stable as a fixed line connection, as it can drop out like a mobile phone’s reception.
Mobile broadband speeds are also much slower than with ADSL, cable or NBN, because the more people there are using the mobile phone tower, the less speed you’ll receive.
How do I activate Wi-Fi in my home?
After you have chosen the best service provider for you, plug your modem into a power source. typically, your modem will come with a cable that is designed to connect the back or side of the modem to a power socket. Many modems come with an on/off switch; make make sure this is turned on. Most Australian power outlets also come with on/off switches, so remember to ensure that this switch is also turned on. It's easy to forget that Wi-Fi signals are easily blocked; try to keep your modem the right way up, and if possible, keep it in a place where it is not obstructed by thick walls, mirrors or fish tanks. Give the modem a few moments to find the signal. Once it has, it's lights will turn green. If it is flashing a red light, this indicates that it is still finding the signal. Once all lights are green, your home Wi-Fi should be good to go. Next, take any devices that you wish connect to the home Wi-Fi. Once you click on their "Settings" feature, you should be able to see an option to connect to the Wi-Fi. Your chosen internet service provider will have indicated a network name and a password, either on a card, on the modem itself, or both. If your Wi-Fi is working, this network name will be coming up a choice in your devices Wi-Fi settings. Select it, then enter your password. After you have successfully done this, your devices should be successfully connected to your Wi-Fi.
If you are experiencing any difficulties, don't hesitate to call the help line of your chosen service provider, and a staff member should be able to help you through it.
Can you get Wi-FI without a phone line?
Yes. While ADSL2+ requires an active phone line in order to operate, Cable and the NBN do not (indeed, the NBN's plan is to gradually replace all of Australia's phone lines). Alternatively, Naked DSL is an ADSL2+ connection where the phone line has been deactivated, so you don't have to pay for phone line rental, and you are not required to have
a home phone.
What are the differences between broadband and Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is a method of connecting to the internet without attaching a cable from your modem to your computer. The Wi-Fi modem or router creates a Wi-Fi signal which is then received by the wireless device, thereby granting that device connection to the internet. Several devices - such as smartphones, tablets and laptops - can all connect to the same Wi-Fi signal at the same time, and can stay connected while they move around, provided they don't move out of range, and provided that the signal is not blocked. Mobile, or "wireless" broadband, on the other hand, uses the mobile towers to send a broadband signal though the air, as opposed to using a telephone line or cable. Mobile broadband is fully portable - it can be accessed anywhere the modem is capable of picking up connection. Typically, mobile broadband customers can only connect one device at a time; however, it is possible to buy a mobile broadband Wi-Fi modem. You don't need a landline for Wi-Fi, just a broadband connection and a Wi-Fi modem. There are also devices that combine broadand and Wi-Fi.
How much will I pay monthly for Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi costs vary from region to region. The best thing to do is to call the provider you are looking at and ask them to confirm availability at your address, and to see if they will offer you and discounts on their Wi-Fi costs.
How do I save broadband (home Wi-Fi) data usage?
Different content uses up different amounts of data. As a general rule, streaming videos on digital platforms can use up a surprising amount of data, especially if they are left on the default settings of the streaming service. Streaming music doesn't use up as much as video, but can still make a sizable dent in your data if you're doing it all the time. Online gaming is also a frequent culprit. If you're concerned about data usage, you may want to consider an unlimited plan so you won't have to worry about data limits, excess usage charge or lagged speed. But before you commit to any deal, your best option is to work out exactly what you need your home Wi-Fi for (and how often you'll need it) so you can find the provider and plan that best suits your needs (which is something we can definitely help you with).
What is the range of the Wi-Fi in 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz?
The two most common bands are 5Ghz, which is designed to be faster, and 2.4Ghz, which is designed to work over greater distances. On average, 2.4Ghz will reach up to around 46m, and double that outdoors - whereas 5Ghz will only reach half the range of the 2.4Ghz band. So it really depends on what you value more - far-reaching Wi-Fi, or fast Wi-Fi.
What's the best mobile wireless plan to use as home internet?
Canstar Blue rate Telstra and Optus well, amongst others - but again, what's best for you will depend on what you use the internet for, and how often. Whether you're moving home, or just want better value, we can compare a range of leading providers and sign you up for the right plan for you. Click here, or give us a call on 1300 106 571.