How Do I Get WiFi? Your Guide to Accessing a Wireless Internet Connection

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WiFi, or Wireless Fidelity, is a fantastic invention for connecting your devices to a network wirelessly. Without WiFi, your home Internet connection is limited to devices that can connect to your modem through a local area network (LAN) cable. You're also constrained by the length of the cable; if you need to move your laptop to another room, you'll have to unplug it and lose your Internet connection. WiFi, on the other hand, covers your entire home with fast, dependable wireless internet service. Having WiFi at home is a significant benefit. Don't worry if setting up WiFi at home seems difficult or too complicated for you. Here's a quick guide to accomplishing it in a few easy steps.

How Do I Get WiFi in My Home?

If you don't already have one, the first step to enable WiFi at home is to purchase a wireless router. In the past your Internet modem and wireless router were always independent devices, your ISP provided the modem and your router would have been purchased separately. However, most ISPs now offer a device that serves as both a modem and a wireless router.

Next, connect your router to your Internet connection (sometimes called an Internet gateway). Broadband modems come in a number of styles, but each one has a unique set of features. If you've been using wired internet, your LAN cable should already be hooked into this port. Look for a label that says "OUT" or "to router" on one of the LAN ports if there are more than one. Plug one end of the LAN cable into the modem and the other end into the "IN" port on your wireless router once you've found the LAN port on your modem or gateway.

Every brand has its own set of instructions for setting up your wireless network. So, compare the instructions that came with your wireless router to this general guide. Begin by connecting to your wireless gateway, either by putting your computer into one of the device's spare LAN ports or by using the default network name (included either on the device or in your documentation). Then, following the accompanying instructions, log in to your router (usually by typing an IP address like 192.168.0.1 into your web browser's address bar). To protect your connection, change the network name and choose a password that's hard to guess.

Disconnect your computer's LAN wire and look for WiFi networks. Choose the one you just set up, type in your password, and you're done! Then, to test your connection, go to a familiar website. That's all there is to it! If you experience any difficulties, it's time to call your ISP customer service line.

What Do I Need to Get WiFi?

The wireless router is the nerve center of the wireless network. The hub, like a wired network, is a central location to which all computers connect and from which they gain network access. The new wireless hubs can also act as routers. Wireless hubs are technically gateways, not routers, yet they're referred to as routers. They're also known as access points, so become familiar with that word as well. Regardless of the terminology confusion, the hub/router/access point helps manage wireless connections and connects your wireless network to the Internet.

If you have a wire-based connection, you most likely have an Ethernet connector. The router is connected to a broadband modem through one connection. Other Ethernet connections may be accessible, allowing you to connect the wireless hub to traditional wired networking.

A wireless network information card, or NIC, is required for your computer to communicate with the wireless router. A wireless NIC is standard in a laptop, but it must be purchased separately for a desktop PC. You can use one of the several plug-in USB wireless NICs or install it internally as an expansion card.

Do You Have to Have an Internet Provider to Get WiFi?

Internet plans can be expensive, confusing, and with so many options it's hard to choose. If you're in between Internet providers or maybe not ready to commit to a plan, there are multiple ways you can access WiFi without having an Internet provider. Learn how to get WiFi without a provider below.

Mobile Hotspot

Mobile hotspots, unlike WiFi hotspots, are not restricted to a single area. As long as you have a mobile phone or a tablet that can operate as a mobile WiFi hotspot and are enrolled to a cellular data plan, you can build a mobile hotspot wherever you want. A device's mobile hotspot feature allows you to share your data plan with other devices that are connected to it—basically, a mobile hotspot device generates WiFi signals that allow users to connect to the Internet using cellular data.

Tethering

Tethering works in a similar way as mobile hotspots in theory. In both scenarios, your mobile device serves as a modem for connecting other devices to the Internet. Tethering, on the other hand, differs from mobile hotspots in that it uses a USB cord to link another device to your mobile smartphone. You can still use your cell phone data to access and connect to the Internet. Tethering has more limitations than mobile hotspots. It can work well for you if you do not need to access the Internet on your laptop only occasionally, not regularly.

Public WiFi

Free WiFi is available in many cities all around the world, including Perth, Barcelona, Seoul, Moscow, and New York City. In certain circumstances, WiFi connection is available over a large region, while in others, coverage is limited. You may also be able to uncover private WiFi hotspots that will provide you with speedy Internet for a fraction of the cost of a cellular data package. Of course, not everyone lives in a city with a government-funded free WiFi hotspot network or in an area where a cheap private WiFi hotspot is available. Residents of these cities and towns can always use WiFi in public locations such as shopping malls, pubs, restaurants, libraries, parks, and so on. The disadvantage is that you can only connect when you are within range of a public WiFi network. Another disadvantage is that Public WiFi hotspots are public so others connected to the network may be able to access information you send over it. As a security precaution, it is important to be cautious with sensitive information while connected.

WiFi USB Dongle

The WiFi USB dongle, also known as "the Internet stick," is a less expensive and more handy alternative to a mobile hotspot or tethering. These are little USB devices that connect to the internet through SIM cards. The connection is established using a wireless mobile broadband provider, similar to mobile hotspots. Whether you plug it directly into your laptop or connect to the WiFi network it creates, a WiFi USB dongle makes it easy to stream videos and transfer massive data files. For a better experience, we recommend using a 4G connection. The quality of the signal and the speed of the connection will, however, be determined by the service provided by your mobile broadband provider. It’s worth noting that a WiFi USB dongle may not be as reliable as a mobile hotspot device in terms of speed, signal strength, and range.

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