How to Go Wireless at Home

It’s the way of the future that we’ve seen in countless sci-fi movies: being able to access whatever we need from anywhere in the house – without wires being the proverbial ball-and-chain holding us back. However, when you can’t even see which wires go where, it’s completely understandable that many people find setting up their wireless networks a confusing task. So how can we make sure our walls and floors are uncluttered by a jungle of cords and wires? First, you’ll need to make sure the devices you want to use are able to pick up a wireless signal. Most recent computers, game consoles and smartphones can do this easily. Though, if you have devices that don’t, you may still be able to connect them to your network via wireless adapters that plug into USB or HDMI ports. Next, you’ll need the most basic component in any wireless network: a wireless router. This is the nerve centre of your new wireless network. Every model is different so when shopping around for one, make sure you ask for one with comprehensive installation instructions and browser-based consoles to make the whole process as easy as possible. After you’ve connected your router, the next step is to configure it. While you should have the instructions on hand, keep in mind that an important part of this step is encrypting your wireless signal to protect your network from unwanted connections. Microsoft recommends Wireless Protected Access (WPA or WPA2) wherever possible. While Wireless Encryption (WEP) may suffice, it is generally not as secure. If you have a large house or are experiencing poor signal quality for any number of reasons, it may be worthwhile to invest in a wireless bridge or repeater. While there are some differences between the two, they both receive a signal from your router and repeat it over its own area, broadening the signal area. Remember to buy models with a maximum speed which matches that of your network or you may miss out on the full potential of your connection. For best results, remember to place your router in a high position and away from large objects or walls as it’s easier to send a signal downwards with as much space as possible.

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