Wireless broadband – also known as Wi-Fi – allows you to connect to the internet without the need for wires or cables, with the help of a wireless router. This differs from mobile broadband which works using mobile phone signals; and you’ll be able to connect to internet as long as your computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone or games console is within range of the wireless router. In this guide we talk you through wireless broadband and explain why going wireless could be the right step for you and offer tips on how to boost your Wi-Fi signal so you always stay connected.
Wireless broadband is a connection to the internet that is accessed without wires or cables. It is the connection between your computer and a wireless router not the actual broadband connection itself. This is made possible by the wireless router so any phone line or cable broadband service can be turned into a wireless connection by changing the router; you don’t have to buy a whole new broadband package.
No wires: The obvious place to start. As there are no wires you can ease the clutter and reduce the amount of space your computer takes up at home.
Flexibility: As long as you have a device or laptop you can access the internet from any room in the house.
Multiple connections: Once you have a wireless router everyone in the house can connect to the internet using any device provided they have a signal.
Open to users outside your home: A problem with wireless broadband is that internet users close to your home could gain access to your bandwidth. However, there is a simple way to avoid this by setting a password that only you and other members of the household know.
Range: Sometimes the signal from a wireless router can struggle to reach certain parts of the house; again there is a way round this problem as we discuss below.
There are a lot of wireless broadband deals currently available, so the best way to separate them and see which one is right for you is to use a comparison website. They let you search through what’s available based on what you need and should help you come to a decision about which provider to go with. A good tip with comparison sites is to check more than one as they sometimes don’t always have all the offers currently available so you could be missing out.
At the moment you can get a very good deal at just £23.50 with TalkTalk with no setup cost, unlimited downloads and amazing speed of an average 67mbps.
If you want higher speed you may need to pay a little more with Virgin Media - £26 per month at average speed of 108 mbps.
If you have wireless broadband and you’re suffering from repeated loss of signal, changing packages and provider is one solution but a more cost effective alternative is to follow these few simple steps:
Put your router somewhere central: Where you decide to place your wireless router in your home can greatly impact the connection you receive. The nearer your device, computer or console is to the router the better the signal, so it’s a good idea to put it somewhere central in the house and free from obstructions.Avoid interference: Try and keep your wireless router away from any other electronic devices that send wireless signals (things like a microwave or cordless phone). Their signals can interfere with those of the router and block your internet connection. This will see you constantly having to reset the router and wait for it to pick up the signal again.
Invest in a wireless repeater or powerline adapter: You can increase the range of your Wi-Fi signal by sending over a greater distance with a wireless repeater. There are several companies who make repeaters and they cost around £50. To maximise their effectiveness position the repeater half way between your wireless router and the device you want to use to connect.
If you’ve tried a repeater and it hasn’t had the desired effect then you can try a powerline adapter. They re-route your broadband connection across your house using internal wiring; creating a Wi-Fi spot wherever you have a free plug socket. However, powerline adapters are much more expensive than wireless repeaters.
You may want to read about: Virgin Broadband