How to set up the Internet at home (for beginners)

You have moved into your new home or apartment and the first thing you need to do is set up your internet connection.

Whether it’s the first time you’ve done it, or it’s been so long since you last set up the Internet that you forgot where to start, this article will help.

Follow this step-by-step guide to setting up your home Internet as quickly as possible.

1. Choose your Internet Service Provider (ISP)

The first step in gaining access to the Internet where you live is to choose the right Internet Service Provider (ISP). In most locations (at least in the United States), you usually have a few options, but often only one company is available for each option. This may not be the case in subway areas where there is more competition.

The following are the types of ISPs you should choose.

  • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL): Provided through your local telephone service company.
  • Broadband cable: Usually offered through your local cable company.
  • Fiber optic broadband: Offered by your cable company and other local ISPs.
  • Wireless: They are usually provided by mobile phone companies.
  • Satellite: Offered by cable satellite or internet companies like PLAT or local internet providers.
  • Dedicated leased line: A fixed-bandwidth connection dedicated only to your Internet connection. It is usually very expensive and is used by larger companies for their office internet connections.

Finding companies available in your area that provide these Internet services can be overwhelming, but there are some ways to do it.

The most common approach is to search Google for an “internet service provider” and find listings of businesses you can contact.

The problem with this approach is that it is not always clear what types of Internet access these companies offer. A better approach is to use one of the online directory sites that will help you find the internet provider that suits you best.

Some of the most popular are:

  • Just enter your zip code and see all available listings.
  • Enter your zip code and select Search providers to see all listings.
  • Select Look for suppliers and enter your address to see your local ISPs.
  • Enter your zip code or address and select the search icon to see the available providers.

These services show you all the ISPs in your area, as well as the types of Internet access they offer. Once you’ve decided what type you need, just call the Internet and ordering service.

2. Install and configure your router / modem

Depending on the type of Internet service you provide, the router provided to you may differ slightly. Although this device is known as a “router”, it is technically known as a “modem”.

Router technologies used in DSL modems include ADSL or VDSL, which are just data transfer technologies that work over telephone lines. Therefore, the input ports of these modems will include a telephone port that you connect to your home phone jack.

If you have registered for a fiber optic Internet connection, your modem will include GPON data transfer technology.

Cable modems include coaxial input ports that you plug into your home’s broadband cable jack. Satellite modems typically have multiple antennas to allow back-and-forth communication from aerial satellites.

In all cases, some ISPs may allow this buy your own modem and avoid a monthly rental fee. In other cases, ISPs require that you use the specifically provided modem mark and include the monthly fee for the bill.

If you don’t know anything about modem / router technologies, it’s best to let your ISP provide you with the router they know works with your internet service.

Once the modem is delivered, setting it up for internet connection at home is very simple.

  1. Place the modem near the home port provided by the Internet service. It can be the cable socket, the telephone socket or near a window in case of satellite internet.
  2. Plug your phone port, fiber optic cable, or modem cable into your home’s electrical outlet.
  3. Use the included power adapter to connect the modem to a nearby outlet.
  4. Once the modem is turned on, you may need to call your ISP to confirm that you can connect to the modem and have an active Internet connection.

3. Connect the WiFi router to the modem

Now that you have an Internet modem connected to the Internet, all you have to do is connect to that Internet connection with all your devices.

There are some options, depending on the type of modem. If the modem is WiFi enabled, it is also a WiFi router and will produce an internal WiFi network to which you can connect with your home devices. If not, you will need to purchase a secondary WiFi router to connect to the modem.

Don’t let the ports on the back of these devices scare you. Connecting everything is really quite easy.

Netgear provides a useful diagram you can use this to help you connect everything.

Follow the steps below to connect the modem to the router and enable your WiFi network at home.

  1. Connect an ethernet cable from the Internet modem port to file Internet port your WiFi router.
  2. Turn on the DSL / Cable / Satellite modem and wait until all the lights are on and the Internet light is on.
  3. Turn on the WiFi router and wait until the Internet light turns on. You should also see the WiFi light flashing quickly.

Your home WiFi network is now ready.

Before moving on to the next step, make sure set up your WiFi router to fully protect your home network of hackers. This will also prevent neighbors from accessing your network without your permission.

When setting up your WiFi network password, be sure to make a note of it later when you want to connect your devices.

4. Connect your devices to the Internet

There are now two main ways to connect each device to your new internet connection. You can connect to the WiFi wireless network, or you can use an ethernet cable to connect directly to the router.

How to make a cable connection

To connect using an Ethernet cable, simply connect one end of the cable to the Ethernet port on your computer or laptop. Connect the other end to one of the network ports on the back of the router (not the modem).

How do you know which port on the back of the router to plug into?

Typically, these network ports are highlighted in yellow. They are also often numbered. Avoid connecting to the port labeled “Internet” because it should only connect to your Internet modem.

Once connected via Ethernet, your computer or laptop will have an instant Internet connection.

How to make a wireless connection

To connect to your new WiFi network with a Windows 10 computer or laptop, simply select the wireless icon at the bottom right of the taskbar. All available WiFi networks to connect will be displayed. Just select Connect, enter the network password.

To connect to a Wifi network with a Mac, select the WiFi icon in the menu bar and select Turn on WiFiand select the WiFi network to connect.

On an Android device, open Configuration, select Connections, select Wi-Fiand tap the network you want to connect to. On the iPhone, open Settings and select Wi-Fi, turn on Wi-Fi and tap the network you want to join.

If you try to connect any device and prove that your internet connection is connected but you cannot access the internet, you will need to use more advanced internet connection troubleshooting tips.

At this time, your home should have a working Internet connection and an active WiFi network to connect all Internet-enabled devices.

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