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WiFi (Wireless) FAQ

This article will answer some general questions about WiFi as a technology.

If you have any trouble with your modem's WiFi network, please check out our troubleshooting guides on iiHelp.

Select one of the links below to jump to a query:

What is WiFi?

A WiFi (wireless) connection uses radio frequency signals to send data between your modem/router and computers or other WiFi devices. WiFi means you can surf the net in different areas of your home without needing cables

The radio frequencies used by WiFi (802.11) are similar to those used by wireless home phones. These signals are ideal for small areas such as a house or small office.

 

What do I need to use WiFi?

  • An active internet connection.
  • A router to broadcast your internet as a WiFi signal. Most modems have this router ability built in, but in some cases a separate router may be plugged in to a modem to handle the WiFi.
  • A computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet that has a wireless network adapter. Most modern devices have this built in by default – some computers may need to have a wireless adapter installed. Alternatively, you could buy a plugin USB WiFi adapter from any good computer store.
     

How do I set up my WiFi network?

If you bought your modem from iiNet, its setup guide will tell you exactly how to set up your home WiFi. For third-party modems, please check its user manual for instructions. If you ever need a hand, you can always call our friendly Support Team on 13 22 58.

 

Do I need to use a password for my WiFi network?

Yes. Your WiFi network must be set with a password. Without one, your WiFi network is open to anyone within range of your wireless signal. That means someone could potentially use your data, change your modem settings or even access your VoIP Netphone details (if you have a Netphone service) and use it to make calls.

All modems sold by iiNet feature WPA/WPA2-PSK encryption passwords by default. Some other modems may have no passwords used in their default WiFi settings, so please check carefully when setting up your network.

 

How far does a WiFi signal reach?

A typical WiFi signal has a range of roughly 30 metres, though this can be reduced by factors such as the ability of the modem/router, any walls or obstacles in the area, or other factors that may interfere with the wireless signal.

We have some good tips for improving your WiFi signal, but you may want to purchase a wireless signal extender from your local electronics store if you have a large area you need covered by your WiFi network.

 

Is WiFi as reliable as an Ethernet connection?

No; but this shouldn’t be an issue for everyday internet use including browsing, social media and YouTube. As wireless connection stability and speeds can vary due to signal interference and distance from the router, a cable connection will always be more reliable for heavy or time-sensitive usage such as online gaming.

 

How fast is wireless?

Radio signal technology can’t transfer data as quickly as Ethernet cables, but the potential speeds of modern wireless modes should be more than enough to match a cabled connection for an ADSL/ADSL2+ service. If you have a high-speed NBN fibre connection and you want to use WiFi, you may need to purchase a business-grade modem/router with a wireless mode that can handle the speeds.

 

What are the different wireless modes?

All modem routers currently sold by iiNet feature 802.11b, g and n WiFi modes, and some also support the latest 802.11ac WiFi.

WiFi modes (a.k.a standards) can typically be set individually or in mixed/automatic mode within your modem router settings. Mixed/automatic mode generally performs well without any performance issues.

If you're using any computers or devices that were made before 2009, you shouldn't set your WiFi network to 802.11n-only mode because those devices will only be compatible with 802.11g  or b modes.

Wireless mode
Year released Theoretical max throughput speed General use
802.11b 2000 8 Mbps Wireless dropout troubleshooting (as it is the most stable)
802.11g 2003 54 Mbps Devices manufactured between 2003-2009
802.11n 2009 300 Mbps Most modern devices
802.11ac 2014 500 Mbps to 1 Gbps Latest tech

 

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