Wireless (Wi-Fi) FAQ
This article will answer some common questions about wireless networks.
Click one of these links to skip down:
- What is wireless (Wi-Fi)?
- What do I need to use Wi-Fi?
- How do I set up my wireless network?
- Do I need to use a password for my Wi-Fi network?
- How far does a Wi-Fi signal reach?
- Is Wi-Fi as reliable as an ethernet connection?
- How fast is wireless?
- What are the different wireless modes?
What is wireless (Wi-Fi)?
A wireless (Wi-Fi) connection uses radio frequency signals to send data between your modem/router and computers or other wireless-enabled devices. Wi-Fi means you can surf the net in different areas of your home without needing cables
The radio frequencies used by Wi-Fi (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 Wi-Fi?
- An active internet connection.
- A router to broadcast your internet as a Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi.
- 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 adapter from any good computer store.
How do I set up my wireless network?
If you bought your modem from iiNet, the Quick Setup Guide will tell you exactly how to set up your home Wi-Fi. For other 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 Wi-Fi network?
Yes. Your wireless network must be set with a password. Without one, your wireless 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 one) and use it to make calls.
All iiNet modems feature WPA/WPA2-PSK encryption passwords by default. Some other modems may have no passwords used in their default Wi-Fi settings, so please check carefully when setting up your network.
How far does a Wi-Fi signal reach?
A typical Wi-Fi 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 Wi-Fi signal, but you may want to purchase a wireless signal extender if you have a large area you need covered by your Wi-Fi network.
Is Wi-Fi as reliable as an ethernet connection?
No; but this shouldn’t be an issue for everyday internet use including browsing, social media and YouTube. Because 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 Wi-Fi, 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?
iiNet’s BoB2TM, BoB LiteTM and BudiiTM all feature the following three wireless modes (a.k.a standards) which may be set individually or in mixed mode. If you're using any computers or devices that were made before 2009, you shouldn't set your Wi-Fi network to 802.11n-only mode because those devices will only be compatible with 802.11g or b modes.
||Year released||Theoretical max speed||General use|
|802.11b||2000||8 Mbps (most stable)||Wireless dropout troubleshooting|
|802.11g||2003||54 Mbps||Devices manufactured between 2003-2009|
|802.11n||2009||300 Mbps||Most modern devices|