Internet Guide Logo

Wireless access to a landline ISP account?

Last Edit: 14/01/07

Yes you can. The advent of wireless routers have enabled homes to host multiple simultaneous Internet connections. So what exactly is a router?, it works the same way as your cable modem, but instead of allowing just one input they can allow multiple inputs. Routers come in two categories: wired only and wireless (which also provide wired inputs). Obviously if you want to connect wirelessly you require a wireless router. Wireless routers connect to the landline telephone socket - enabled with DSL or Fiber - and then are accessed via a radio wave.

If you own a wireless router and view it from it's rear, you will typically see six different inputs. One input is for the power supply , another is for the telephone (DSL) line input, and the other four are usually ethernet inputs. If the router is just cable enabled, then it will usually support four simultaneous connections via ethernet cables. Wireless routers support many connections: this is because they have an antenna which can transmit data via radio waves; anyone with a wireless enabled PC or device can communicate with the router and receive an Internet connection.

The router settings will be controlled by an administrator: the router admin sets a username and password when they receive the router. The admin can access the router from any device / computer that can connect to the router. The admin enters an IP address into the address box of a web browser, and will then be provided with a login prompt to access the router. The admin selects the settings for the router. One essential setting will be to input a username and password for the ISP service provided on the telephone line the router is connected too; if this is not inputted, or inputted incorrectly, the router cannot create a connection.

The other essential setting - for wireless routers - is to select wireless settings. Admin can select whether to enable or disable wireless connections to a router. If an admin enables wireless connections, then they will be asked whether or not they wish to broadcast a 'SSID'. If they enable broadcasting of a 'SSID', then any wireless enabled computers within the radio signal of the router can view the routers name (SSID) and can attempt to access it. Whether they can will depend on the security options selected. The SSID can contain 32 characters; if you wishto keep your wireless network secure, you will not want to name the network after yourself or after something which can identify you.

Wireless routers allow for an access list of trusted devices / users. Only the devices / users on the list will be allowed to connect to the router / network. The final security option will be to encrypt all data transmitted by the network. This will increase privacy by making it difficult for anyone locally to snoop on the routers local network. Different routers offer various encryption techniques. Some common encryption types are: WEP, WPA-PSK and WPA-802.1x.

Once the router settings have been selected, the next option to consider is selecting the physical location of the router. This can optimise wireless connectivity. The physical placement of a router will significantly effect the length of the wireless signal. For optimal distance, the router should be placed on a high shelf away from equipment that also emit radio or microwaves. The antenna of the router needs to be placed in a vertical position.