Assuming the modem your Internet Service Provider supplied you has a built in wireless router, try it and see how well it works for you. The key questions are, how good is the wireless signal strength and whether it drops signals. Go to www.speedtest.net to see how it does in different parts of the house. If that is satisfactory, stick with it. The actual supplied speed is best tested on the same site with a computer connected by Ethernet cable.
Keep in mind that a wired connection using an Ethernet cable to the router will always deliver superior speed. For example, many printers have Ethernet connections and can operate as a network printer by plugging them into your router (or the supplied modem with router).
It has been my experience that the wireless facilities in provider-supplied modems do not do a good job of wireless. If that is the case, you will need to get your own wireless router and get your Internet Service Provider to shut down the wireless facility in their modem.
You should not have more than one wireless router in a network or even try to connect one to another. In some wireless routers there is the capability of shutting down the router function and having them operate as wireless access points which acts like a signal repeater. In that case the wireless access point wirelessly connects to the main wireless router and has the network key (password) to it.
Check list & Tips
- Microwave ovens will interfere with your wireless signal
- 2.4 Ghz cordless phones will interfere with your wireless signal
- Large metal objects like refrigerator, freezer, cabinets, laundry will interfere with your wireless signal
- Metal in walls, floors or ceiling — some apartment or condo buildings are built of Concrete with reinforcing steel rods in it will interfere with your wireless signal
- Near large steel beams either in floor, ceiling or walls will interfere with your wireless signal
- Your computer itself will interfere with your wireless signal
- Other electronic devices such as a TV will interfere with your wireless signal
- Sometimes other nearby neighbours can cause interference through use of over-powered wireless systems
- If you are located near an airport or other place where radio signals are used extensively
- Most (not all) routers have an ip address of 192.168.0.1. Entering that in the Internet Explorer address bar should bring up a window for entering user id and password (not necessarily the same as the wireless key). You must have this. Once past that point, you can do all kinds of manual setup. For example the wireless encryption key (other names too). You can reset your router back to factory defaults by using a straightened paper clip. Press it into the tiny hole in the back that says reset while the router is powered up. Hold that pin there for at least 15 seconds.
- Many routers then have a user id of admin and no password.
- Do not get carried away with WiFi security. It can not be accessed from any point much further than about 50 feet. Write the key you create on a sticker and put it on the router or modem.
- There is a type of technology that few will tell you about that can make a huge difference for this type of problem. It amazes me that more people, even technical people, are not aware of it. It is actually in some routers and notebook PC radios and the sellers don’t even know it. It is called MIMO, which stands for Multiple In Multiple Out. It is supported by n radios, and will be used provided both the sending and receiving devices are capable. It works by transmitting on 2 or more closely adjacent band widths simultaneously. If a packet of information is lost or garbled, MIMO attempts to find a better copy of the packet from the adjacent stream, and is usually successful. Obviously 3×3 MIMO systems are better than 2×2.
- If you buy a new router, you should insist it has MIMO and you may have to do a lot of research to find which ones have it. More than you might think, but their sellers don’t know about it.
- Wireless n devices (both router and the radio in your computer) are much better capable of handling this interference. Check to see if your router supports n and that it is set up to run on n if your devices talk to it on n. You will need help from your ISP (Internet Service Provider for this).
- You should not have more than one wireless router in a network or even try to connect one to another. In some wireless routers there is the capability of shutting down the router function and having them operate as wireless access points which acts like a signal repeater. In that case the wireless access point wirelessly connects to the main wireless router and has the network key (password) to it
- Placement of the wireless router can be very much the cause. It should ideally be near the centre of a building. It should be high in a room not down low to the floor where it can pick up more interference. Not near a wall or other electronic device. Sometimes just moving a router a foot or two can make a huge difference. Likewise the way antennas are pointed, assuming your router has one or more externally