Setting up Internet access from a new Internet service provider is typically something that a service technician will do upon installation. If your home hasn't been wired for Internet connectivity by previous residents, a representative from the ISP in question will come to your home and install the necessary cables and hardware. If you want to save yourself a great deal of money, the process can end at that point. Instead of paying to have a repair technician install Internet access throughout your home, you can take all of the equipment provided and set up the access point yourself in just a few moments of your time.
Begin the process by removing all of the network equipment that you received from its original packaging and laying it all out on a flat surface. Depending on your Internet service provider and the age of the equipment they rented to you, you may see two main pieces of hardware or only a single one. Some Internet service providers use a broadband modem to provide Internet access to your home and a separate wired or wireless router to allow you to connect more than one device to the network. Internet service providers with newer equipment, however, will combine both of the aforementioned hardware components into one device. If you've received a separate modem and router from your ISP, you will need to purchase an Ethernet cable to connect the two devices together (if one was not provided for you).
If you plan on setting up a wired network in your home, you will also need one Ethernet cable for each device you want to access the Internet with. Keep in mind that mobile devices like Apple's iPad and similar tablets will not be able to get online using a wired connection. Only wireless connections will provide Internet access to most portable devices. Walk through your home and measure the distance between each device and the location where the wired router will be installed. When purchasing Ethernet cables, make sure to buy cables that are long enough to cover the necessary distance.
If you're setting up a wired network in your home, connect the back of the included broadband modem to the rear panel of the wired router using an Ethernet cable. The cable will transfer information from the Internet to the router, at which point the information will be passed along to computers and other devices that are connected. Connect one Ethernet cable to the networking jack on the back of a device you want to be able to use online. Run the cable across the room and connect it to the rear panel on the router. Repeat the process to connect the remaining electronic devices in your home to the Internet. Depending on the router, you may only be able to connect a maximum four devices to the Internet. You can purchase routers with ports for up to eight connections if you so choose.
If setting up a wireless network, connect the router to the modem with an Ethernet cable (if necessary). Turn on your computer, open the Control Panel and select the option labeled ‘Connect to a Wireless Network’. Select the name of the wireless network you're trying to connect to and type in the provided password. Many Internet service providers no longer allow homeowners to use their own SSID and passwords for networks. The necessary connection information will likely be provided to you in the documentation that came with your network equipment. Repeat these steps to connect the remaining wireless devices to your home network. Unlike wired networks, there is no limit to the number of devices that can connect to a wireless network.
Once your network is up and running, perform a speed test to make sure you're getting the speeds you agreed to pay for with your ISP.
Visit an online speed test website like SpeedTest.net and click the button labeled ‘Begin Test’. The test will only take around thirty seconds to complete. Once it is finished, view the upload and download speeds in the graph on your Web browser. Compare the information on screen with the information in the packet you received from the ISP technician to make sure the speeds are similar.