Router reviews: FAQs
Why bother going wireless when I have a wired connection already?
Going wireless gives you the freedom to roam from one room in your house to another, or even outside in the garden, and remain connected to the internet.
Installing a wireless network can put paid to family feuds over who’s using the broadband connection – providing you have multiple wireless-enabled computers, you can all go online at the same time.
A wireless (or Wi-Fi) network frees you from the constraints of cables and lets you wirelessly stream , video and pictures, and share files and an internet connection between computers all over your home.
Is it easy to set up a wireless network?
There’s a bit of work involved in setting up a wireless network, but some wireless routers make it easier than others. Take a look at our ratings to find out which of the models on test came out on top in this department, or see our home networking guide for step-by-step instructions.
Even with a wireless-capable router, it’s still best start by connecting it to your computer with an Ethernet cable. You can use this cable connection to configure the router – including setting up the wireless options.
Most routers can be configured using a web browser (such as Internet Explorer). The router’s documentation should give you a number that you can enter into the browser’s address bar, and this will open up a web page that’s actually coming from the router.
Once you’ve logged in (the documentation should list the default username and password) you’ll find the tools you need to set up both wired and wireless options for your network.
What kit do I need to set up a wireless network?
You’ll need a wireless adaptor, wireless router and Ethernet cable. See our home networking guide for more information on how to set up a wireless network.
Should I be worried about the security of my connection?
You’ll need to secure your new wireless network to ensure other people within your wireless range can’t use your internet connection and possibly gain access to your computer.
It’s important to enable encryption when you set up your network – don’t assume you’ll be automatically prompted to do so, as many wireless routers will have security settings turned off by default.