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WiFi for Your Home

Set up a WiFi network for home and connect all devices wirelessly in the easiest and most cost-efficient way.
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  • NetSpot
  • Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting
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With the instructions and tips provided in this article, you should be able to cover your entire home with a strong WiFi signal and enjoy a reliable connection to the internet on any WiFi-enabled device.

What Should I Consider Before Deploying a WiFi Network at Home?

Setting up a home WiFi network requires more than just plugging in a WiFi router, but the process is still straightforward enough that you don’t need to be intimidated by it.

That’s why before you purchase a WiFi router, there are a few things you need to consider to design the best WiFi for home:

  • Home layout: Make sure you know how much floor space you want to cover with a WiFi signal. Will it be possible to place the WiFi router right in the middle of your home so that it’s an equal distance away from each device, or will it be tucked away in a corner? Depending on the size of your home and its layout, you may have to purchase a high-end WiFi router or invest in a mesh WiFi system to get good coverage.
  • Connected devices: How many devices do you want to connect to the internet via WiFi? If it’s just your laptop and smartphone, you can probably get away with a budget WiFi router with limited bandwidth. However, if you live with several other people and would like to make it possible for everyone to browse the web, stream movies, or play online video games at the same time and without any lag, you’ll need the best WiFi router for home you can get.
  • Special features: Just because you have only one WiFi device for home right now doesn’t mean that you won’t have 10 WiFi devices in just a few years. Homes are constantly becoming smarter and more connected, and it makes sense to select a WiFi router that supports the latest wireless technologies, such as WiFi 6.

What Tools Do I Need to Deploy a Home WiFi Network?

You’ll need a few things to deploy WiFi for home:

  1. Modem
  2. Wireless router
  3. PC or laptop
  4. Two Ethernet cables
  5. (Optional but recommended) WiFi analyzer like NetSpot

Usually, you won’t be able to select your modem because it will be provided to you by your ISP. The job of the modem is to act as a bridge between your local home network and the public internet. Its type will depend on your internet connection (cable, fiber, DSL).

How to Deploy a WiFi Network at Home?

Deploying WiFi for home typically takes around 30 minutes.

Step 1: Choose an Internet Service Provider

If you already have a wired internet connection at home, you can skip this step. If not, you need to select the best ISP in your area and wait for a technician to install a modem for you. Most ISP offer modems that double as WiFi routers, and it’s up to you to decide if you want to go this route.

The biggest advantage of purchasing or renting a modem router from your ISP is that you won’t have to purchase a dedicated WiFi router and set it up by following the instructions below. On the other hand, the modem router supplied by your ISP might not be able to cover your entire home with a strong WiFi signal, or it might not have certain features.

Step 2: Connect Your WiFi Router to Your Modem

Assuming you’ve already purchased a suitable WiFi router, it’s time to plug it into your internet modem. For this, you’ll need an Ethernet cable, and you should be able to find at least one inside the box in which your router came in.

Look for a port labeled WAN or Internet on your modem’s rear side and plug one end of the Ethernet cable into it. Now, look for a corresponding port on your WiFi router’s rear side and plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into it.

Turn on both your modem and your router. Both devices should have LED indicator lights indicating their status.

Step 3: Access Your WiFi Router’s Admin Panel

Now it’s time to configure your router (your modem is already pre-configured to work with your ISP). Grab another Ethernet cable and connect one end to any empty Ethernet port on your router’s rear side and the other end to your laptop or PC.

Launch a web browser on your laptop or PC and enter 192.168.1.1 or a similar address (look inside your router’s documentation if you’re not sure what the address is) to enter the router’s admin panel. It’s very likely that you’ll be presented with a login screen asking you for the admin username and password. Often, the defaults are “admin” and “admin.” If that doesn’t work, look for an information sticker on the bottom or back of your router.

Step 4: Configure Your WiFi Router

Once you're in your router's admin panel, you can modify and change all settings. Look for a section titled “Wireless” or “WiFi.” From this section, you can create a new WiFi network and specify its name in the SSID field. Select a unique name that’s easy to remember and make sure it doesn’t contain any identifiable information.

Most routers support multiple security modes, and we strongly recommend you select WPA2 because it offers the best protection against hackers. Typically, WPA2 operates with a single password, and the longer and more complicated password you select, the better. When you’re done configuring your WiFi settings, click Apply or Save and wait for the new settings to take effect.

Step 5: Connect All Devices to the New Network

With your new WiFi network up and running, you can connect all devices to it. The process will differ from device to device, but it always boils down to selecting the right network name and typing in your WiFi password.

Of course, you may still want to connect some devices via an Ethernet cable simply because they’re close to the router and always stay in one place. You don’t have to enter any password for wired internet connections.

How to Optimize a Home WiFi Network with NetSpot?

NetSpot is a software tool for wireless network assessments, and you can use it visualize your WiFi network and discover all areas of signal weakness, also known as dead spots. NetSpot runs on Mac OS X 10.10+ or any laptop with Windows 7/8/10, and it works with any 802.11 network.

In addition to discovering dead spots, NetSpot can also gather useful information about nearby WiFi networks, such as their SSIDs, security settings, channels, and signal strength.

NetSpot

To achieve the best WiFi performance, you should configure your router to broadcast on the least used channel (preferably one that doesn’t overlap with any adjacent channels).

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NetSpot is a professional tool designed with beginners in mind. Its modern user interface makes it easy to figure out all of its features and use them to visualize, manage, troubleshoot, audit, plan, and deploy wireless networks.

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Read next in All about Wi-Fi

If you want to dive deeper into this Wi-Fi thing, check out the following articles about Wi-Fi security, the best apps for wireless networking, inflight WiFi, etc.
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Wi-Fi Site Surveys, Analysis, Troubleshooting runs on a MacBook (macOS 10.10+) or any laptop (Windows 7/8/10) with a standard 802.11a/b/g/n/ac wireless network adapter.