24 February 2017
The high speeds and convenience of modern wireless broadband make it a popular choice for households up and down the country, allowing everyone in an Irish home to enjoy the internet at the same time.
The wireless nature of this type of broadband means that, not only can desktop home computers connect to high-speed internet, but any portable devices in the home can also connect. So any laptops, tablets and smartphones can immediately access the internet wherever you are in the home.
Wireless broadband works by using a wireless router in the home, which converts an incoming signal and transmits it throughout your home. This signal is then picked up by any wireless-enabled devices within the transmission area, enabling them to connect to the wireless broadband.
If you don’t have a wireless broadband router at home, don’t worry. Most internet service providers in Ireland will provide you with a router when you sign up to a wireless broadband package.
Free wireless routers are available with broadband packages from
Who can benefit from wireless broadband?
Wireless broadband is useful for anyone and everyone, giving you an instant wireless connection to the internet wherever you are in your home.
Families: Most modern families have more than their fair share of internet-enabled devices, with laptops, tablets, smartphone and games consoles all demanding an internet connection. A busy family household is where wireless broadband is perhaps most beneficial, as it allows multiple users to access the internet at the same time, from across the home.
Gamers: Games consoles have come on leaps and bounds since the simple models of 20 years ago. They now have extensive storylines, sophisticated graphics and they demand a powerful internet connection. Online gaming is more popular than ever, which means that a strong wireless broadband connection is a necessity for any modern gamer.
Students: The majority of students will live in shared accommodation, either in university accommodation or a rented house. In these busy student households, there is usually at least one person online at all hours of the day, so wireless broadband access can come in very handy.
Who can’t benefit from wireless broadband?
In this day and age, there are very few people for whom a wireless broadband package won’t be useful. But if you’re someone who only has one desktop computer in the home, near a telephone point, a wired connection would work for you.
Having said that, many internet providers no longer offer a fixed line router so you might struggle to not go wireless.
How does a wireless broadband router work?
A wireless broadband router is a home’s gateway to wireless broadband, using an aerial or antenna to transmit a wireless signal throughout your home. This transmission is then picked up by the wireless adapter in any internet-enabled devices in your home.
On most modern devices, such as tablets and smartphones, this wireless adapter is built into the device and can usually be switched on in the setting menu. If you have an older laptop, however, you may need to get an external wireless adapter or wireless network card to pick up the signal.
When on the lookout for a wireless router there are a few terms to look out for, especially when it comes to broadband speeds. The key things to take into account are 802.11g or 802.11n, which indicates the speed that data can travel at using the router. On older models you’ll find 802.11g, while newer models with faster data transfer have 802.11n.
Setting up wireless broadband
Setting up a broadband connection, even those that weren’t wireless, used to be a fairly long and complicated process.
But now the majority of broadband providers make it as easy as possible to set up a WLAN (wireless local area network) so you can connect wirelessly in no time. The set-up process is usually as follows:
- Plug in your new wireless router
- Insert CD with wireless broadband software
- Enter security code found on back of router
- Enjoy the internet wherever you are in the house
The process could not be simpler, and most broadband providers have 24-hour customer service helplines to guide you through the set-up process.
Wireless broadband routers available
The majority of broadband providers in Ireland will give you a wireless router free of charge when you sign up to a broadband package, so you don’t need to worry about extra costs.
Want to find out more about wireless broadband? Read our dedicate guide - what is wireless broadband?