Setting up wireless broadband routers

Your wireless broadband router is at the heart of your internet experience that allows you to access broadband comfortably on WiFi enabled devices from most places around your home.

Some broadband providers offer a service to set up your wireless broadband for you, but these come at a cost. Setting up your own router can be relatively easy, especially with this guide which helps to break the process down into simple steps.

Router location

The first step is to find a good location for your wireless router. Ideally it should be near your main telephone socket, elevated and not surrounded by any dense obstacles that may hinder the WiFi signal. You can find out more about getting the best WiFi signal in our solving wireless broadband problems guide.

You will also need to connect a microfilter (usually supplied with your router) to the telephone socket. Your telephone and router will then plug into the microfilter. Connect your router’s power cable to a mains socket.

Be aware: You must plug a microfilter into every telephone extension socket, regardless of whether you have a telephone plugged into the socket. Most routers are supplied with at least two microfilters, others can be purchased from most electrical/computer retailers.

Connect the cables

On the back of the router there will be cable ports. The yellow coloured ports (RJ-45) are for ethernet cables to connect to your computer when not using WiFi. There will be a grey coloured port (RJ-11) for the connector of the telephone cable.

Be aware: The telephone connector can sometimes be incorrectly plugged into the yellow sockets.

Using the ethernet cable to connect the router to your computer is quicker and more secure than a wireless connection. However, a wireless connection should be suitable for most general Internet usage. Whether you have a broadband connection, or a fibre optic connection, setting up the router will be a similar process.

Turn the router on

Once switched on you will need to give the router a few moments to power up and run through its self-tests. If the router has been supplied by your internet service provider (ISP) it will most likely be set up for your broadband connection when you unbox it.

You should see the lights on the front of the router to confirm its connection status. At this stage, if you have a computer connected with an ethernet cable (often supplied with the router), you should find you can now access the world wide web with your web browser.

The wireless connection

Your router will likely have a label on it giving the unique name of your router - otherwise known as the SSID (Service Set Identifier). Under this will be the password that will be used for wireless connection.

Your router’s SSID should show up in your computer or mobile device’s list of available network connections. When you click/touch on this, you will be asked to type in the password. This must be typed in exactly as shown, including upper/lower case letters and numbers.

Be aware: When typing the password, the number 0 can be confused with the letter O. The same can happen with the number 1 and the upper case letter l.

Once you have typed in the passcode correctly, you should have a working wireless broadband connection within a couple of minutes.