Top Wireless Broadband Plans
- What is wireless broadband?
Wireless broadband is a type of internet connection that is established using a wide range of radio frequencies, which are typically segmented into individual channels that are then used for wireless broadband networks. As the name suggests, wireless broadband is a completely wireless solution without the need for any type of Ethernet or USB cables linking your device to the broadband connection. Wireless broadband is also referred to as Wi-Fi networks that are usually used for voice, data, and video services. Rather than use a central hub and Ethernet cables to create a wired network, wireless routers and network cards are used to create a wireless broadband network.
- What are the benefits of choosing wireless broadband?
There are innumerable benefits of wireless broadband that are rarely possible with fixed line services such as ADSL or cable broadband. The main benefits of wireless broadband are the convenience and portability that it offers. With a wired network, you need to ensure that your devices are close to the modem or central hub so that sharing can be possible. This may entail moving about heavy furniture, making holes in the walls so that cables can be connected to different devices, and also using different cables and wires to connect the devices to each other. Not only is this extremely inconvenient, but may not always be possible.
On the other hand, wireless broadband does not require any such installation headache. With the help of a wireless router, network cards, and a wireless broadband modem from your ISP, the wireless broadband can be set up within minutes. Once that is done, you simply need to have a power source for your device, and you can then make use of the wireless broadband wherever you are. For example, if you are using a laptop that is powered by batteries, you can carry the laptop anywhere throughout your premises and will be able to access the internet whether you are in your bedroom or by the swimming pool. As long as you are within the range of the wireless broadband signal, you need not worry about troublesome wires and cables that keep you restricted to a particular area.
- What are the disadvantages associated with wireless broadband?
There is no denying that wireless broadband can be extremely beneficial to internet users who require mobility, but there are certain disadvantages to this type of broadband too. For starters, wireless broadband is not as fast as cable or ADSL services. Hence, it may not be usable for activities that are high data activities as the speed required for such activities may not be possible through wireless broadband. Also, if there are too many devices that are sharing the internet signal of the wireless broadband, then you can expect the speeds to be reduced further still. Another disadvantage with wireless broadband is its penetration. While this type of broadband works beautifully in areas where there are no obstacles or hindrances, it may not work in locations that have high concrete walls or steel in the construction. That being said, newer wireless routers have amazingly high ranges and the signal is also very strong, which enables it to bounce off brick walls and other such surfaces, thereby increasing the penetration of wireless broadband.
- Should I be concerned about the security of my wireless broadband network?
Yes. Security is a major concern with wireless broadband networks and consumers need to ensure that their wireless network is as secure as they can possibly afford to make it. The signal of a wireless broadband network can be picked up by any Wi-Fi device that is within the range of the signal. Therefore, if you leave your wireless broadband network unsecured, it will be possible for any person with such a device to tap into your internet signal. Not only can this cost you a lot of money in used data, but it can lead to serious issues such as hacking which can cause financial losses as well as identity theft. Even if you are on an unlimited plan and do not have to pay excess charges for data usage, the speed of your wireless broadband will be impacted negatively if unauthorised people are using your signal; not to mention the risk of your personal information falling into the wrong hands. Due to all these security concerns that are possible with wireless broadband networks, it is best to keep your network secured.
- How can I enhance the security of my wireless broadband network?
The security of a wireless broadband network can be enhanced in many ways. First of all, you need to ensure that you have encrypted your network with encryption keys and have set a very strong password for it. The password should not be something as obvious as your cell phone number, birth dates or any such number that can easily be hacked. As far as using encryption keys goes, consumers typically have a choice between WEP and WPA encryption. While WEP was sufficient till a few years back, it can be hacked into with relative ease nowadays. Hence, you should opt for WPA encryption, which may not offer 100% security to your wireless broadband network but is definitely a tough nut to crack.
Isolating your wireless signal is also one way to enhance the security of your wireless broadband. Every computer has a unique SSID by which it is recognised by other users. If you hide your SSID and do not allow its broadcast, your computer will become invisible on your wireless broadband network. Thereafter, if someone did manage to hack into your network, at least all your confidential data and personal information that is stored on your computer will be safe as the hacker will not be able to see it remotely. In addition to all these security measures, one of the simplest ways to protect your wireless broadband is to turn off the main power switch when you are not using it. If the power is turned off, there is no way anyone can use or misuse your wireless broadband.
- What are WPA and WEP?
WPA, also known as Wi-Fi Protected Access, is one of the newest types of encryption security available for wireless broadband. Before the availability of WPA, most people used WEP (Wireless Equivalent Privacy) technology to secure their wireless broadband networks. However, WEP is not sufficient security and is now easily cracked by most people. This led to an immediate need for better encryption for wireless broadband, which is why WPA was developed. WPA can be implemented in two ways depending on whether you are a corporate consumer with server operating systems at your premises, or you are a home user with a smaller wireless broadband network. WPA secures a wireless broadband with the help of encryption keys, which are automatically changed periodically so that it becomes that much tougher for people to hack into your wireless broadband network.
- What is an access list for wireless broadband?
A good way to secure your wireless broadband network is to create an access list for it. An access list is basically a list of all the computers, laptops, or other mobile devices that are allowed to use your broadband signal. Hence, if someone wants to use your wireless broadband, they will have to pass through two levels of security in order to do so. Firstly, their device will have to be on the access list that you have created, and secondly, they will need to know your password for the wireless broadband network. Hence, even if someone gets hold of your password but their device is not on your access list, they will not be able to misuse your wireless broadband network.
- What type of internet users is wireless broadband best suited for?
Even though wireless broadband does offer a great deal of convenience and portability, it may not be suited for everyone. For example, if you do not have too many mobile devices in your house or office and you use just the desktop computer, then it does not make sense to create a wireless broadband network. You can easily use a fixed line cable or ADSL broadband service which will offer much faster speeds and a more secure connection than wireless broadband. Similarly, if a free Wi-Fi connection is available to you in your office or at public places that you visit regularly, then you may not feel the need to create such a network in your home. On the other hand, if you have several devices such as a computer, a laptop, an iPad, or a gaming console that need to be connected to the internet at the same time, then your best option is that of wireless broadband, rather than having a separate internet connection for all the devices. Therefore, you should opt for wireless broadband only after ascertaining your internet needs thoroughly.
- Is it possible to extend the range of my wireless broadband signal? Yes, it is quite possible to extend the range of your wireless broadband signal. Here is a look at 3 things that you can do to enhance your wireless range:
- Removing obstacles and interferences: Very often people do not realise that their wireless broadband range is being affected by obstacles such as brick walls and other concrete structures. Hence, you should try and place your wireless router in such a location where such obstacles are minimal. Also, the router should be placed as high as possible so that the signal has a direct line of sight and is not blocked by desks or other pieces of furniture. Other mobile devices such as a cordless phone or a baby monitor can also affect the range of wireless broadband. Therefore, if you are using such devices in your house, make sure that you do not store or use them in the vicinity of your wireless broadband router.
- Using bigger antennas: There are many types of wireless routers and wireless access points that use an antenna to broadcast the wireless signal. If you are using such a model with an antenna, then fitting a bigger antenna on your router will help you to increase the range of your wireless broadband. Antennas are typically available as 2.5 dbi, 5 dbi, or 7 dbi antennas. Each type of antenna usually provides an increase in range of 10% to 20% over the smaller version. Hence, depending on how much you want to enhance your wireless broadband range by, you can choose an antenna accordingly.
- Using wireless repeaters: This is also an easy and convenient way to increase the range that you receive from your wireless broadband network. A repeater is a device that does two jobs at once. It picks up a wireless signal that is broadcast by routers and also has the ability to rebroadcast that signal. Hence, by using one or more repeaters for your wireless broadband, it is possible to enhance its range significantly. The one thing that you need to keep in mind when buying a repeater is that it should be compatible with your wireless router, wireless access point, and other repeaters if present.
- What is a wireless broadband USB adapter?
In order to receive wireless broadband, your computer should have a network card installed in it. However, you may need to open your PC case in order to install the network card. If you want to avoid all this, you can make use of a USB adapter to receive wireless broadband. The USB adapter is a small device that can easily be plugged into the USB port of your PC or laptop, and the device will immediately start to pick up the wireless broadband signal from the router or wireless access point.