Some of us are very lucky when we have our broadband arrive, because it arrives with an engineer to set it up. This is often the case when we have Sky Broadband or Virgin installed, but if we have BT Broadband or Tesco Broadband, or another ADSL service, we may just receive our router in the post and be told to follow the instructions for setup. At the end of the line we may have a technical support expert that we may call, but this may cost us money and it can be embarrassing and stressful if we really don’t know what to do.
This article will help you understand how to avoid the most common setup problems so that you can get your Internet up and running in no time, and without any stress.
Don’t Start Too Early
When you get your correspondence from BT Broadband, or any other provider that you’ve registered with, you will normally have an activation date. This date will be the time that the line actually goes live and your ADSL will be up and running. It’s important that you don’t plug in before this date as it can cause issues with your router and configuration later. Wait until the date stipulated and then you can start the process.
Identify Your Main Socket from BT Broadband
The first thing to avoid is placing your broadband router on an internal phone socket in your house. It should be plugged in to the first socket, the main BT telephone socket. Normally, this socket is the one nearest the door and sometimes you may have to check the actual BT phone box to see which is the main socket. The main socket will normally have a split level with a screw so that it can be opened, although some older ones will not. If the wire in is coming from elsewhere, such as the lounge, it probably isn’t the main socket. Follow the lines and find out which is your main socket. It may be worth a quick peak outside to see if the line you suspect is the main socket has line coming into it from the exterior.
The reason this is important is because the BT wires for landlines are not designed for broadband. The wires can cause real bottleneck issues with your connection and end up hampering your broadband experience massively.
Not Too Much Distance between your Router and Phone Socket
Sometimes when we get our BT Broadband, or other solution, we decide to put our router upstairs, and wanting to put it off the main socket in the house, we run wires all the way up to the top of the house in order to achieve this aim. The problem is that we will lose connection speed and integrity over the wires between the phone line and the wireless router. There really shouldn’t be more than a meter or two between the phone line and the router in most cases unless you have extremely good cables in between. You should also ensure that your router is placed in an elevated position so that when you jump on your broadband wirelessly the signal has the best opportunity to reach around your house.
Microfilters split the telephone line between voice and data components. This means that any voice components in your line will not interfere with your Internet. Ensure that microfilters are fitted between any device, such as cordless phones, burglar alarms and faxes, and your telephone line. If your microfilters appear broken, then it’s very cheap to upgrade them and you can buy them in places like B&Q and PC World. It’s sometimes worth upgrading your microfilters from the cheap ones provided in your broadband router box as they are often not particularly fit for purpose.
How to Setup your BT Broadband or Other Wireless Solution
When you have your router installed, it’s time to get your devices onto the wireless broadband network. Normally, your password and network name will be provided on the router box or may even be on the sticker at the back of the router. Make sure you don’t give these details to people outside, as they can then jump onto your connection whenever they want, or could even, unknowingly, be on your connection from next door when they think they are on their own internet, as connections are often instigated automatically by devices after the first time the settings are input.
In order to setup your connection, you need to get to “Manage Your Connections” on your device. You may be able to get this from the notification bar on your front page or you may have to go to a Control Panel. On a MAC, often you have to go to Airport, which is the connectivity management system for many Apple devices.
Once you’ve opened this, you will need to search for networks and identify the network name of your new connection. Once you’ve done this, click on the connection and you’ll be brought up a login box in which you have to put your password. Normally there is an additional checkbox, which asks you whether you want to automatically connect to this network in the future, and clicking this will mean that you won’t have to go through this process again. Once you click “Ok”, you should automatically login and every time you boot up your laptop, the process should occur automatically.
When it comes to broadband there are a number of things that can affect your wireless broadband signal. These can be broadly classified as obstructions and interference.
Obstructions can be caused by anything that is between your router and your device. Older houses tend to have thick walls and ceilings that are difficult to penetrate for Internet broadcast signals and therefore sometimes you need to get a relayer to improve the distance of the signal, or buy a premium router with better antennae. A home plug system can also solve this issue by passing the broadband through the electric circuit in your house.
Interference can be caused by the telephone line itself, which can act as an antenna for interference. In addition, many lines still have the bell wire installed in them, which passed the ring sound around the home in bygone times. It’s a good idea to remove this or install an iPlate or broadband accelerator.
Interference can be caused also by other wireless broadband connections in the area. If you live in an urban area or a flat, often other connections are competing for the air space and can affect yours. A premium router that works at different frequency to the normal 2.4GHz can often remedy this problem.
Wireless interference can also be caused by baby monitors, wireless boilers, radios, and anything else that sends out a wireless signal at the same frequency as your wireless router.