1. Find an ISP
Depending on where you live, you might not have a wide range of options for your internet service provider (ISP). In some cases, you’ll be lucky to even get to choose between two different companies. But if that’s not the case in your area, you should study the available offers carefully.
If any provider offers a fiber connection, you should prioritize them over others if you value high speed and low latency. Cable is still a good option if nothing else is available. Both will be equally easy to set up once the provider has established a connection to your home. In the end, you will still connect to a router on your end.
If you live in a remote area with limited access to services, satellite internet may be your only option. This is something you should only use if nothing else is available. Satellite internet has a much higher latency than other options and is unsuitable for gaming and similar purposes. If you only need to browse the internet and watch videos, it can still suffice, but be prepared to deal with reliability issues.
2. Install Your Modem & Router
Some ISPs might send over a technician to connect your modem and router, but that’s not always the case. In some cases, you’ll have to handle that part yourself. Don’t worry, though; even if you’re not experienced with technology, it’s usually a simple process requiring you to follow a few steps.
Your modem should be connected to the cable from your internet provider. The router, in turn, connects to the modem and distributes the connection to all devices in your home. You can connect devices to your router either via a LAN cable or WiFi. The former option is recommended where latency and connection stability are important. If you plan on playing online games, you should connect your computer or console with a cable whenever possible.
Once everything is hooked up, you will have to establish the initial connection to your provider. Then, use the credentials your ISP has given you to connect the modem to the internet. In some cases, your modem will come with preconfigured credentials, and this part of the setup will be done automatically. Otherwise, it’s as simple as entering your username and password using the modem’s web interface.
3. Set Up Your WiFi Network
If your WiFi network is not configured automatically, open your router’s settings to set it up. Most modern routers make this very simple even for inexperienced users and provide you with complete guidance through the process. You just have to pick a name for your network, enter a password, and that’s pretty much it.
Some routers may give you the option to set up multiple WiFi networks. This can be useful if you frequently have guests over, as you can provide them with a limited network that doesn’t interfere with your main connection. You can also choose between different frequencies, which can help in cases where you have multiple WiFi devices interfering with each other. If you live in a flat with many apartments, you’ll probably want to play with those settings to maximize the stability of your connection.
If your router allows you to choose a security protocol, always go with WPA2. Older protocols are vulnerable to security exploits which may allow unauthorized parties to access your network.
4. Connect Your Devices
Now you’re ready to connect your devices. For any devices using a LAN cable, simply plugging in the cable should be enough. You shouldn’t need to explicitly connect the device to the network or enter a password. If your device doesn’t recognize the new connection immediately, check the router’s interface to verify that it’s connected.
For wireless devices, search for available networks, select the one you set up earlier and connect to it with your password. If your router supports WPS, you can easily connect devices to its WiFi network. Just push the WPS button on the router and follow the instructions on your device.
How Long Does It Take to Set Up Internet in a New Apartment?
Each provider is different, and some are notoriously slow when setting up a new contract. Be prepared to wait a few weeks. Once your ISP has set everything up on their end, it should only take you a few minutes to get your new connection up and running. Most routers need a couple of minutes for their initial configuration, and connecting your devices after that is almost instant.
Can You Set Up Internet Before Moving in?
If you want to have everything already set up on the day you move in, you should get in touch with your ISP as early as possible. If you’re renting, keep in mind that they will usually refuse to hook you up if you still don’t have an official rental contract. Talk to your future landlord and see if they might be willing to contact the ISP for you and provide them with approval. Even then, expect that you may have to wait until your contract is finalized.
Is it Better to Use WiFi Over a Cable Connection?
WiFi is great for mobile devices and computers that you don’t use for gaming. Its periodically unstable nature can make it unsuitable for applications that require low latency. Working from home is another situation that calls for a cable connection to minimize any friction.
I Already Have My Own Router. Can I Use it Instead of the One Provided By the ISP?
This depends on your internet provider. Some will allow it, while others will insist that you only use their approved hardware.
My WiFi Connection is Very Unstable. What Can I Do?
First, verify that the router is not physically obstructed. WiFi is very sensitive to this, and even a cardboard box full of items that you still haven’t unpacked can cause a noticeable degradation of your connection quality. If that doesn’t help, try switching your WiFi network to a different frequency. This can be done in the router’s settings.