If you have a high speed broadband Internet connection in your home it is possible for more than one computer to share a wireless Internet connection through the use of a wireless router. Most Internet service providers that offer a high speed broadband connection will allow multiple computers to share the same connection however; it is a good idea to check with your ISP regarding their policy before setting up a shared connection.
Configuring a Shared Internet Connection
Before you set up a shared Internet connection it is necessary to determine how many computers will be sharing the network and if you will be providing a connection for any additional devices such as gaming consoles. The number of devices connected to the network will also determine the type of equipment you will need to share the Internet connection.
- Wireless Router: The wireless router is the main connection point for all of the devices that you connect to the network and is the main device that converts your cable or DSL connection into a wireless Internet connection. You can obtain a wireless router from any electronics retail establishment. The router will come equipped with software that must be installed on your PC. The software is installed via a CD installation disk which will walk you through the process step-by-step and help you set up the drivers. You will also need to enter the URL of the router into your Web browser to set up the configuration to activate the router. This information is also included on the CD installation disk.
It is important to note that most wireless routers contain port connections so you can establish a wired connection as an option. Make sure you purchase a router that has the appropriate number of ports for devices that you wish to connect with a wired connection instead of a wireless.
- Wireless NIC Card: Each PC that you plan to connect to the shared Internet connection must be equipped with a wireless NIC card. These can be purchased at a reasonable cost from any computer retailer. Like the wireless router, once an NIC card is installed it will walk you through the configuration process step-by-step.
- Connect the Network: Once you have the router installed and configured and the NIC cards installed in all of the PCs connect the router to the cable or DSL modem connection (depending upon the type of connection you have). Proceed to connect any wired computers to the router ports and then switch on the router. All of the devices connected to the network should automatically locate the Internet access point provided they have been previously configured to your cable or DSL modem connection.
Once all computers have established a connection with the wireless router make sure you take all of the necessary steps to secure the network against potential hackers. Some of the security measures include activating the firewall, password protecting the network, and deploying wireless encryption. With a wireless network, security is especially important since this type of connection uses radio waves which make it easier for hackers to steal your bandwidth and access your shared data and files.