Wifi is a technology that uses radio waves to connect our devices to the internet — wirelessly
Wifi: the key benefits and the basics of how it works
The benefit of wifi is obvious: a wireless internet connection means our devices are not tied to a fixed location within a property. You see, wifi transmits a property’s internet connection via special radio signals, allowing us to move around from one room to another, with no interruption to our internet connection.
This is obviously super handy for users of laptops, tablets and mobile devices. Once we’re connected to wifi, access to the internet is suddenly so much more convenient and flexible.
Sunny day outside? Why not catch up on your emails whilst sipping a coffee in the garden — with wifi, you can!
The basics of wifi in summary:
- Wifi is the wireless technology that all internet-enabled devices use to get online — without messing around with cables.
- Home wifi internet is made possible via a wireless router, which is basically a box that transmits and receives wireless signals between an internet connection and internet-enabled devices.
- To communicate with a router and connect to wifi, a device must have a wireless adaptor. Most internet-enabled devices today come with a wireless adaptor built in — but older computers may require a plug-in adaptor in order to get online wirelessly
The following steps run through the general steps that anyone needs to take to get connected to the internet via wifi.
Step 1: Locate yourself in a property or public space that has a wireless router. I.e. Somewhere where a wifi signal is being transmitted.
Step 2: Make sure that the device you’re going to use is a.) Capable of connecting to the internet and b.) Capable of connecting to wifi.
Step 3: Find out the name of the wifi network that the router in your location is transmitting. That’s right, each wifi network has its own unique name. Sometimes this can be a sequence of random numbers and letters if it was set by default on the router — but people often personalise the name of a wifi network to help users identify its owners. E.g. “The Smith Family wifi” or “Fred’s Cafe”.
Step 4: Once you know the name of the wifi network, use your chosen device to find it. This will vary between devices (depending on whether you’re using a Windows or Mac computer, or a mobile device). However, the process for connecting to wifi is broadly similar, following something along the lines of: navigate to wifi settings > turn wifi on > click on the name of your wifi network > click “connect”.
Step 5: Many wifi networks are made private, with access restricted via a password. If your chosen wifi network is password protected, at this point it will ask you enter that password. Make sure you have the password at hand, and enter it.
You should now be connected to wifi!
- a wireless router
- a Windows 10 computer with a built-in wireless adaptor or a separate adaptor.
If you don’t have a wireless adaptor, you’ll need to buy one to plug into one of your computer’s USB ports. The adaptor should be supplied complete with instructions on how to use it to connect to a wireless network.