Broadband Wireless Router Internet Modem Installation:Some years ago, a broadband installation came with a modem to handle the connection to the internet. Now, the tendency is for broadband with wireless router access that provides true mobile broadband. Broadband routers combine the functions of a modem and a wireless transmitter, generally being provided by an ISP as part of a package.
Wireless internet is available from all broadband providers. The only difference to a wired configuration is that, when you install broadband, you plug a wireless router rather than a modem into the phone socket. Every PC that is to connect to the internet then needs a wireless adaptor, which will either be built in to the machine or can be added by fitting a wireless network card or plugging a receiver into a USB port.
The advantages of using a broadband router modem are that you can access the internet from several computers at once, from different parts of the house and without the need for wires. However, this can lead to security issues and so you need to protect you wireless network to ensure that others in the vicinity can't gain access to it. Whilst writing this, I am able to "see" 16 other wireless networks in the neighbouring offices and buildings. I can access the internet for free through 5 of them! (Don't worry, I'll pop over and tell people my findings after I've finished this piece)
Problems can sometimes be experienced in maintaining a signal of sufficient strength, which can be affected by several factors. These include the number and thickness of intervening walls, interference from other devices and the distance between broadband routers and the PCs.
The speed of transmission for mobile wireless broadband may depend on the age of the router since this will determine the wireless broadband standard that is supported. The original 802.11b standard came out in 1999 with speeds of up to 11 Mbps. This was followed by higher speed versions providing up to 54 Mbps: 802.11a transmitted in the 5 GHz frequency range while 802.11g uses the same 2.4 GHz frequency as 11b. The latest standard, certified in September 2009, is 802.11n and has speeds that can exceed 100 Mbps. However, a connection with wireless router may be less reliable than a fixed one, which will be sufficient if you use only a single desktop PC that is near a telephone point.
If you move to fibre optic broadband with cable router connection, you'll really need to ensure that it's an n router so that it can handle the download speeds. These latest routers are typically supplied by well-known brands such as Netgear and Linksys. A review of this latest generation of routers concluded that it will support faster wireless connections over a longer distance, making it the best proposition with wireless broadband. † [last update: 11.11.09]