Wireless broadband allows you to connect to your internet without the need of your computer to be hard wired into the modem. What you do is plug a wireless router into the modem then connect your computer wirelessly to the router through a wireless card, which is installed onto your PC, or in many cases comes included when you purchase a new laptop. Despite what many people think, wireless broadband is not the same as mobile broadband. Wireless broadband has a radius of about 100m from your router, whereas with mobile broadband you can access the internet wherever you have signal on your mobile phone.

Wireless broadband providers

There are no ‘wireless broadband suppliers’, you would still sign up to a regular broadband package with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and simply connect a wireless router to your modem. It’s the router that has the power to allow you to go wireless.

Some ISP’s will offer you free wireless routers and security packages when you take out a broadband contract with them.

What are the advantages?

The main advantage of wireless broadband is that you can surf the web from your living-room, kitchen, bedroom, basically wherever you like as long as you have a signal from your router. You also have the advantage of connecting a number of different computers to the router and each being able to browse any website of their choice without interfering with the other users. You can also connect a number of different devices to the internet through the wireless router, for example phones and PDA’s.

What are the disadvantages?

The main disadvantage is that hackers, neighbours or even passers by can use your internet without your permission if you don’t have your wireless network properly secured. Another disadvantage is that the strength of the signal weakens the further away you are from your router, or is also weakened if the signal has to go through thick brick walls, this would lead to a slower internet browsing speed.

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