When setting up a home network, one of the most important features people often want is wireless connectivity.
Wi-Fi is a great and convenient way to wirelessly connect your network, and it can allow you different devices on your network to share files, printers and, perhaps most importantly, access the same internet connection.
This article will take a look at what exactly your home network needs if you want Wi-Fi functionality.
Ok, So What Exactly Is Wi-Fi?
The two most common ways to connect to a network are via Ethernet cables, or via wifi. While Ethernet uses wires, Wifi uses radio waves to allow compatible devices to connect to the network.
Nowadays, a great number of devices have wifi connectivity as it is simple to use and very convenient. This can include everything from computers and tablets to phones, consoles and more.
To set up an area of wifi connectivity, you will need a device to create a hotspot area. This will usually be a router, or a modem/router combo.
Do I Need A Router To Get Wifi?
To answer this question, it is probably easiest to break down your network into its two most important parts, your modem, and your router.
What's the Best Wireless Router?
A modem is the first point of connection between your internet service provider and your network. It allows data to be transferred over telephone or cable lines and in turn for this data to be transferred between computers.
While a modem is no doubt a very important part of your home network, it does not give you Wi-Fi functionality.
While your modem is the gateway to your internet connection, your router is what allows you to share that internet connection across multiple devices. While a router doesn’t necessarily have Wi-Fi functionality, nowadays, pretty much every router out there will have this feature.
A router essentially takes the data delivered by your modem, and delivers it to the relevant computers on your network. It can do this either by wifi or by using the Ethernet ports on your router.
- More on what routers do
- Modems vs Routers
- Best Wireless Router Modem Combos
- Accessing a Router Remotely
As you can see from the above explanations, your router and your modem both work in tandem to connect the devices on your network to the internet.
It is possible, however, to buy a product that does both jobs at once. A router/modem combo is a single device that contains both a modem and a router. This can be a simple way to get your network setup with wifi functionality.
If you receive your modem and router from your ISP, there is a fairly good chance that they will have provided you with a router/modem combo.
In conclusion, you will need a router if you want to have wireless connectivity on your network. A modem on its own will not be able to provide you with a wireless service, unless it is a modem/router combo (with wifi functionality).
While a router doesn’t necessarily have to be equipped with wifi, nowadays almost every router you can buy will have this function due to the number of wireless devices out there.