Home Networking Basics

Sometimes I think that everyone knows what I know.  I usually don’t (hence the entire reason for this blog), but some things I really don’t think about that other people probably would like to know.  One of these things I really had no idea about until I posted my wireless giveaway on Monday.  In some of the entries it was clear to me that some of you may not understand exactly what a router is or does.  Let me help!

When you sign up for an internet connection to your home, it generally comes into one location in your home.  Your ISP (internet service provider) may give you a modem, or even just a cable that you are supposed to plug into your computer.  If you do plug it into your computer you only have one connection to the internet, just that PC.  If you want more devices to access the internet you will have to get a router (which is what “routes” the internet to the rest of your devices).

A wireless router is what will allow you to connect all your devices to the internet wirelessly.  A standard router will allow more devices to connect to the internet, but they will have to be physically plugged into the router.

There are many brands of routers, but the higher quality router you purchase the better your connection to the internet, and the further you can be away from the router and still have a good signal.  Before Cisco gave me a router and a couple to give away, it was always the brand I recommended to clients and friends.  It is consistently solid, and now is even the easiest to set up!

Now you know how to route the internet to the rest of your house!

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com


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  • Could you write more on this topic? We wnat to “go digital” this Christmas — new tv, netflix, wifi, playstation — but I dont’ know where to begin. Any suggestions for things/places I should read or research?

  • Thanks for explaining routers. My son lives in the Northeast and still can use our internet service in the South…how is that possible ??? He did it all through college out West too. He has never paid an internet bill yet, but good old Mom and Dad still do !

  • Great! I am purchasing my first lap top next month and I have asked my husband about wireless routers and he dont have a clue. I am getting insight from your blog. Thank you.

  • If you internet provider gives you a modem that is wi-fi to use. I was thinking of buying a higher quality router to handle on the wi-fi that is being used by my boys. Can I connect another router to the modem my provider gave me?