Advice

Wi-Fi Ready: How to Set up Internet in a New Apartment

Moving into a new apartment is often a stressful time. You have to unpack your boxes, arrange the furniture, and put everything where it should be.

One thing that can make the process easier is listening to your favorite playlist. That said, Spotify or Pandora won’t just work out of the gate. To get them to run, you’ll need to know how to set up internet in a new apartment.

The procedure is simple enough: take your router out of the box and plug the cords into the right ports. Then, follow the on-screen instructions to get online. If you want to get the best speeds and security, though, you’ll need to do a bit more work.

Trying to do this right? Here’s all you need to know about how to get Wi-Fi in your apartment.

Consider Getting a Better Router

Most internet service providers allow you to rent a modem/router combo. If you’re looking to minimize the hassle, go ahead and take them up on the offer.

Still, you should know that these routers aren’t the best hardware. Their main advantage is that they work fine out of the box. Most dedicated routers will be faster, more reliable, and better built than what you get from your ISP.

Of course, the downside is that you’ll have to buy a dedicated router. Still, getting one of those means you won’t have to pay a rental fee to your ISP. This fee is about $10-13/month, so a dedicated router can pay for itself in less than a year.

Put the Router in a Central Location

Regardless of which router you go for, you’ll want to ensure it works as intended. One way to do that is to put it as close to the center of your apartment as possible.

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See, a router is a useful tool, but it’s not perfect. If you want it to reach as many devices as possible, you need to consider the location. If you dump it in a random corner, most of the range would cover the neighbor’s apartment instead of yours.

The other issue with putting a router in a corner is connectivity. The more objects and surfaces are in its way, the weaker the signal will be. You don’t have to put it on the floor, but try to avoid brick, plastic, and concrete.

Consider Mesh Wi-Fi

Do you have a particularly large apartment? If so, relying on a single router to cover the whole place might not be enough.

What you should do is go for a mesh network system consisting of multiple routers. Though this may seem confusing, you’ll always stay connected to the same network. In recent years, we’ve seen many mesh routers that provide a great signal.

Change the Preset Factory Name

Once your router(s) is in the right place, it’s time to start thinking about security.

Every router comes with a preset network name, which reveals a lot to anyone trying to connect. For example, this makes it much easier for your neighbors to leech off your Wi-Fi. If you have a bandwidth cap, this could end up costing you money.

Sticking with the default factory name also allows cyber-criminals to break in. If they know the model of your router as well, they can easily exploit its vulnerabilities. To avoid these issues, change the router’s name while setting it up.

Change the Default Password

While you’re at it, you should change the password as well. Default passwords are easy to guess, and anyone looking to break in will be able to do it.

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A strong password should consist of at least 10 characters and contain both letters and numbers. Resist the temptation to make it easy to remember, as this also makes it easier to guess. Instead, write down your password somewhere and keep it safe.

Switch the Wavelengths

When it comes to how to set up internet in an apartment, interference is a key factor. To get better speeds, you’ll want to reduce it as much as possible.

See, most routers use the default 2.4 GHz wavelength for communication. If you have a lot of neighbors with their own networks, you may be better off switching to another channel. If you’re not sure how to do it, contact your ISP.

The other thing you can do to get better speeds is to use a faster browser. On a Mac, for example, Internet Explorer is probably your best option. To learn more, here’s how to use and download Internet Explorer for Mac.

Set Up a Security Protocol

Encryption is another feature that can influence your router security. Routers usually come in one of three main types, but there’s only one you should use.

While setting up your router, look for the Encryption setting and enable WPA2. The other two options should be WPA and WEP, but those are not as safe. If you have an old router that doesn’t support WPA2, consider buying a new one.

Upgrade the Router’s Firmware

The final step in getting your router up to date is to upgrade its firmware. Router security is notoriously flawed, so you should always update it.

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If you’re not sure what the update process should look like, consult the manual. Keep in mind that this involves spending some time without internet access. This is well worth it, as you’ll be able to rely on the most secure version of your router.

More on How to Set up Internet in a New Apartment

As you can see, setting up a wireless network isn’t that hard. By going through the above list right after you move in, you’ll have less to worry about later.

If you haven’t secured your network yet, you may want to check whether someone is stealing your Wi-Fi. Turn off and unplug every Wi-Fi device in your home and see if the indicator lights on your router are blinking. If they are, you may have a leech.

Want to know more about how to set up internet in a new apartment? Trying to make sure you haven’t forgotten something during your move? Check out our Advice section for more moving-related content!

 

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