What Do I Need to Have Wireless Internet at Home?

By Nicholas Pell

Since the advent of wireless Internet, it seems everyone wants to go wireless. Gone are the days when people are tied to their desktop computers. Now, those with a laptop are free to roam about the house, using the Internet wherever they see fit. There are, however, some basic requirements for using wireless Internet at home.

Wireless Capability

Whatever computer you are using to access the Internet should be capable of wireless access. Most new computers, particularly laptops, come with wireless capability factory installed. Older computers, however, may require a wireless card to be installed before they are able to access the Internet wirelessly. You can purchase a wireless card at your local electronics store or over the Internet.

Broadband Access

To get effective Wi-Fi Internet, you will need broadband access to your home. Contact your Internet provider about getting broadband in your home. Broadband services are available in most of the United States as of 2010, with new locations being added every week. Dial-up connections are not practical for wireless Internet access, because of their low speed and bandwidth.


Merely signing up for broadband access will not bring the service to your house. You will also need a modem to get the service. You can purchase a broadband modem from an electronics store or rent one from your Internet provider for a small monthly fee. Connect the modem to the Internet output in your home, which will be installed by your Internet provider if one does not already exist.


You will need some kind of device to transmit the wireless signal through your home. This can be a router purchased from a the local electronics store. Routers come in different types and vary based on the size of the field they project, as well as the amount of data they can process. The box of the router at the store will often tell you which is right for your purposes. You can also hook a wireless-enabled desktop computer directly up to your broadband connection and use the computer itself as a router. No matter how you handle it, your router should be connected to the modem to transmit its signal throughout your home.