Many apartments today – especially luxury units – come with an internet connection. Some homeowner associations provide TV and cable internet to condo owners.
But if your apartment doesn’t have an internet facility, you may have to set it up yourself.
In this article, you will learn about some of the factors to consider when selecting an internet service provider.
You will also learn about the equipment that you will need to set up an internet connection in your new apartment.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Internet Connection
The first thing that you should do is research the best internet service providers in your area then consider the following factors before choosing one.
Speed is an important factor when selecting a service provider. This particularly is the case if you want to use the net for gaming or streaming 4K movies.
Speed is also important if there are a lot of people who use the same device for accessing the net.
Latency refers to the delay in data transfer. You want a net provider with minimum delay or latency. Latency might not be a concern if you want to send an email or browse the net.
But it is a big concern if you want to stream videos or play online games.
Availability In Your Area
Availability is the main consideration when looking for a new internet service provider.
You may have located the best network provider but you can’t get a connection if the company does not serve in your area.
Find out about the cost associated with the new connection. Different internet service providers have different cost plans.
You should pick a plan that meets your budget and bandwidth needs. You can click here to compare the cost and check the availability of different internet service providers.
Types of Internet
Internet service not only has different speed and costs but also different connection types.
Common types of internet include wireless, fiber optics, cable, satellite, and DSL.
Cable internet is provided through coaxial cable. It allows a reliable and fast internet connection. A cable runs from a net service provider to your home.
If coaxial cabling is set up in the apartment, installing cable internet will be a breeze.
The internet connection type is ideal for heavy internet usage and where multiple people in a family use the net.
But the con of cable internet is that it is generally more expensive than others since the cost of the cable infrastructure is high.
Fiber optic is one of the fastest internet connections offered to consumers. But the connection is also rare and expensive. Running a fiber optic cable is more costly than setting up a cable infrastructure.
This is the reason not many internet service providers offer fiber optics connections.
But if you are lucky enough to find a fiber optic cable provider, you are in for a treat. Fiber optic internet delivers up to 1,000 Mbps net connection.
Also known as a Gigabit connection, a fiber optic connection allows an extremely smooth net connection. You will rarely experience any interference or lag when watching UHD quality movies or TV shows.
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet connection involves connecting to the net through a telephone line.
The online service is provided on the same line as the telephone lines. It is a dedicated line so it won’t slow down during peak hours.
The con of DSL internet connection is that it is slow as the DSL line has to deal with network traffic before it reaches your location.
The line transfers both data and voice at the same time. You can expect about 3 Mbps with a DSL line. This is not sufficient for watching HD quality movies, streaming live videos, or playing multi-player video games.
Mobile Wireless Internet
Mobile wireless internet is another option that you can use to connect to the net. AT&T and Verizon had launched the wireless internet plan in 2011.
The 4G LTE wireless connection competes with cable connections.
Some companies such as Verizon also offer a 5G Home internet connection for ultra-fast broadband net connectivity in select locations.
Satellite internet is yet another type of internet. It is different than other types as the data gets beamed from the space.
A satellite internet service provider will install a dish antenna at your premises. This type is a rather slow and expensive internet connection.
You should choose this type of internet connection no other types are available in your area.
Buy a New Router
Most internet service providers will provide you with all the equipment you would need to set up a new internet at your apartment, but they are generally not the best that you can find.
You should consider buying a dedicated router for the best results.
Buying a router will save you money each month since you don’t have to pay the rental fee of about $120 per year to your internet service provider.
This means that if you buy a new router costing $240, it will be paid within two years. You can read the Consumer Reports guide here for buying a new router.
Change Router ID & Password
Once you have bought a new router, you should change the factory ID and password. But why should you change the default configuration?
The main reason for changed the router details is to deter hackers from accessing the net. Hackers can leech the network that could cost you if there is a bandwidth cap.
By keeping the default ID unchanged, hackers will know about the vulnerabilities.
They will exploit the weaknesses of a particular brand to break into the wireless network. So, you need to take the extra step to change the router ID after purchasing.
Apart from the default ID, you should also change the default passwords. This is because it is easy to guess the passwords for hackers.
Default passwords such as Jimmy 123 or Stephannie 231 are easy to guess.
You need to create a unique router password containing both special characters, numbers, upper and lower letters. Consider making a password of at least 10 characters as it will be difficult to guess by the hackers.
Encryption is important for a router.
You will find different types of encryption on most routers including WEP, WPA, and WPA2. WEP and WPA are old and rather useless encryption technologies that are known to contain a lot of vulnerabilities.
Most newer routers have a WPA2 encryption feature.
You should look at the manual to find out how to enable WPA2 encryption. The encryption method will make the network connection secure.
It will greatly reduce the chances of a hacker breaking into the apartment net connection.
Don’t worry if you find the process of changing the encryption method difficult.
You can always call the tech support personnel of the router to walk you through the steps required to enable router encryption.
Place the Router in an Open Location
The router should be placed at a central location so that every device in the apartment can access the device. You should place the router in an open location at the center of the room.
If you place the router in a corner of the room, the range will benefit your neighbor instead of the occupants in your apartment.
You will get the most signals if you keep the router in the middle of the room away from walls, mirrors, and other surfaces that can interfere with the signals.
The other problem with putting it in a closet is that surfaces and objects can get in the way. Walls (especially plaster, brick, or concrete), windows, mirrors, or any other surface can mess with the signal.
You don’t have to put it on the floor in the middle of a room, but having it close to the center and away from most walls is the best way to get the best signal across your entire living space.
Modify the Frequency
The majority of routers use a 2.4 GHz frequency for communicating.
This means that you will get a lot of interference if you live in an apartment where a lot of users have a wireless network. You can change the settings to 5 GHz in your router if you face any connection issues.
To change the frequency, you have to go to the settings and change the frequency to 5GHz.
You can also call tech support to get help in changing the frequency settings of the router.
Wi-Fi Range Extenders
If you live in a large apartment, you may need to buy a Wi-Fi range extender. The range extenders receive wireless signals and amplify them.
This extends the reach of the wireless device. The device is not that expensive. You can buy one for between $20 and $50 on Amazon.
Some companies also sell mesh wireless routers to extend the range of the device.
The routers communicate with each other allowing you to stay connected to the net wherever you are within the apartment. It results in a stronger net signal and faster connection speed.
The above tips will help you set up the internet in a new apartment and help avoid any future issues regarding your internet connectivity. Happy surfing!
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