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How to set up internet service
Setting up internet service can be a daunting task, especially if you are a first-time internet buyer or just moved to a new area. But fear not! We’ve done the research and heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is pick an internet provider and plan that fits your browsing habits. Follow the steps below to quickly and easily get high-speed internet in your home.
Three easy steps to get the internet in your home
Step 1: Compare providers and plans
Locate internet providers in your area. Consider connection type, available internet speeds, starting price, service reliability, contract lengths and bundle deals when making your selections.
Step 2: Order your internet service
Once you’ve determined your provider and plan, order online or give us a call at 833.242.0802. We’ll gather some basic information to sign you up and schedule an appointment with your new internet service provider (ISP).
Step 3: Set up your internet service
Choose between contactless or self-installation or professional installation. If you choose a professional install, your new internet provider will come out to your house and physically connect you to the network.
On this page:
How to set up internet equipment
Typically, your provider will send a technician out to complete your installation and set up your equipment for you. However, sometimes you can also choose to do a contactless or self-install, particularly now as internet providers respond to the COVID outbreak. Once you’ve ordered your internet service and have your cable, DSL, satellite or fiber internet modem in hand, you’re ready to set up your wireless router.
Get a modem and router
Decide if you would rather purchase or rent your own modem and router. Renting can be more simple at first, but buying can save you money in the long term.
What’s the difference between the two pieces of equipment?
- A modem will bring the internet connection into your home from your internet service provider.
- The router takes the internet connection from your modem and distributes it to the multiple devices connected into your home network.
Interested in buying your own equipment? Check out our guides on provider-specific compatible modems and routers:
Connect your router to the provider network
This step might seem tricky at first, but connecting your router to your internet network is easier than it sounds.
- First, take the cable company’s coaxial cable, the phone company’s DSL phone line, the satellite company’s data line or the fiber optic company’s data line and plug it into your modem.
- Then, take the Ethernet cable from your modem and plug it into your wireless router.
- Now plug in the power cords of both devices, turn them both on, and let them calibrate and communicate with each other for a few minutes. You’ll see the lights on both devices flicker back and forth for a little while.
Nowadays, many ISPs also offer combined modem/router units, so you might even be able to plug all your cords into a single piece of equipment, basically combining steps one and two above.
Set up your secure Wi-Fi
- Locate the device’s default IP address and default login information. This will be on the back of the router or in the device manual. (Want to know more? Find answers to the question, what is an IP address.)
- Open up a web browser and type in the IP address.
- After the setup wizard, go through the menus and change your Wi-Fi login password (to keep your network secure) and its name (feel free to make it something easily recognizable, such as “AGreatDayToWifi”).
What happens next? After setup, the router receives a single public internet protocol (IP) address on the web. Servers on the backend of the internet communicate with your wireless router, and the router routes that information traffic to the appropriate devices on your home network.
Start surfing the web!
Finally, on to the fun part! You should now be online and ready to enjoy the web from the comfort of your home. If you have trouble with your wireless router after setup, be sure to call your ISP and let them know so they can help resolve the issue for you.
Need help contacting your ISP customer service department? We’ve got you covered.
How to fix common internet connection problems
It can be frustrating when your internet isn’t up and working properly. Here, we address some common internet connection problems and how to fix them.
Modem and router issues
- Check the lights on your modem and router. Flashing lights are a good thing. If you see a steady, blinking orange light, it generally indicates an issue.
- Restart your modem and router to give them a chance to clear out any connection issues. Give them a few minutes to establish a connection with your ISP.
- If that doesn’t work, plug your computer’s Ethernet cable directly into your modem to see if the wireless router is the problem.
Viruses, software and browser issues
If you’re experiencing internet connection problems with a single device on your network, it could be the result that one device having a virus or some sort of malware. To quickly tidy up this issue:
- Download an anti-virus software and do an anti-virus scan on the computer.
- Try installing a different browser and accessing that same website if you’re having an issue with a specific browser.
Your provider’s servers are down
If you believe your internet service provider is experiencing issues on their end, call your provider and see if there’s a service outage in your area.
On a similar note, perhaps the specific website you’re trying to access is down. Try to revisit at a later time.
If you have consistent connection issues, it might be time to get a new internet service provider.
How to fix slow internet
There are four primary potential root causes that may slow down your internet speed — your computer, network devices, your network or your ISP. Here’s a quick troubleshooting guide for each area. If you’re not sure which of these might be causing your slow internet, just go down the list and try to eliminate each one until you find the culprit.
If you think your computer might be the problem, follow these steps:
- Reboot your computer and close all applications except the browser.
- Disable all anti-virus software and firewalls. Re-enable it later to protect your computer from harm.
- Run a full scan of your computer for viruses and remove any viruses found. Viruses can utilize bandwidth and cause slowness.
- If you have a second internet browser, use it to rule out if the first browser is at fault.
- Apply security updates to your browsers and upgrade your browsers to the latest version.
- Secure your Ethernet cable at the computer and router.
Network devices, such as your modem and router, can get bogged down due to heavy traffic, but can also be affected by physical elements such as where the modem is located in your home, or even inclement weather. Try these steps to rule out any other issues.
- Reboot all network devices including router and DSL modem.
- Verify that all network cables are secured.
- (DSL only): Verify all DSL filters are properly connected and secured. Use one filter for each telephone device. To use a DSL filter properly, insert it into the telephone wall jack first, then insert the telephone cable into the DSL filter.
Your home network might be causing your slow internet, so try these tips to troubleshoot any network issues.
- Check whether the issue is occurring on wireless or direct connection.
- If only wireless has an issue, then check the router’s wireless settings. Verify that there are no errors with your wireless device.
- Next, try to move your wireless computer closer to the router. Wireless has limited range so moving it closer can resolve the slowness issues.
- If direct connection is the issue, replace the potential faulty Ethernet cable.
Internet service provider
One way to identify if your ISP is at fault is by running an internet speed test. Click below to check your current internet speed. Then compare the test results against the package speed that you purchased from your ISP.
Need more for the price?
Try these helpful hacks to improve your internet speed. Or if you just want more bang for your buck, check out providers near you with more speed for the price. Either way, we’ll help you find what you need.View providers near me
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Pro Tip: For best results, use an Ethernet cord to connect your router or modem directly to your device before you run the test.
The test speed should be at least 65% of the advertised speed. For example, if the speed test is 1.0 Mbps and the advertised speed is 1.5 Mbps, then you are getting approximately 67%. A lower percentage indicates that your ISP is likely at fault. Contact your ISP immediately and let them know the results of your troubleshooting.
As a general rule, make sure you’re good about performing updates and restarts for your devices. If your internet speed does not improve, it may be time to switch internet service providers. Call us today and we’ll be sure to set you up with a provider that better suits your needs.
Find other ways to get the most out of your broadband by following the Resource Center and signing up for our weekly Allconnect newsletter.
Originally published 8/8/19. Last updated 7/27/20.
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