The information superhighway is a beautiful invention with its infancy dating all the way back to the 1960’s and, quite frankly, should be considered an 8th wonder of the world. However, it wouldn’t gain traction until the 1990’s when it became what it is seen as now, but regardless, it’s been a service that only gets better with time.

One facet of the Internet is the way you connect: wired or Wi-Fi. Wired is through an Ethernet cable. Wi-Fi is a signal you can pick up with laptops, phones and tablets. By today’s standards, choosing either is suitable enough for surfing the web (Ethernet is better). But how do you get Wi-Fi? How you get Wi-Fi is fairly simple, but first, from what company should you get Wi-Fi from?

1. Choosing the Right Internet Provider

There are a handful of internet providers that can connect you to the world wide web, but which company is the best? That is a heated topic that many indulge in, but you don’t have to play any part in. However, one might tell you that the cheapest price is the best, and frankly, that’s untrue.

Finding the right internet provider is often viewed as a simple process. Again, find the cheapest subscription, right? Well, no. There are several moving parts you need to consider like: the brand, the internet speeds, and availability.

The brand isn’t always considered, except by individuals that have changed internet providers due to anecdotal experiences. For example, one person might say they switched to Comcast because they had a bad experience with Frontier, and vice versa. But why consider the brand?

Because two internet providers might offer the same speeds at different prices. If one is higher, you need to consider the popularity of the company and ask yourself if you paying more simply because the brand is more popular.

Internet Speed:

Your internet speed is, by far, the most important decision. After all, a faster connection means less downtime. Again, another decision that seems easy on the surface, and to be fair, it can be. What you need to ask yourself is what exactly are you using the internet for. Are you gaming a lot? Faster speeds are going to be the holy grail.

Do you stream or download a lot? Again, a faster connection is better. What about for normal, everyday use like social media and binge-watching YouTube? You don’t need the best.

Availability can be argued as the middle of the pack. The internet speeds you need, from the internet provider you want, may not be available in your area. Don’t settle for paying more simply because you want to stick with one provider. Shop around and find a happy medium.

2. Local Providers Vs. Nationwide

Don’t underestimate the power of a local internet provider. It’s often overlooked for name recognition, and frankly, that’s what nationwide internet providers are banking on. It’s why you can take two products, both offering the same outcome, but because one has an established named–you’ll end up paying more.

The waters are intentionally muddied for local providers, the nationwide internet providers have louder voices. Search your location for internet providers and you’ll probably find a handful you didn’t know existed, but you sure heard the bigger names.

It’s no secret that bigger named internet providers have some shoddy customer service. Anecdotal evidence or not, there are thousands of individual experiences that have painted a not-so-good picture. However, with local providers, the staff is small, yes, but you’re speaking with much more personal support staff.

At the heart of local providers is their support staff. It’s the backbone. Think of it like this, the bigger the company, the easier it is for your complaints to be swept under the rug. And if you decide to cut ties with a nationwide internet provider, it’s no skin off their bones–their loss will be replaced in a matter of hours. However, if you have a complaint with a local provider, well, it’s easier for your voice to be heard and for your problem to be solved.

3. Using a Modem and Router

A modem, when connected to the right cables, will provide your home with the Internet, either through an Ethernet cable or a Wi-Fi signal or both. Most modems nowadays provide a Wi-Fi signal.

The router allows for multiple devices to connect to the network connection that your modem is providing. It doesn’t give off its own signal, but rather, has the modem feed your network connection through the router, in which other devices connect. Essentially, a router is a middleman. You’ll have no need of a router if your modem is a hybrid device or a ‘gateway’ device.

With that being said, when your network connection is up and running, it’s time to connect to your Wi-Fi signal. In order to connect, you’ll need your router or modem’s SSID and password.

Generally speaking, this can be found on the equipment itself and can later be changed to something else more memorable. Once you have that, you can move onto connecting to the Wi-Fi with your devices.

4. Connecting to Wi-Fi with an Android Device

1. Open the Settings app. It’s the GEAR icon. You can find it among your list of apps or access it from your ‘Quick Settings Menu’ by touching your Android device’s dashboard and swiping down.

wifi quick settings

2. Locate and select ‘Wi-Fi’ among your settings or, alternatively, if you chose to use your ‘Quick Settings Menu,’ you can tap the ‘Wi-Fi’ icon. However, you’ll still need to establish a network connection if you aren’t already connected to one.

3. Double-check your Wi-Fi is on. Tap the slider to the right to turn it ON.

Connect to your network connection

4. Connect to your network connection. Provide the password to connect. If it was successful, you’ll finally be connected to the Internet.

5. Connecting to Wi-Fi with an iOS Device

1. Open the ‘Settings’ app. It’s the GEAR icon.

2. In settings, locate ‘Wi-Fi.’ It’s usually at the top of the list of settings. Select it. Make sure ‘Airplane Mode’ is turned off. You can tap the slider to the left to turn it OFF. Any available network connections within range will be listed.

select network to connect to wifi

3. Choose your network connection and provide the password to gain access. If it was successful, you’ll finally be connected to the Internet.

6. Connecting to Wi-Fi with a Windows PC

Before making any connections, be sure to double-check that Airplane Mode isn’t activated. Airplane Mode will disable the ability to catch a network connection. Obviously, you don’t want that.

1. Open your network menu. It’s located in the bottom right corner of your screen. If your network connection is provided from an Ethernet cable, it will show up as a computer icon. If your connection is provided by a Wi-Fi signal, you’ll see a small orb emitting three dashes.

2. Double-check ‘Airplane mode’ is disabled and enable ‘Wi-Fi.’ Once Wi-Fi has been enabled, your Windows computer will search for any network connections within range.

select wifi network windows

3. Choose your network connection and provide the password to gain access. If it was successful, you’ll finally be connected to the Internet.

7. Connecting to Wi-Fi with Mac

1. At the top right corner, near the battery percentage, click the Wi-Fi icon to open the Wi-Fi menu.

2. If Wi-Fi is turned OFF, turn it ON. Your Apple Macbook will search for any network connections within range and list them.

select WIFI network on Mac

3. Choose your network connection and provide the password to gain access. If it was successful, you’ll finally be connected to the Internet.

Some words of wisdom: don’t share your Wi-Fi network with just anyone. Be very stingy with who you allow on your network connection.

Trusting friends and family is one thing, but you don’t know what their web surfing habits are like and if they have any malware and viruses lurking in their devices, they can travel into your network connection and infect your devices as well.