How to best configure your router
Upgrading to the nbn™ when it becomes available in your area could be a great way to get faster internet, but could your router setup be slowing you down?
Ensuring you have the right connection to the nbn™ box is important, and so is checking your router setup and configuration.
The good news is we’ve created a quick guide here to help you with the process of connecting your router, setting it up, and optimising your connection.
Connecting your router to the nbn™ box
How you connect your router to the nbn™ box will be different depending on your nbn™ connection type .
- FTTC (Fibre to the Curb) – If you have FTTC in your area, you’ll connect your router to the nbn™ box with an Ethernet cable, and a DSL line connects the box to your existing telephone port.
- FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), Fixed Wireless, and HFC (Hybrid Fibre Coaxial) – these connection types have a similar connection process as FTTC.
- FTTN (Fibre to the Node) – For FTTN areas (as well as some FTTB areas) you won’t have an nbn™ box. Instead, you need a VDSL2-compatible router (not ADSL router), and this will plug into your existing telephone port without a splitter or filter.
- FTTB (Fibre to the Building/Basement) – For this type of connection, you’ll likely be connecting to your telephone port in a similar way to FTTN connections.
Check with your ISP for detailed instructions on how to connect your router to the nbn™ box or, if you don’t use an nbn™ box, clarify how you’ll be connected.
Setting up your router: tips and best practices
The average Australian household likely has multiple devices connecting to the internet through Wi-Fi and other means. Between watching movies, streaming music, and gaming, your home internet could be carrying a big load when it comes to traffic. This means optimising your home network setup can be important, as it will allow you to make the most of your nbn™ connection.
You can connect devices to your router with an Ethernet cable, but it’s likely you’ll be using a Wi-Fi connection for most of your devices.
Choose the right router for your needs , and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and your ISP’s instructions to set it up correctly. For example, you might need to change your router password, setup a password-protected Wi-Fi connection, and choose an encryption standard.
- Wi-Fi standard
Ideally your router is new enough to be on the 802.11ac standard, which is the latest 802.11 (Wi-Fi) standard , delivering improved network performance and capability thanks to advanced hardware and firmware. If you have a router that is on an older standard, you might want to consider upgrading it so you have the opportunity to experience the best connection possible for your home.
There are two main frequencies: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 5GHz frequency is often faster and encounters less interference, but 2.4GHz has a longer range and is better at travelling through physical obstacles. Some routers have the ability to switch between these two frequencies, and some newer routers switch automatically to keep your signal strength as strong as it can be.
Choosing a good location for your router is important as it allows you to minimise possible interference. This helps your Wi-Fi signal reach as much of your home as possible. Typically the best location will be at the centre of your house . When you are looking for an optimal location, it is good to keep in mind the things that could interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. These include thick walls, other wireless networks close by (such as your neighbour’s Wi-Fi), baby monitors, fish tanks, cordless phones, and microwaves.
Find out more about the items that could interfere with your WiFi signal here .
Optimise your firewall protection and encryption settings by following the manufacturer’s instructions, and apply any tips from your ISP. Using a security password is essential, along with turning on encryption and keeping your router’s firmware up to date. Boosting security can reduce the risk of data theft and reduce the risk of your Wi-Fi bandwidth being stolen. Encryption standards are also critical: If you have a very old router, specifically one that uses only WEP encryption, you should probably upgrade your router . If you’re not sure what type of encryption your router uses, a simple Google search of your model should tell you.
A mesh system places smaller transmitters or wireless range extenders around your property to boost your main router’s signal strength. Setting up a mesh system could help you get around the issue of signal-blocking objects as well as extend your router’s Wi-Fi range.
- Prioritisation tool
Get to know the management console of your router, which is the router dashboard you can log into through any device connected via the Wi-Fi. Generally it is only used to help you set up new passwords and manage your Wi-Fi network, however some routers have a media-prioritisation tool in the management console. This allows you to give bandwidth priority to your most important applications and/or devices, for example, a gaming console. Check to see if your router offers this.
Higher speed nbn™ for your router
Opting for the nbn™ when it becomes available for your house could give you access to faster, more stable internet if you find you aren’t getting the best results even after optimising your router.