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Making the most of your wireless home network

BoBsquad connecting your gadgetsRaise your hand if you’ve got seemingly endless amounts of gadgets strewn across your house. If you’re anything like me then there’s a mass of wires which accompany your nifty, shiny gadgets. Thankfully, our friends at the companies who design our lovable toys are incorporating wireless technology into more and more devices.

If you’ve got a wireless modem or router (such as a BoB2TM or BoB LiteTM modem), then it’s time to rid yourself of some cables and connect your house wirelessly. I recently sat down with the April McCarrey from the BoBsquadTM to help you on your wireless way.

April, tell us what can be wirelessly connected these days

Where do I begin? Obviously, if your main home computer or laptop has a wireless network card, then they can be connected to your wireless-enabled modem. The past few years have seen a huge rise in the amount of gadgets that can be wirelessly connected. Smartphones, tablets (such as an iPad), gaming consoles and printers can all be wirelessly connected to your network. But it doesn’t stop there as we’re seeing more and more televisions and DVD players with wireless connectivity.

Why connect wirelessly?

Wireless connections are preferable for customers for a number of reasons. Firstly, a wireless connection is cheaper. You don’t want to have to pay an electrician to come in and drill through walls in order for you to be able to use your laptop downstairs on the couch while you watch the footy. You also don’t want to have to step over or around cables which run everywhere, which can be troublesome especially for customers in multi-storied homes.

How many devices can customers connect wirelessly at a time?

Lots and lots! You can actually have something along the lines of 200 or so devices connected to your wireless network if you wanted to. If you are connecting a number of devices then be sure to remember that each device is sharing the same network, so browsing speeds will drop to accommodate all devices.

How far away from their modems can customers operate their gadgets?

There’s not really a definitive answer for that. There are a few deciding factors such as the amount of walls the wireless signal needs to travel through to reach the device; as well as the capabilities of the modem and device itself.

Do customers need to worry about security when setting up their wireless network?

It always pays to be careful when setting up a wireless network, so be sure to give yourself a password which you know will be difficult or impossible for nearby gadget users to guess. Don’t just use your dog’s name as your password – try a combination of lower and upper-case letters and throw in some numbers as well.

How will people know which wireless network is theirs?

It helps to give your network a name you’ll recognise. That doesn’t mean you have to name your network “Jack and Jill’s Internet Connection” if don’t want to, but giving your network a distinctive name will help you recognise the correct one, especially if your device is picking up a number of nearby networks.

How can people connect to their wireless networks?

With so many different gadgets able to connect wirelessly, there’s an equal amount of different ways in which these devices need to be connected. Our best advice is to consult your instruction manuals for tips to help you get connected. If this proves to be your downfall, you can always head over to the BoBsquadTM homepage and book yourself a visit to have one of our agents come to your home and connect your wireless gadgets for you.

48 comments

  1. Sean says:

    I think the author is confusing wifi and wireless.

  2. blondie12au says:

    Is all well and good putting stuff like this up BUT have I told you recently just how unhappy I am with trying to bundle our old telstra mobiles with iinet???? Am wonering just why we are bothering. Coral = none. Telstra and iinet = bigger zero.

  3. Clyde Cumming says:

    I have a Bob that I have rented from iinet form a couple of years.
    I tried to connect by wireless with both my computer and my Tivo. It keep on dropping out so much that I went back to cable connection.
    Also my voit phone keeps losing signal and I make more calls through the land line.

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi Clyde,

    In some cases, neighbours with wireless networks on the same channel can cause interference/dropouts. Try logging into the web config for BoB and changing the wireless channel and see if that improves performance. The strength of a wireless connection can also depend on how far away a device is as well. If the problem persists after testing another channel, give our Support team a call on 13 22 58 or send them an email (support@iinet.net.au) and they can run through some other troubleshooting steps with you as well.

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  4. paul says:

    This tells you everything except what the title states ‘ connecting gadgets to your home network’

  5. Jorgy says:

    Oh how I agree with blondie12au…….not sure why we bothered trying to bundle. No joy with iinet who blame Telstra who in turn blame iinet. sales tell you it will be a seamless changeover bit it has been far from that with no result in sight and no explanation as yet

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi Jorgy,

    The best option is definitely to keep in contact with our Support/Provisioning team for any updates with this kind of problems. However if you feel your issue isn’t being dealt with properly, you can also request a call be escalated to a senior or manager via our escalations process: https://iihelp.iinet.net.au/Complaints_escalation_process

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  6. deb stallard says:

    hello…could the bob squad have a holiday from perth into victoria, geelong at some time…i cannot tell you how many times i have tried to re-jig/ re-work/ re-connect to ty & get this system ok…i work full time & cant get to phone enough times to try to get advice on which step to try nes\xt…have always used & liked iinet..even back from the good ol vtown days… tearing almost my hair out!!! deb

  7. marion (editor) says:

    The author misuses the word ‘amount’ instead of ‘number’ when referring to numerical value. It should read: ‘number of gadgets’ and equal number of different ways’.

  8. derrin says:

    Can you boost the signal to get a greater range from a router. what should be a reasonable cost for a device to do this

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi Derrin,

    Most of the time a wireless signal is limited to a particular strength and area. This can be due to standards or safety recommendations. If you want a signal to a greater area, you can always run wireless access points (connected via Ethernet to a main modem/router/switch) to add a greater wireless coverage in a building as well.

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  9. Chris says:

    Agreed Sean!!
    The title of this is somewhat misleading.

  10. Bill says:

    Having recently converted to Bob Lite, am now listening to world wide radio on my Internet radio. iiNet Telephone support has been top notch…as my phone line is now VOIP which is a big cost saving..two of my friends at my suggestion are moving from to VOIP on Bob Lite..also watching TV on iView is a bonus on my Sony TV.

  11. glenys davies says:

    I find your sites far tooooo confusing – what you need is a site for us oldies – like a dinosaur site or even better – somebody that comes around and sees your set up and then advises of what and how much it would costs. I’M sure there are many people that would appreciate that. glenys

  12. Ben says:

    There was no real useful advice in this arrticle. I expect better from iinet.

  13. Cascade says:

    @ Sean… I think you’ll find that these days that WiFi and Wireless and are considered one and the same where computers are concerned.

    Wi-Fi® is actually a trademarked branding registered by theWi-Fi Alliance® which was formed in 1999 for the IEEE 802.11x standards.
    For further info you may like to check out http://www.wi-fi.org

    The old adage of putting ones brain in gear before saying something is still a wise move.

  14. jacqui says:

    This article isn’t very helpful..all it does is alert us to the fact that we can connect gadgets using a wireless modem…so it has the wrong header.

    He could have mentioned your excellent online support..people who talk you through setting up the computer for a wireless modem.. they helped me.

  15. Ian says:

    Aren’t wifi and wireless the same?
    Or is one a generic term (wireless) and the other specific (wifi).
    Where does Blue Tooth fit into this?
    Will Bob connect to blue tooth devices?

    Oh, Blondie, Telstra are good for Hardware, hopeless for service! And it’s not just young people they hate.
    It is significant that they think they don’t need to answer their ‘phone in order to do business.
    Iinet have ALWAYS been SWEETIES to deal with.
    Ask any CAD designer. Over 20 years service!

  16. Mike says:

    This article was in the “Learen with Iinet” but it just sounds like an advert for the Bobsquad. It would have been a useful platform to explain the various wireless connections, e.g wifi, bluetooth, 3G and 4G. You could have listed sites which have more specific information and often solutions to problems like Whirlpool. In my opinion a bit of a wasted opportunity.

    Regards Mike

  17. James says:

    I have just recently connected to iinet after moving house.
    The connection of BOB2 + internet phone was a breeze, and not to mention the technical support at 2am in the morning was fantastic.
    Recently I have connected my Telstra HTC phone thru the WI-FI and it works a treat.
    Highly recommend it.

  18. MumandDad says:

    This article is more like advertising than help. We have the NBN, started with Bob1, were advised to get Bob2 when we could not get a decent wireless signal over more than half the house, then sold a near- useless bridge on top of that. Useless because nobody out of a dozen so-called “technicians” at Iinet knows or understands how these things work, or if they’ll really work, or how to tell someone to set them up. All they know is they’ll get $$$ for selling all that extra junk

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi MumandDad,

    Our Support people should be able to help with these kind of problems, however if you feel they aren’t handling your issue with the correct care, you can always request that a call is escalated to a senior representative or manager through our escalations process: https://iihelp.iinet.net.au/Complaints_escalation_process

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  19. Nikkita Dixon says:

    Thanks for your feedback everyone.

    We’ll be posting regular articles from the BoBsquad to cater to readers of all technical backgrounds.

    Keep an eye out for our next article in the series which will take a more in-depth look at connecting gadgets to your home network.

    In the meantime, if you’ve got a question for the BoBsquad, pop it in the comments or email askthebobsquad (AT) iinet.net.au and we’ll look at covering it in future articles.

    Cheers!
    Nikkita Dixon

  20. Janice says:

    Any tips for connecting PS 3 wirelessly? XBox 360 connected to BOB no problems, email support from Iinet said to contact manufacturer re: PS 3. Phone support is always a 2 hr wait don’t have that long to wait and ring back service never works!

    Thanks

    Janice

  21. Tony says:

    I thought the article light on useful substance.

    No mention was made of the levels of EMR and their safety. What is their power output? How dangerous is the radiation from such wireless devices?

    I have avoided a wireless router because of the potential hazard to health. I have a pacemaker, and cannot use a digital cordless phone, for example.

  22. Beau says:

    This article is fine, only thing that should have been added is that wireless shouldn’t be seen as a simple solution as it is often a buggy and unreliable problem.

    I would avoid it if possible on any fixed devices.

  23. malcolm wright says:

    Still got Bob in his box as i have tried and tried to understand instructions to no avail so i disconnected BoB and kept all my ugly cables at least they work.If by any chance someone at IInet reads these give me a call and help me through it.Wireless is the way to go but BoB is not one of the most easiest things on the market to install(not everyone is computer literate to use more than10% of a compuers capacity)

  24. barbara says:

    I have bob lite installed & am having trouble with my attached phone..people are complaining they cant hear me unless i talk up really loud!!I also have a phone in my bedroom,but to use that one COSTS money.Do you have any ideas as to the prolem.
    thanking you barb

  25. wBillw says:

    Cascade … me thinks you need to engage your own brain before you next publish criticism. In the context of your rant the word ones (sic) should have contained an apostrophe. Better work next time.

  26. Mel says:

    My wireless connection on my mobile phone is CONSTANTLY dropping out & frustrating me. I have had Bob installed for 3 years, only lately has this problem started. We had one of your guys come out & say there was a break in the line just down the road from us, we waited for that to be fixed everything was working fine for about a week, now it seems to have happened again. Please help!!

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi Mel,

    Do you have any other wireless devices that are connected to BoB and are having the same issues? If other devices are having the same problem, we would recommend changing BoB to a different wireless channel, this can be done through the web config or if you’re unsure, our Support team can walk you through it as well. Alternatively, if other devices are working fine, it might be an issue with the local wireless connection on the phone.

    If you need any other help with this, feel free to give our Support team a call anytime on 13 22 58 or send them an email support@iinet.net.au

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  27. Anne Howell says:

    We have been vtown/iinet users since 2001. All has progressed well since about 6 months ago. At that time dial-up would cut out after a very short interval, and our phone bill showed 3,4 and 5 dial-ups during a session. We put this down to age of the computer. Having considered broadband, we were quite put off when 2/3 years ago, Telstra rang and asked if we would consider a broadband test; we said yes; they would test the lines; and came back to say we couldn’t receive broadband thru our telephone number. So we didn’t approach you about broadband. Now, we can’t connect to the internet at all thru our our home PC; the connection window says “from new location”, I can change back to “Myrtleford”, but the connection worked for 3-4 minutes and then cut out. Can you please advise whether something has changed significantly in our area (Victoria – 057). Thank you, Anne Howell

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi Anne,

    Issues with dialup can depend on a number of factors. If you plug a phone handset into the line you use for dialup, can you hear any hissing/noise on the line? If so, this might be causing problems with the connection and reporting “line noise” to your phone service provider is the best option.
    Another worthwhile test is to try isolating the line. This means unplugging everything connected to it (phones, faxes, etc) except for the modem and then seeing if it holds a better connection. Testing another phone cable from the modem to the wall socket might also help make sure the old cable hasn’t degraded/broken.

    You can also give our Support team a call on 13 22 58 and they can walk you through some troubleshooting steps to help work out what might be causing these problems.

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  28. Rudolph says:

    I had have to comment that we have had IInet, BobLite for a year and are running two laptops and a wireless printer, Ipad 2 and connecting the odd mobile phone or 2.
    In all that time, I have only had a couple of problems that I had to call iinet to sort out.

    When I called for help, the service received has been the best I have had from any Client Support Service. 10 out of 10!

  29. Mark Sheldrick says:

    We’ve started using our Bob Lite wifi function more and more since aquiring more portable devices in the family its great except I really want to use my Itouch while sat next to the pool. Is there a way of boosting the signal or connecting an external arial to Bob Lite? Still prefer to have Serviio (my media server) hardwired to my Sony TV (in the bedroom) and my PS3 in the family room as it clearly gives smoother video…Overal love my bob and it still works when its 45degC! not like my old one that would die during summer

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi Mark,

    Unfortunately the signal is generally limited to a particular area. There are some online modifications to make a wireless antenna into a directional one, however it may reduce wireless signal to other areas of the house. If you want to extend a wireless network to a new area, one option is the use of an Ethernet-connected wireless access point.

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  30. Tony says:

    I to have a problem with the signal not being strong enough to reach every room in the house. My question is you mention “Ethernet-connected wireless access point.” can you please explain what this is and what is involved in setting one up.

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi Tony,

    Given the complex nature of setting up and maintaining those devices, it is not something that is currently supported by our Support team. Effectively you run an Ethernet cable from the modem/router to one of the rooms with a weak signal and connect the wireless access point to that cable. The wireless access point will create a second, new wireless network for devices to connect to when they’re in that weaker part of the house.

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  31. My BoB has never worked. It has overheated and the battery life is all of about 5 seconds. It is a real shame. I like iinet and the service I receive but the BoB has really let the team down. Now considering a switch.

    Cheers,
    Scott

  32. Joanne says:

    I recently tried to go “wireless” with iiNet, however after being sent a router that is no longer manufactured (ie ; old stock), that had no software included and after 2 support phone calls totalling >4 hours was deemed to be ‘faulty’ I’m still waiting. Also the mobile broadband drops out constantly (boyfriend’s vodafone works fine) and now to top it all off my email doesn’t work anymore and I can’t be bothered waiting on hold for 1 hour for someone to help me with a problem that has been ongoing since 14 January !!!!!!! If I could through to iiNet on phone or email I would cancel my service …

    Adam O'grady Reply:

    Hi Joanne,

    If you give us a call and there is a bit of a wait, you should usually be offered the chance for a callback so you can keep your place in queue and we’ll call you back when a representative is almost ready.
    Alternatively, if you email me (adam.ogrady@staff.iinet.net.au) your username and a preferred time/date and number for callback, I can get someone to give you a call to follow up on the issues with the faulty hardware.

    Regards,
    Adam O’Grady

  33. oldjames says:

    Moved to bob lite after old adsl2+ router + voip died ( ethernet/ wireless route was still ok) after 4yrs in the heat. excellent, prompt, iinet service and advice, which did require a call back on mobile as voip was down. Easy to install and setup viop & wireless laptops (2) mob phones (2) ethernet tv (1) .Device is fast and so far seems very reliable, especially the voip.
    A hint for the over 60.s like me. If you cant figure what a device does, or what the tecknician is talking about. Write it down, then look it up on the net. Ultimately you wont be as dependent on other people to sort out your minor I.T. problems.

  34. Ciaran says:

    Hello, I have many problems connecting devices to my BoB router. I have a PC that won’t connect for un-explained reasions – I have tried everything; buying dongles etc. I also have a PS3 that refuses to connect. It usually says that it can’t find the IP Address. I have an Xbox 360 that connected to the internet the moment I booted it up! I really want to know why I am having these major difficulties.

    Cheers

    Ciaran

    Tal Waterhouse Reply:

    Hi Ciaran,

    The first thing we’d always suggest in these cases is updating the firmware of the BoB modem. The latest firmware and instruction on upgrading is available through our iiHelp site and performing a full factory reset of the modem manually once the firmware is updated.

    Once done, configure a wholly new wireless network with a new name/SSID and once secured and saved, attempt connecting with one device at a time.

    If you need any assistance with any of this, our support team is available to assist you 24/7 on 13 22 58.

    Regards,
    Tal

  35. Jenni says:

    How dangerous is the radiation from BoB2 wireless? I have just upgraded to this, not realising it was DECT which I have heard is constant radiation, even when not using the devices.

    Tal Waterhouse Reply:

    Hi Jenni,

    BoB and BoB2 use the same 2.4gHz frequency for wireless communication as many other devices and does broadcast on that band to provide network access.

    The frequency bands used by wi-fi and DECT has been determined to be quite safe by several agencies including the World Health Organisation.

    Regards,
    Tal

  36. Clare says:

    Going upstairs to the office, the internet speed grinds to a halt and I can’t even attach photos to email messages without going downstairs again. We have a BOB2 downstairs in the lounge. iinet sells a wireless extender now. I wonder if that’s going to help – and how close to BOB we have to connect it. Would it work plugged in in the office, or would it have to be somewhere between BOB and the office (like the bathroom??). Our speed was tested by a visiting electrician as ADSL1 even though we’re on an ADSL 2+ plan so I’m not overly hopeful.

    Amy Pearce Reply:

    Hi Clare,

    We do sell iiNet wireless extenders now.
    The way they work is, you’d need to plug the iiNet Wireless Extender in to a wall socket that is just inside the maximum current range of your modem, and your current wireless signal will be extended.

    You can purchase them through toolbox or by calling our sales team on 13 19 17.

    Cheers,
    Amy.

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