Cable network v Wi-Fi
Modem and Router setup
ISP Router or Own
Mobile Data & tethering
Powerline v Wi-Fi
VPN v no VPN
CABLE V WI-FI NETWORKING?
In our modern homes, with all the smart devices we have and laptops that we want to use in front of the TV, Wi-Fi is king. 99% of tablet and mobile can only use Wi-Fi. Box computers usually only come with cable network connections. Laptops can use both usually. So, it depends upon your devices, but a combination of the 2 is ideal.
The biggest issue most families have is strength of Wi-Fi signal. Walls, water, metal, etc in our homes blocks the signal. So, you either get a better router, or Wi-Fi booster or range extenders. Very modern systems use a network of small Wi-Fi senders to create a mesh covering your home to solve this issue.
INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER ROUTER OR BUY YOUR OWN?
If the ISP router works and does what you need, why change. If it's not doing what you need, try asking for a newer or better one, without having to pay lots more for it. If you have a big house, lots of floors, thick walls then buying a good quality high power router makes sense. You also get the benefit of it handling more devices, faster Wi-Fi, more security features, including Guest Wi-Fi and apps to control them - the threat to your kids to disconnect them from the Wi-Fi with the push of a button, is a very powerful tool. We speak from first-hand experience!
WHAT IS A VPN AND DO I NEED ONE?
A VPN is a Virtual Private Network. Ok, what is that? In simple terms, it is a way to connect 2 networks together and communicate both ways but keep that data back and forth secure. Think of it like a tunnel though water - the tunnel lets things go both ways, without getting wet. The VPN creates an encrypted tunnel connection between 2 points and allows secure transfer of data. Ok, so, what is a VPN? I know, it sounds complicated, and the stuff in the background is, but things have been made simpler, you have a VPN app, you make a connection using Wi-Fi or mobile data, then turn on the VPN and it connects to a point on the internet, your data goes down it then out the end to the internet. Useful for free Wi-Fi sites.
SO, WHAT AGAIN IS A VPN AND DO I NEED ONE?
99% of the time, no you don't need one. But for those times where you are wanting to protect your data from possible snooping, like free Wi-Fi locations, on holiday, in hotels, even someone's home, a VPN is useful. Especially while accessing Banking info.
So, which one? Don't use free ones, they may snoop on your data just as much as that cafe with the Free Wi-Fi! Pay for one, research it, ask us, get security software that comes with one, or that has one you can pay to use. If you are trusting them to keep you safe, why not trust their VPN? If you are not sure, search online for reviews, or ask us. But most of the time, no you don't need one, but like insurance it's nice to have it if you need it.