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Using your wireless router


 
 
Frequently asked questions

> What is a router? How does it differ from a modem?
> How many computers can I connect using the Virgin Media Wireless router?
> Will a router make my Internet connection faster?
> What is an 'always on' connection?
> Where should I put my router?
> Can I use the National Wireless router for home networking?
> What is Encryption/WEP/WPA?
> What is the difference between WEP and WPA encryption?
> Can I use my own wireless device or wireless laptop with the National Wireless router?
> What is the range of the National Wireless router?
> Can I use my own router?
> Should I use wireless or Ethernet?
> Is my computer wireless-enabled already?
> Will I need to use the Wireless Dongle USB device if my computer already has a wireless connection?
What is a router? How does it differ from a modem?
A router allows multiple computers to connect at once while a computer using only a modem (for example the Virgin Starter Kit ) connects directly to the Internet and does not share the connection. When using a router, the router maintains the connection to the Internet and the connections between the router and each computer. The router “routes” the data it receives from the Internet to the computers allowed on the network.
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How many computers can I connect using the Virgin Media Wireless router?
The router has four Ethernet ports. Each of these can accommodate one computer. The National  Wireless router can theoretically support up to 255 computers using the Wireless interface as well as the Ethernet connection.
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Will a router make my Internet connection faster?
No. Unless you are using the a standard ADSL modem on a USB 1.1 connection, there will be no difference in the speed of your connection.  The reason for this is that the USB 1.1 is a lot slower than the speed available from either Ethernet or Wireless.
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What is an “always on” connection?
When using a router you will no longer need to “connect” to the Internet as with the National Starter Kit . Since the router maintains the connection to the Internet, your computer will be online as soon as it is turned on. This is known as an “always on” connection.
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Where should I put my router?

When selecting where to put the router in your home, a trade-off must be made between the ADSL signal and the wireless signal. The ADSL signal is strongest at the first socket in your home, however it may be more beneficial for the router to be placed elsewhere in order to provide the strongest signal to each wireless receiver.

If you are having problems with the ADSL signal or wireless strength, you may have to experiment to find the optimum place for your router. The router should also be placed in a dry area with good ventilation to prevent overheating.


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Can I use the National Wireless router for home networking?

Yes, you can use your National Wireless router and adding any additional wireless devices (provided that the equipment was supplied or recommended by Virgin Media).

Virgin do not support setting up fileshare / printshare etc, or any non-Virgin supplied or recommended equipment.


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What is Encryption/WEP/WPA?

Unencrypted data sent over a wireless network can easily be intercepted by another wireless device in close proximity to the router. Encrypting your data prevents others from viewing your potentially private information and also prevents others connecting to your router.

If encryption is off, neighbours may connect to your router accidentally or may connect deliberately to gain free Internet access. If another user or users access the Internet via your router, this could make your connection very slow.

Encryption also prevents others from connecting to your router without your permission. This ensures that only those you have authorised can connect to your router.

In order to connect to your router wirelessly you need the WEP or WPA key, which is a word you would have entered during the router setup. This prevents anyone who doesn’t have physical access to the router from connecting wirelessly.


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What is the difference between WEP and WPA encryption?
Wired Encrypted Privacy (WEP) is the most compatible form of wireless security, as almost all devices support WEP encryption. Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) provides a higher level of security than WEP. This is because there are various ways of circumventing WEP by security experts. WPA encryption is much harder to bypass but not all wireless devices support this feature, fortunately the National Wireless router  and Dongle USB Wireless device are capable of supporting WPA.
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Can I use my own wireless device or wireless laptop with the Virgin Broadband Wireless router?
Yes you can. However, not all wireless devices support WPA encryption. We can help you  set your router to the correct setting but the provider of your wireless hardware will need to help you set up their equipment.
We can provide you with the correct settings, either by phone, email or the online chat service, but you would need to contact your hardware provider for instructions and support on how to set up the connection. All the information regarding Virgin customer contact is available from the contact us section of the homepage. Virgin is unable to make any guarantees with third party hardware. However all 802.11b/g devices should be compatible with each other.
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What is the range of the National Wireless router?
The range of a wireless device is affected by a number of factors. The thickness of the walls in your home, interference in the area and the sensitivity of your receiver will all affect the range of the signal.
If you have problems you may get a better signal by moving your router to another location.
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Can I use my own router?
Yes you can. Any ADSL router should work with National. However we will be unable to provide technical support for a third-party product.
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Should I use wireless or Ethernet?
Wireless networking has the obvious advantage of not requiring wires between devices. However, if a computer is in close proximity to the router, it may be simpler to use an Ethernet cable. Ethernet connections do not require encryption and if your computer already has an Ethernet port no extra hardware will be required. An added bonus of using the Ethernet connection is the speed that data can travel between your computer and the router. The Ethernet connection can transfer data nearly twice as fast as a Wireless connection depending on signal strength.
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Is my computer wireless-enabled already?

Most new laptops are wireless-enabled already, but not always. A wireless laptop should either display a Wi-Fi or Intel® Centrino® logo. Wi-Fi wireless technology may also be referred to 802.11b or 802.11g (note that Bluetooth is not supported by the National Wireless router).

If you are uncertain, it is best to check the documentation provided with your computer or contact the provider of your hardware.
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Will I need to use the Wireless Dongle USB device if my computer already has a wireless connection?
No. If your computer already has a Wireless connection then you will not need to use the Wireless dongle but we would be unable to advise or support the use of your own Wireless equipment if you encounter a problem.
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