Once you’ve made the decision to upgrade to a broadband Internet connection, you’ll have to either hook it up yourself or get someone to hook it up for you. If you’re not confident in your abilities, and have a friend or family member who can handle the job, great. But, if not, don’t assume you need to browse Internet installation companies to find someone else to do it. The job is really much easier than you might imagine, with the help of a few Internet installation tips.
Using Equipment From Your ISP
If you decide to purchase or lease equipment from your Internet Service Provider (ISP), installation will be very straightforward. Your equipment will likely come with an Internet self-install kit that includes all the cables and other accessories you’ll need to complete a basic installation, along with a detailed instruction manual.
Installation will vary slightly depending on the equipment you choose and how you’re connected to the Internet — cable, fiber, or DSL. With that in mind, it’s impossible to give exact step-by-step instructions for every installation, but the basics of the physical connections will be the same: one cable will connect your broadband modem to your phone line, cable, or fiber jack, and another will connect directly to your computer if you’re using a wired connection. Connections will be labeled and may even be color-coded to make the job easier. Hooking up a Wi-Fi connection is just as easy: the wire that would normally run to your computer runs instead to a Wi-Fi router like Apple’s Airport or the specific router your ISP supplies you.
Using Your Own Equipment
Using your own equipment is no more complicated than using ISP-provided equipment. Most ISPs actually supply the DIYer with lists of supported equipment and instructions for hooking it up, so you can buy a compatible device and make sure you’re installing it correctly. The financial pros and cons should be factors in whether you decide to buy or lease your modem; installation simplicity should not be.
In most cases, you’ll need to customize your network settings with information that your ISP will give you. For example, if you’re using an Apple computer and you’re connecting for the first time, you’ll need to open your Network Preferences within your System Preferences. There you’ll choose the type of connection you’re using, such as Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Then you’ll need to enter the information your ISP supplied, which will include a series of numbers for your DNS server and possibly TCP/IP — these are your Internet Protocols (IPs), but don’t worry if you don’t know what these terms mean. Just enter the ISP-provided numbers where appropriate. Before you make a switch, it may be a good idea to read a tutorial specific to your computer’s operating system, like this one for Apple computers.
If you’re hooking up a new computer or other device, take a screen shot of your network settings and print it out or email it to yourself so you can reference it on your phone or tablet when connecting your new device. On a Windows computer, just press the Print Screen key. On a Mac, press command-shift-3 simultaneously.
The Bottom Line
Yes, you can install your own Internet. Just follow these Internet installation tips and take it one wire and one number at a time.