What do I need for a home network?


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What do I need for a home network?

A woman and her son playing games online on a tablet at home.

What's coming up

In this activity, we'll take a closer look at how you purchase a home internet account, and the router that comes with it.

We'll talk about important information, such as your Wi-Fi network name and password. We'll also recap how the router connects to the internet, and in turn how your devices connect to the router.

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Purchasing an internet account

You can purchase an internet account for home in the same way you get an electricity or phone account. Choose a provider, then they will make sure the internet is connected to your house. Most will provide you with the equipment you need.

A internet service provider store.
An older man relaxing on his sofa and reading the news on his tablet.

Connecting my home to the internet

There are different ways to connect the internet to your house, and the one you choose will depend on which are available in your area. The three main types of internet connection are on the next slide.

Types of internet connections

  1. An ADSL connection (ADSL stands for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, which is a mouthful, but it's just a type of communication technology that allows a lot of data to pass through it). ADSL uses the same lines as your home phone and sends internet through the same wires.
  2. A cable connection is a special cable, usually black, just for internet. It's similar to a pay TV connection.
Different types of home internet connections: ADSL, Cable and NBN.
A diagram of a router with the following features pointed out: the Wi-Fi antenna; the internet cable from outside; plugs for network cable connections.

The router

The router is a small box that attaches to the cable that brings the internet into your house. It is sometimes called a modem or a gateway.

The router also manages the technical side of sharing the internet among lots of devices. It will have four or more plugs on the back for cable connections, and one or more antennas that broadcast Wi-Fi.

Your Wi-Fi name and password

The router will come with a password that helps prevent others from using the internet connection you pay for or watching what you do on the internet. You need to enter a password on your device to connect. The default password is usually written on the bottom of the router or might be on a card your internet provider sent.

A router with the log in details written on a sticker on the top of the box.

eSafety Tip

You are provided with a password from your internet service provider. This password is called the 'default' password. Although this should be secure, it's a good idea to change the password to something personal and memorable to you. You can change the password in the router's settings.


This is the end of the What do I need for a home network? activity.

You've learned about how the internet gets to your house, the different types of internet connection, and the role of the router. Next, we'll get into some more detail about Wi-Fi, in the How do I connect to my home network over Wi-Fi? activity.

Top view of a woman working on her laptop using her home internet connection.