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Thursday, August 10th, 2017 6:00 AM


ANSWERED: Learn about what a home network is and why you need one.

A home network is a group of devices — such as computers, game systems, printers, and mobile devices — that connect to the internet and each other. Home networks connect in two ways:

  • A wired network, which connects devices like printers and scanners with cables
  • A wireless network, which connects devices like tablets and e-readers without cables

Why set up a home network?

There are many reasons to establish a home network. Here are just a few of the things home networking allows you to do:

  • Connect to the internet from multiple computers, game systems, mobile devices, and more.
  • Access files and folders on all devices connected to the network.
  • Print from multiple computers on a single printer.
  • Manage security settings for all networked devices in one place.

If you’re ready to try home networking, read below to find out what you’ll need to get started and to see the options available for your network.

What you need to set up a home network

To set up home networking, you’ll need the following:

  • Xfinity Internet service subscription (or subscription to another internet provider)
  • A modem, which connects to the internet, and a router, which connects your devices to each other and to the internet through your modem (or a gateway, which functions as both a modem and a router)
  • A computer or other device to connect to the network

See how to activate a wireless gateway for more information.

The Wireless Gateway 1 (model numbers TG852G, TG862G, SMCD3GNV, TC8305C) and Wireless Gateway 2 (model number DPC3939) function as an all-in-one modem, router, and phone device. They automatically provide users with the best security settings available for a home network. See what is a wireless gateway? for more information.

Wireless home network

A wireless network, often called WiFi, connects devices to each other and to the internet without using cables. See what is WiFi and how do I get it? for more information.

Wired home network

A wired home network connects devices to each other and to the internet using Ethernet cables.

Diagram of wireless router with ethernet cable

There are several benefits to having a wired home network:

  • Faster and more reliable connection to the internet
  • Increased security, as no outside users can access your network
  • Easier set-up and troubleshooting than wireless connections

Mixed home network

Many people find that a mix of wireless and wired networking meets their needs best. For instance, devices that stream movies benefit from the quicker and more stable wired connection. Devices like laptops or tablets, however, benefit from the mobility available with a wireless connection.

Both the Wireless Gateway 1 and Wireless Gateway 2 come with wireless capability and four Ethernet ports, allowing you to connect devices with and without cables at the same time.

Home networking glossary

Below is a list of common home networking terms. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with these definitions, as they'll likely be mentioned in other help articles.

Wireless network — A group of devices (computers, game systems, e-readers, etc.) connected to each other and to the internet without cables, also called WiFi.

Modem — A device that connects routers or computers to the internet through a cable.

Router — A device that transmits a wireless signal and connects devices to each other and the internet through the modem.

Gateway — A device that functions as both a modem and a router, like the Wireless Gateway 1 or Wireless Gateway 2.

Signal range — The area in which a wireless-capable device can pick up the wireless signal and connect to the wireless network.

Administration site — The online site used to view and change the settings of a router and wireless network, called the Admin Tool for the Wireless Gateway 1 and Wireless Gateway 2.

Router username and password — The login information used to access the administration site.

Network Name (SSID) — The name of a wireless network.

Network Password (Key) — The password used to connect to a wireless network.

​Additional Resources​


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