In today’s highly digital world, we use technology for just about everything. Whether you’re working remotely or watching television, you need to be connected to WI-Fi and the Internet. However, what if the WI-Fi in your house is only as fast as your oldest devices? It can be incredibly frustrating and inconvenient when your signal is lacking while you’re trying to access the Internet to finish up a big school project or binge-watch your favourite television show. So how can you improve the Wi-Fi signal in your home? Here’s how to achieve the best WI-Fi for homes:
Home WI-Fi Boost
Does your WI-Fi signal need a boost? Here’s how you can make your house’s WI-Fi stronger:
Reboot Your Router
Rebooting your wireless router is the easiest method you can try if you’re looking to improve the strength of your Wi-Fi signal in the same manner that restarting your computer can resolve its performance issues. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as there’s a right and wrong way to do anything technical.
Find the Best Location for Your Router
Another important way to improve your Wi-Fi signal is to place your router in an optimal location. Generally, the signal is going to be weaker the farther the router is from the devices connected to it. Try to place the router in a central location in your house so that it’s never too far away from you, even if you’re moving around with your mobile devices. If you mainly use your Wi-Fi for watching television in your house, you should move the router closer to your TVs. Additionally, elevating the router and making sure it’s not surrounded by other electronic devices can also be beneficial.
Check Your Internet Connection
Before diagnosing your slow device as a Wi-Fi problem, check that the Internet coming into your home is performing correctly. Find an Ethernet cable and plug it into your computer — if your laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet port, use a USB to Ethernet adapter. Run a speed test to make sure your Internet speed matches the speed listed on your Internet bill. If it doesn’t, you may need to call your Internet service providers or replace your modem. If it matches but is still slow, it may be time to upgrade to a better Internet plan. If the modem seems fine, run the test again wirelessly and stand right next to the router. If you get fast speeds next to the router but not in the rest of the house, this may be the fault of your Wi-Fi coverage. If your Internet is still slow, you may need to upgrade some of the gear.
Whole House WI-Fi Extender
Though newer routers might have a better range than their older counterparts, you may still not be able to get the range you need in many houses. This could be because the network needs to cover a larger area than the router can transmit to, or the house has lots of corners to go around and walls to penetrate. If you’re looking to give your Wi-Fi signal a leg up, consider buying an extender. This device will amplify your WI-Fi signal before sending it out to another location. They are relatively inexpensive and can be especially helpful in bigger homes that are bigger or places that have a lot of obstructions. Range extenders receive a signal from your router before rebroadcasting it to your devices, and vice-versa. They’re inexpensive, though often not as effective as mesh Wi-Fi systems, which completely replace your existing router. Rather than simply repeating a router’s system, several units work together intelligently to route traffic back to your modem, covering your whole house in a single Wi-Fi network that reaches all over. This is a particularly smart option if your house’s wiring is strong enough that you can get very close to your network’s full speeds, and thus close to the speed an Ethernet cable would give.
Secure Your Signal
Make sure your wireless network is secure. This will help protect you from malicious activity, as well as ensure that no one is stealing your bandwidth. If neighbors are passersby are not using your signal, there will be more available to you.
Make Sure You’re Using a Secure Channel
If you live in a highly-populated area, your Wi-Fi signal may be congested. If you are your neighbors are all trying to use the same channel, this could negatively affect everyone’s router performance. Signals from other wireless networks, cordless phone systems, microwaves, and other electronic systems can all impact speeds. In the same way that the units on walkie-talkies need to be on the same “channel” for you to be able to hear the person on the other end, modern routers can switch across different channels while communicating with your devices. While most routers are set up to automatically use the clearest available channel, this does not ring true for all of them. Older and cheaper routers, in particular, may merely choose a predefined channel that may not be the best option. Make sure your router’s administration interface is set to “automatic.” If it isn’t, choose that option that’s available. Alternatively, change the channel manually if that option isn’t available. You can do so by signing into your router’s administrator interface and going to the basic wireless category.
Replace Your Antena
If your router has an internal antenna, consider adding an external one that’ll send a stronger signal. Your router may have antennas you can add on your own, but if not a lot of manufacturers sell them separately. You can often choose between omnidirectional or directional antennas. Omnidirectional antennas send a signal in directions, while directional antennas send a signal in only one direction. A directional antenna is often the best choice, as you most likely aren’t experiencing weak spots in your network in every direction. Point your external antenna in the direction where your signal is weak, and it will broadcast the signal accordingly.
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