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10 tips on how to improve your Wi-Fi signal
Internet | 2 January 2020
Are you having trouble with your Wi-Fi signal again?
Wireless signals can often drop out for no apparent reason, and therefore, getting frustrated with your internet connection, your router and your internet speed can seem like second nature.
However, most of the time you’ll find that the speed issue isn’t with your internet connection itself or your internet service provider, but the Wi-Fi signal being broadcast from your modem or router. It’s important to understand the difference as this can impact your internet speed, especially when you’re streaming or gaming!
Here’s how to boost your WiFi signal and the performance of your router, therefore improving your internet speed of your home internet connection.
1. Locate the best place for your router
If you’re a designer, having your router out in the open may clash with your aesthetic. But if you want and need the best Wi-Fi signal for your home internet, this is something you’ll just have to deal with if you want the best home internet connection and signal strength for faster internet.
Firstly, you should make sure your router is in the centre of your home so that you have the best possible coverage and speeds everywhere. If it doesn’t lay flat on a surface, consider elevating the modem router and mounting it on a wall for better coverage for your home network.
Most importantly, never place your router behind another appliance, like a TV as this can negatively affect the signal strength from the router.
2. Try to avoid interference to signal strength
Your modem or router will have many elements at work against it as these devices rely on wireless signals – the better the signal strength of the router, the better the link to your connected devices. Appliances in your home or office, like microwaves,cordless telephones and baby monitors, can interfere with the signal and impact internet speeds and the home network connection – these call all cause slow internet.
A dual-band modem router (meaning a device that has two Wi-Fi networks such as a 2.4ghz band and a 5ghz band to connect to) can assist, but that’s not always the solution. It’s very important to try and keep your modem router away from appliances to ensure you are getting the best Wi-Fi signal at all times in your house.
3. Find the right Wi-Fi channel
The modem routers in other buildings or nearby homes may also interfere with your Wi-Fi connections and signal, causing slow internet. Wireless routers can operate on a number of channels, so finding the right one in your router settings will save you plenty of headaches and ensure you get faster internet.
You can try using a tool like Microsoft’s Wi-Fi Analyzer on your computer to locate the best channel and then log into your modem/router and change the channel on your Wi-Fi bands. You can test different Wi-Fi channels and see which channel works best for your devices and your home environment as this will always vary.
4. Keep your network secure
Your neighbours or people nearby who want to siphon your internet can mess with your signal if they know what they are doing. Make sure you lock down your WiFi network and enable password protection to prevent other people from using your internet connection.
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5. Control your bandwidth applications
There are certain applications that will use a lot of bandwidth, making it difficult for everyone else in your home to get a strong connection. Online gaming, HD and 4K Netflix, video chats and other applications should be put in order of Quality of Service (QoS). This will help you prioritise applications so the most important apps (such as any online gaming!) get the most bandwidth and faster internet, therefore providing a better internet service and overall experience.
6. How to boost WiFi signal
There are a few different things you can do to extend your Wi-Fi range. Getting yourself a mesh system to add on to your internet would be the best solution. A WiFi mesh router will help your Wi-Fi connection stay strong in and around your home and is much recommended over a Wi-Fi range extender, which we find can cause other issues.
Mesh Wi-Fi systems usually consist of a main router that connects directly to your modem, and a series of modules placed around your home to provide the best Wi-Fi coverage. They link together and form part of a single wireless network, so this means they share the same WiFi name and password. This is best for your connected devices as there is only one wi fi signal being broadcast in the house.
7. Set a reboot schedule to maximise internet speed
If you find yourself having to repeatedly reboot your modem/router from time to time, putting it on an automatic schedule can be helpful. Put it on a timer to reboot when you don’t usually use the internet (when you’re sleeping). This way, it will reboot on its own, and you won’t have to worry about interruptions to your WiFi signal, especially if the modem/router is in a spot that is not easily accessible.
8. Avoid network overload
If you have a large family, chances are your network is being used triple time. When you are having an event, or one of the kids are having a study session, that’s additional use of your Wi-Fi. This may cause your network to become overloaded, and devices will disconnect. One way to ease this problem is to take some devices off the network that you aren’t using. You can also use software that controls bandwidth to prevent dropping.
9. Get a new modem router
If you’ve had your modem router for a number of years, there’s no question – it’s probably outdated. You want to make sure you are capitalising on your bandwidth to get better internet speed, so purchasing an up-to-date router that is more efficient can work wonders.
10. Update your firmware or network driver
This is an easy fix. If you are experiencing issues and you have a fairly new router, update the network driver and the firmware on your device and you should be good to go.