The inability to steam, dropped Wi-Fi signals, wireless dead zones or slow browsing are annoying experiences in a world where going online is a part of our daily routines. When your reception only improves by standing right next to your wireless router, the following simple tips may help you optimise your network.
Choose a suitable place for your router
Metal disrupts Wi-Fi signals and by avoiding placing your router close to metal objects and appliances that emit electromagnetic waves, you will reduce dead zones. All household appliances that emit electromagnetic waves will cause disruptions to your reception and to boost your Wi-Fi signal, keep your router away from big emitters such as televisions, cordless phones, and radiant heaters.
Since Wi-Fi signals radiate outward in all directions, and not just horizontally, you should place your Wi-Fi router in a central area for an even Wi-Fi signal. Keeping the rooter away from electrical wires, and elevated above floor level may also help to strengthen your signal.
Keep your router updated
Updating your router will prevent malware attacks. An infected router will spread malware to other devices, may steal bandwidth and slow down your Internet speed. Similarly, outdated firmware will affect the performance of your router. Check if your router is running the newest firmware available.
To check if your router is running the newest firmware available, follow the following steps:
- Connect to your router’s network and enter the IP address of the router into the web browser;
- Log in with an admin username and password;
- Select the ‘Firmware Update’ or ‘Router Update’ option
- Wait until your router finds and installs the latest firmware.
Never interrupt the update even if your router appears to be unresponsive. Give it a few more minutes before you disconnect and turn it on again. The IP address and login details may be found at the bottom of your router or by contacting your service provider.
Replace or get a stronger antenna
Since most Wi-Fi routers come with small, weak antennas, a new, powerful Wi-Fi antenna can boost Wi-Fi signals at home or at the office without buying a new router. You could choose between an omnidirectional antenna, which sends a signal in all directions, or a directional one, which sends a signal in one specific direction. Most built-in antennas tend to be omnidirectional, so if you are buying an external one, it should be marked “high-gain” to actually make a difference. If you experience weak spots in your network, a directional antenna may be a better option. By pointing the external antenna in the direction of the weak spot, it will broadcast the signal accordingly.
Cut off Wi-Fi leeches
Having an encrypted, password-protected Wi-Fi is essential to prevent unwanted users like neighbours exploiting open, fast Wi-Fi networks. Select a strong password that includes a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. Don’t use common passwords and make sure it is at least 8 characters long.
Buy a Wi-Fi Repeater/Booster/Extender
Wi-Fi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are fundamentally the same thing. Wi-Fi repeaters use an existing signal from your Wi-Fi router and rebroadcast it as a new network as an extension of your main network. Wi-Fi boosters and extenders also amplify the existing signal before rebroadcasting it to create a second network.
Change the Wi-Fi Channel
There are multiple Wi-Fi channels on which a Wi-Fi router can broadcast, but many users leave their router set on the default channel. All modern routers can switch across different channels when communicating with your devices, but if neighbouring wireless networks are using the same channel, you may encounter signal congestion. Find out which channel is occupied the least and switch to it.
Control your bandwidth by prioritising your devices and applications. Most modern routers come with Quality of Service (QoS) tools to limit the amount of bandwidth applications and devices use.
Use the latest Wi-Fi technologies
If you bought your router years ago, you might still be using an older, slower wireless technology. New technology offers superior download and upload speeds as well as improved range compared to older Wi-Fi technologies. Ensure that both your home router and your Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as smartphones and laptops, support the latest Wi-Fi technologies to boost home Wi-Fi.
Change your frequency
Check your network’s administrator interface and make sure that it is configured for optimum performance. If you have a dual-band router, you’ll likely get better throughput by switching to the 5GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz band. 5GHz offers faster speeds with less interference from other wireless networks and devices.
Don’t Forget to Reboot
By switching Wi-Fi routers on and off and rebooting, you may considerably improve your Wi-Fi speeds. It sounds simple, but sometimes resetting your router can speed up your Internet.
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