How to boost your internet connection in your home or office

If your internet has been lagging for weeks, but you’re not quite sure what to do about it, so you’ve kind of reached the point of going with the flow and changing your internet usage around the unstable connection, don’t give up just yet. There are things you can do about it, without having to call in your service provider. Here’s what you can try.

Location

You may not have considered it but where you placed your router can have a big effect on how it works and the signal you get from it all around your house or office.

Map out the perfect spot – NO CLOSETS

I know your router is no looker, but don’t hide it, you will definitely regret it. By putting your router hidden behind walls and closet doors you’re obstructing its signal, which you are most likely already experiencing if you’re here reading this post. So bring it out to the open, place it in a high location if possible and point all antennas in the right direction. You’ll want to also make sure to verify where in the house or office you located it in your house. If you need signal all over your house, move it to a central location within your house to make sure the connection reaches every corner.

Avoid interference

Besides the location, you have to consider what’s around your router. Other appliances that generate signals could be interfering with your signal. Make sure to avoid microwaves and cordless phone, which have been the most common reasons of interference with your internet connection.

Tune into the right channel

Now, the interference may be from outside your home or office, so verify this by using tools like Wi-Fi Analyzer to make sure your router is operating on the best Wi-Fi channel. Wireless routers can work on different channels. So by moving your router to a channel that has less or no interference you’ll will definitely see an improvement in your internet connection.

Habits

We usually tend to keep our computers with up-to-date software, as well as our cell phones, but we completely forget about our routers. We have to give them some love too.

Schedule your Router to reboot

Verify how your router works, but one function that most have is that you can schedule it to reboot every so often. Rebooting your router will keep it running smoothly and save you lots of trouble trying to figure out what’s wrong, by doing this you’re basically preparing for any of the possible flaws your router could have: heat, out-of-date firmware, or excess downloading. If your router doesn’t have the possibility of doing this automatically, just get those old outlet timers and they’ll do the trick.

Network unlocked Closeup
Image courtesy of CyberHades at Flickr.com

Protect your Wi-Fi by upping the security

If you have weak security, you could have others taking up bandwidth without your permission. And depending on what they decide to do while using your connection you could severely suffer the consequences. Up the security by changing your password.

Control use of bandwidth

Check the behaviors of your family or employees. Are they constantly on Netflix, downloading torrents, watching YouTube videos, or playing video games. You can use  Quality of Service, or QoS, which is the best way to get everyone in check and prioritize certain applications like video chat, but remove priority from others like videogames and YouTube videos. This way you are making sure that the apps you want and need to get attention are getting the bandwidth they deserve.

Up to date firmware

Each update will have different benefits, but they will all at the end of the day help your router work better. Making sure the router itself is not completely out of date is also important. By keeping both the router and the firmware up to date you can boost connection, generate more stability and this way ensure a much better signal.

Hardware (including DIY solutions)

Get the gadgets

Yes, that’s right. It’s no secret. If you have a router that is the latest technology, it will most probably do everything you paid for and offer you a fast and reliable connection. Keep in mind when shopping around that the wireless N and the newer wireless AC are the ones to go with. The wireless A, B and G are old and slow and not worth the investment. If you really want the wireless N router to work at its full potential, you must also have the wireless N card in your computer.

DIY tricks

Besides everything that’s been mentioned, you can also take a look at some DIY hacks that will help improve your connection in an attempt to extend the router’s range. You can even use an old beer can as a sort of satellite and bounce the signal to extend it a little further. Obviously it won’t be a huge improvement, but it will make a difference. If you’re tech savvy, you could also consider hacking your router and installing the DD-WRT firmware, which will give you tons of different features. You could also turn on old router into a Wi-Fi repeater.

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