Tips and tricks to improve your home’s Wi-Fi signal

If you have internet access at home, it’s very likely that you’re also able to go online via Wi-Fi, be it with your PC, notebook, tablet or mobile phone.

Wi-Fi is quite comfortable, but sometimes it doesn’t reach every room in your house or it becomes slow and unstable. Let’s take a look at the following tricks and tips to improve the Wi-Fi signal in your home, in order for you to get a better speed when it comes to emitting and receiving.

Wi-Fi_Advertisement on a wall in Central Station_router_Donald Burns_Wi-Fi signal
Image courtesy of Matthew Klein at Flickr.com
  1. Location of the router in the house

If the speed is OK in the room where the router is, but you can barely get a signal in the dining room, the problem is in that the router is not properly located. Find a central place for its range of action to reach every spot. The idea is to put it in a place where the signal doesn’t have many obstacles. If you have a large house, you could try a Wi-Fi repeater. These are not very expensive and they receive the Wi-Fi signal, replicate it and amplify it. You could also save some money by using an old router to perform this function.

  1. Update the firmware and change the channel used by your router

Routers, just like any other gadget, receive updates by the manufacturer and the best is to always have it updated with the latest firmware. You can check it directly from the router’s configuration page, which depends on the make and model of your device, and which will usually begin with the IP address 192.168.XXX.XXX

From that same configuration you can also modify the channel or frequency used to transmit the signal. The most common channel is number 6 and the band is 2.4 gigahertz. It’s likely that your transmission is in conflict with the Wi-Fi signals of your neighbors, especially if you live in an apartment building or in a place with several houses nearby.

Just pick a different channel and you will notice the differences. It’s not always necessary to switch bands, since not every device is compatible with other bands.

  1. The location of the router in the room

Back in the router’s room, don’t place it in a spot in which it will have problems to transmit a signal. Under your desk or in a corner are bad places. You should give priority to those in which the signal is going to move freely without having to go through obstacles. If you can’t reach the router with a network cable, you can get an extension, which is not expensive and it’s quite helpful.

Linksys PAP2 Vonage box, Belkin Pre-N Route_routers_wi-fi_communications_donald burn_how to speed your wifi
Image courtesy of Elvis Ripley at Flickr.com
  1. Users and security

It’s no use having an updated and well positioned router if you have eight devices using a connection of 2 Mbit/s. If there are many devices in your house, you should consider investing in a faster connection.

If there aren’t many people or devices, but the speed is still bad, it’s likely that some neighbor might be taking advantage of your Wi-Fi network. Change your password and improve its security. It’s a good idea to register the MAC addresses of the devices within the router’s configuration, that way only the authorized devices will be able to access it.

  1. Update your devices and equipment

Going back to the devices, sometimes your Wi-Fi signal shouldn’t be blamed, but the devices connected to it should. On PCs and notebooks, check that the driver of the Wi-Fi adapter is updated to its latest version. This depends on the make and model of your device, but the best place to find these updates is always the official website of the manufacturer.

  1. Invest in a better router or antenna

If all of these solutions fail, maybe the router that you have is simply not powerful enough for your needs. You can change it and get a more advanced one, that offers a broader reach. Another possibility is to add or change its antenna, even though not every router provides that option. You can buy repeaters and signal amplifiers, but you will still have to make an investment. Make your decisions according to your needs and the characteristics of your home.

  1. Avoid interferences with other devices

Lastly, make sure that you don’t have other elements to interfere with the signal of your router, and if there are, try to minimize their impact. The most obvious thing would be to think of other routers, and it’s likely that that will be the case if you live in a building or in a very inhabited zone. However, other devices such as cordless phones or microwave ovens should also be taken into account. To avoid these conflicts, a good solution would be to acquire a double or triple band router. The cheapest option would be to increase the distances between devices, according to the space that you have available at home.

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