As we all adapt to the new normal, maintaining social distance by working or studying from home, having the Internet and a faster one has become necessary. Some Internet service providers have increased the Internet speeds for low-income consumers, while others have suspended broadband data caps. This has made the Internet available to almost everyone. If you’re looking for an Internet service provider, ensure that you make an Internet package comparison to get the best deals.
Being connected to the Internet in your house is easy. You need an ISP, but eliminating slow speeds and Wi-Fi dead zones around your home is solely up to you. To help, we’ve come up with tips on how you can troubleshoot and improve the Wi-Fi quality inside and outside your home.
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Move your router.
Is your router being hindered by walls, cupboards, or shelves? All these can potentially weaken your Wi-Fi signal. Physically moving your router can make a massive difference to the speeds you get and how far the Wi-Fi wireless transmissions can reach. Finding the perfect spot will depend on your home. Ensure that you don’t place the router inside a drawer or under a cupboard – the more central you put it, the better the signal.
You might need some cable work to place your router in a better place. The goal is to get your primary devices like your laptop, phones, etc., as close as possible to your router. Devices that don’t require a lot of bandwidth, like thermostats, don’t need to be a priority when setting up the router.
Suppose you don’t have a flat surface where you need to place it. In that case, you can mount the router halfway up a wall, and ensure that you keep it away from any other devices that use electromagnetic waves, e.g., microwaves, baby monitors, or wireless keyboards.
Use an Ethernet cable.
A wired connection to your router is better than a wireless connection because it’s more stable, faster, and can’t be affected by any other devices. The disadvantage is that it will limit where your devices can be, which is an inconvenience for you. But then, if you need to increase your speeds, especially if you’re using a gaming console or a streaming box, it will be worth the effort to run a wire. The router comes with an extra Ethernet port, so all you need is a cable to connect.
To avoid having messy wires lying around, you can have the Ethernet cables fixed to the walls to ensure safety, especially if you have kids running around the house.
Change the band or channel.
Your Wi-Fi signal is usually divided into channels. Your router uses a specific Wi-Fi channel to communicate with the devices in your home. If you have neighbors living very close and using the same Wi-Fi channel as you, the channel can quickly get congested and weaken the signal. When you switch to another channel, you can avoid congestion, and it will speed up your connection.
Changing channels varies from router to router. Check your router’s documentation, or find the instructions online if you’re unsure. Channels 1, 6, and 11 are the ones you should try as they will have the least interference when multiple routers get hooked up.
Most routers use dual technology, broadcasting at 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies. If your router settings allow, you can prioritize one or the other for specific devices. Although 5 GHz will get you a faster connection to the Internet, it comes with a shorter range than 2.4 GHz.
Upgrade your router.
Routers vary tremendously in price and functionality, but in this case, the upgrade is generally to increase the area your Wi-Fi can broadcast. If you live in a large house, you’re better off using a router that can pair with repeaters that can broadcast your Wi-Fi signal to the farthest corners of your home. This is where you use a mesh network where you install multiple router nodes in your home. Smaller apartments or homes can get it by using a simpler system.
Use a Wi-Fi extender.
If poking around your router sounds challenging, you can invest in a Wi-Fi extender or repeater. You can plug these devices into a spare wall socket, and connect to the wireless Internet to be beamed out by your router and extending it further.
They are relatively simple to set up, easy to use, and instantly eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones in your home. Ensure you get the maximum supported Wi-Fi standard that matches your router so that you get as a speedy connection as possible.
The repeated or extended signals won’t be as strong as the signals coming from your router, so positioning your router is still important. Try and use extenders to connect devices that don’t need a large amount of bandwidth.
Secure your Wi-Fi.
You’ve probably heard it a dozen times, but it’s crucial to secure your Wi-Fi with a password to keep hackers out of your network. Having a password to connect to your Wi-Fi will also keep neighbors from streaming Netflix with your Wi-Fi, which will slow down your Internet. You can also be changing passwords often, and avoid using easy passwords that anyone can guess.
Call your Internet service provider.
If you’ve tried everything and your Internet is still slow, you can call your ISP and see if they have any suggestions to speed it up. They will probably send their technician to troubleshoot the problem and see why your Wi-Fi isn’t fast enough. There are many reasons your Internet might be slow. There could be a problem with the router, the Wi-Fi signal may be blocked, the cable signal may not be strong enough, or you could be hooking up many devices that are saturating your bandwidth. The technician will fix your router and any other issues. Remember to disconnect any devices that aren’t in use and connected to the Wi-Fi.
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