Do you have to walk to a certain place in your home to have a conversation over Skype or Facebook Messenger?
We’ve all been a place where wireless range inexplicably drops off. But when your home has a poor wireless connection, it can lead to major annoyances in all areas of your life.
With that in mind, we’re teaching you the best ways to boost a Wi-Fi signal quickly and easily.
6) Update Router Firmware
Your router manufacturer releases occasional firmware updates for the router software. Unfortunately, unlike many other software and hardware components on your computer, those firmware updates aren’t automatically downloaded: you have to download it yourself.
Firmware updates can significantly affect the performance of your router. They often impact security as well – so they’re a good thing to download even if you’re not experiencing Wi-Fi problems.
On many modern routers, firmware updates are available directly from the route menu. Visit the router and look for an update button. Or, visit your router manufacturer’s official website to get the update directly from the source.
5) Know Where to Place your Router
Wireless technology has come a long ways. However, physical distance and physical objects can still have a significant impact on wireless network performance.
Knowing where to place your router will go a long ways towards boosting your Wi-Fi performance.
It may seem convenient to place your router in a cabinet under your desk, away from the action. However, being low to the ground and behind a wooden cabinet door can significantly weaken your Wi-Fi distance and performance.
Ideally, your wireless router will be placed in an open space away from walls and other obstructions.
Your router should also be placed away from other electronics – especially those that send wireless signals. Some routers can also get disrupted by being too close to a microwave.
4) Adjust Router Antennas
Most modern routers have at least one antenna. Correct antenna placement can make a world of difference.
Orient your router antennas vertically to boost coverage. At the same time, elevate your router off the ground. Some people put it on top of a shelf or dresser, while other people even mount routers on a wall.
3) Use a Mobile App to Check Wi-Fi Performance
Netgear WiFi Analytics is one cool Android app you’ve probably never heard of.
Using this Android app, you can check the strength of your wireless signal around your home or business. It’s a basic app that requires little technical experience.
You can check your network status, Wi-Fi signal strength, crowded Wi-Fi channels, and clear channels with less interference.
If you’re having trouble with your wireless internet at home and the above tips didn’t help, then the app may be able to recommend some changes. You can download the app for free here.
2) In a Busy Apartment, Condo, or City? Change your Frequency
Use your phone or computer to scan for wireless networks around you. If you see more than 5 networks, then your own wireless network may be encountering some interference.
If that’s the case, then you may be able to benefit by switching to a different frequency.
The best way to do this is to get a 5GHz router and make sure it’s switched onto 5 GHz instead of the more common 2.4GHz band.
It may not increase your speed, but it will likely decrease interference because the 5GHz frequency is not nearly as common.
Check your router’s admin panel to see if it supports 5 GHz. If it does, enabling it may significantly improve your wireless connectivity.
1) Change your Channel If You’re in a Busy Place
The same rule we just mentioned also applies to the channel on your router: if you’re in a crowded area, city, apartment, or condo complex, then you may be running into interference over your router channel.
Your router uses the default channel. However, other routers nearby may use that same default channel, in which case you should try changing your channel.
It’s kind of like how you change channels on a Walkie-Talkie to talk to different people. If everyone is using the same channel, things can get crowded.
Browse through your router’s admin panel and find the channel selection feature.
You can actually see which channel nearby Wi-Fi networks are using. In Windows, open a command prompt by pressing Windows Key + R, and then typing in cmd. Then, type in netsh wlan show all to see a list of wireless networks and the channels used in the vicinity.
Change the channel to something unique in your local area and pick one that’s less congested.
By using these behinds-the-scenes router tricks, you can vastly improve the speed, stability, and effectiveness of your computer’s wireless internet connection.