With a house full of Wi-Fi enabled devices, making sure you have a strong signal throughout your house is important to ensure all users have an optimal connection. There are many ways that you can boost your signal to make sure that it reaches to all corners of your home, and even in your yard or surrounding area if you’re lucky. These ten simple tips for boosting your wireless signal will mean no more buffering in the basement, slow loads on the second floor, or lagging in the living room.
1. Centralize your Router:
A wireless signal can typically travel throughout your home, but traveling through multiple walls, metal and water obstacles can drastically decrease its strength. Find a centralized location to place your router so your signal doesn’t become weak as it travels through walls and other areas of your home. Try moving it around until you are able to find the best location, or place it near most commonly used devices.
2. Buy a Range Extender:
Some homes need a little boost when it comes to their wireless internet, be it a strange layout, large space or a home with many obstacles. Range extenders, also known as wireless repeaters are a good solution. It works by picking up your existing wireless signal and then rebroadcasting it. It essentially helps your wireless stretch to areas that have poor coverage.
3. Avoid Interference:
Many people don’t realize that their wireless network may encounter interference from other devices in your home, such as baby monitors and microwaves. Most wireless routers and home devices run on a 2.4GHz frequency range by default as it is the most common. If you have a dual-band router, it’s easy to eliminate unnecessary interference by switching to the 5GHz range. Otherwise, consider unplugging or powering off other devices when they aren’t in use.
4. Update the Firmware:
Many people forget to update firmware on their wireless router, but remembering to do so can keep your wireless running at optimal speeds. Depending on the age and type of your router, it may have a simple upgrade button, while others may require you to download any updates to the firmware from the manufacturer’s website. Either way, it is a simple update that can greatly improve the quality of your connection.
5. Change the Channel:
If you live in an area with many other people using their own wireless routers, you may experience congestion if everyone is using the same channel. It is a common occurrence, as most people use the unit’s default channel. Changing the channel to a less commonly used option will help prevent this congestion and have your wireless running optimally.
6. Use Quality Equipment:
Consider upgrading to a device that offers a better range or stronger signal if you are consistently experiencing a weak connection. Many older units don’t offer the same capabilities as some of the more modern wireless routers, due to older technology. Research different options that will best suit your wireless internet needs.
If you have a newer router, consider utilizing the Quality-of-Service tool that probably came with your router. This lets you limit the bandwidth that certain apps consume. Large downloads can be set as low priority during peak usage hours, so streaming or VoIP calls aren’t interrupted as a result of such activities, or vice versa depending on how you set your priorities.
8. Try a New Antenna:
Some routers give users the option of replacing the antenna, or adding an external one for models that have an internal antenna. There are two types of antennas, omnidirectional, which are typically the standard as they send the signal in all directions, and directional antennas, which provide targeted signal in one direction. If you have a weak area, utilizing a directional antenna can help increase the strength.
9. Increase Transmission Power:
Many routers give you the option to set how much power is used to transmit your signal, and by increasing this you may experience a stronger signal. The manual that came with the unit should be able to tell you what capabilities your device has for doing this.
10. Keep your Network Private:
The fewer devices you have draining your network strength, the better your in home signal will be. If you haven’t already password protected your network, do so to not only increase your signal, but to help keep your network secure and your information private. Keeping unwanted users off your network will keep your speeds fast, and your data secure.