For most of us, staying connected and having internet access 24/7 is almost as essential as water, electricity and oxygen even — let’s be honest. And post-pandemic, our Wifi-dependency has definitely increased. We have an urge to remain connected, whether we’re outside or at home, and thanks to modern-day technology, internet speeds have never been faster with cable, fibre and even 5G. In contemporary times, not only do we use Wifi purely for entertainment purposes, but many peoples’ livelihoods (remote jobs) depend on a sturdy, reliable Wifi connection.
Unfortunately, due to the increasing number of connected devices or smart home products, even the fastest internet connections are overburdened, resulting in slow Wifi. If you feel like you can relate to this situation and your Wifi has slowed down, here are a few simple tips to help optimize your network and get decent reception.
1. Make sure the wired internet connection is stable
Before blaming the weak Wifi, it is crucial to check the tangible internet connection coming into your house. For this, you may need to run a speed test to ensure your internet speed matches the speed on your internet bill. If both internet speeds end up matching, then it might be time to upgrade to a better Wifi plan.
If everything seems to be in order with your modem, try running the speed test in close proximity to the router. If you get good speeds next to the router and not anywhere else in the house, your Wifi coverage may be the culprit here. And if you find that your internet is still slow, your router may need an upgrade.
2. Update your router
Meddling in your router’s settings may seem a little daunting at first, but upgrading your firmware is actually quite easy —depending on your device’s brand and model. Many contemporary routers have simple firmware upgrade buttons which activate the built-in update process right into the admin interface. With other older models, you may have to visit the manufacturer’s website and download the update file from your router’s support page.
Not only does updating your firmware regularly fix any Wifi issues but it improves performance, upgrades security and allows you to experience better features.
3. Optimal router placement is key
Where you place your router can affect your Wifi signals and coverage significantly. Since not all homes distribute Wifi easily, it’s crucial to keep your main router in the center of your house so that Wifi signals can reach each corner with ease. Many people’s first reaction is to have the Wifi router out of the way and not ruin the aesthetic of their living space, but this actually can have a negative effect.
Wireless Wifi routers thrive in open spaces, as opposed to being placed in closed and confined rooms or near walls and obstructions. Remember to keep your main router away from heavy-duty appliances and electronics since these can cause issues with Wifi performance if nearby. Try eliminating even one obstruction between your dead zone and Wifi router, and you’ll definitely see a drastic improvement.
Furthermore, placing your routers on high shelves or an elevated area helps get a better signal. If your router has external antennas, make sure they are vertical to help boost your Wifi performance.
4. Have a look at your frequency and channel
To help boost your home Wifi, there are two things you’ll want to look at on your network’s administrator interface: frequency and channel. If you own a dual-band router, it is advisable to switch to the 5GHz instead of the commonly used 2.4 GHz band. The 5GHz bandwidth offers faster speeds, and since many devices and wireless networks don’t use the 5GHz frequency, you’ll encounter less interference. Wifi interference can come from cordless phone systems, microwaves, signals from other wireless networks, and electronic devices.
If Wifi interference still persists, which is common for people in densely populated areas, you may have to switch to another channel. Most routers will choose the ideal channel for you, however, if neighbouring wireless networks are using the same one, you could experience signal congestion. If your router is set on ‘Automatic’, it could choose the least congested channel or a predefined one. If the Automatic channel setting isn’t working for you, sign in to your router’s administrator interface and manually select another channel and run a test speed to see if it provides better signal and faster internet speeds.
5. Invest in a Wifi extender or… Mesh Wifi
Two of the most popular solutions to dead zones are investing in either Wifi range extenders or Mesh Wifi routers to help enhance and upgrade the quality of Wifi signals and internet speed in your home or office.
Although Wifi range extenders are a cheaper and more affordable alternative to Mesh Wifi systems, Mesh Wifi systems have revolutionized the internet game in terms of Wifi coverage and speeds. Not only are they extremely convenient and easy to install, but you also won’t have to worry about unsightly wiring and routers placed haphazardly all over the place.
Mesh Wifi systems are also easier to set up and don’t require numerous network names. They consist of two or more router-like devices that work together and blanket your house in Wifi. Additionally, mesh technology ensures stronger and better Wifi connection while roaming from room to room.