Seven Ways to Boost Your Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi issues, like slow speeds and poor reception, can be a real bummer, especially since many users now rely on their Internet connection to stream video content. If you’re having Wi-Fi issues in your home, try these seven easy methods to boost your Wi-Fi.


1. Location, location, location

The first step to maximizing your Wi-Fi signal is to make sure your router is in the right location in your home. To start with, your router should be in the center of your home and away from walls and other obstructions. It should also be raised off the ground as routers spread their signals downward.


2. Reposition the antennas

Once your router is in a central location, the next step is to make sure its antennas are perpendicular to each other. That is, one antenna should be vertical while the other should be horizontal. If your router only has one antenna or an internal antenna, you’ll have to play around with it to figure out the best positioning for an optimal signal.


3. Secure your network

It might seem obvious but it’s important to secure your Wi-Fi signal. An unsecure or poorly secured network is not only a security threat but can also slow you down. Signal thieves can hog your bandwidth, slowing things down significantly. To mitigate this, make sure you encrypt your router using the WPA2 standard.


4. Enable 5GHz

Most routers now come with two signal frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. If you have a lot of devices in your home, the 2.4GHz frequency can get quite crowded so it’s important to enable and use the 5GHz one. If you haven’t enabled it, you can enable the 5GHz frequency by accessing your router’s admin panel.


5. Find a less crowded channel

With more and more people living crowded neighbourhoods and condo buildings, commonly used Wi-Fi channels are becoming crowded and causing networks to interfere with each other. Channels 1, 6, and 11 are the most frequently used channels on the 2.4GHz frequency. Using a different channel can help you get a clearer signal. If you’re not sure which channel to choose, try an application like Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android or WiFiInfoView on Windows devices. Mac computers have functionality built into their Wireless Diagnostics, which you can access by holding down the option button and clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the top right of the menu bar.


6. Powerline network extender

If, like me, you live in a multi-story house you might find that your Wi-Fi signal doesn’t quite reach to all corners of your home. In this case, you might find a powerline network extender quite useful. These devices use your home’s electrical wiring to extend your Wi-Fi signal. They come in pairs: one device to be plugged in close to your router and the other in a location where you’d like extend your Wi-Fi signal.


7. Get a new router

If you haven’t upgraded your router in a while, that might be what’s holding you back from the blazing fast Wi-Fi speeds you want. Older routers don’t support the latest technology, such as the new Wi-Fi standard 802.11n/acc or 5GHz frequencies. Check your router to which Wi-Fi standard it supports and if it’s A, B, or G, think about upgrading to a wireless N or wireless AC version.


By Mike Agerbo

May 10, 2016