Slowing browsing speeds, not being able to stream, constant drop in Wi-Fi signals, Wireless dead zones – These problems are frustrating in today’s world where using the internet, for most, is a daily essential. If you’re having problems receiving a signal from your router, when you’re not in the same room, these easy tips can help optimise your network.
The most common issue with wireless signal at home is Range, this being the maximum distance your wireless signal can travel. If you require the network to cover an area bigger than the router is capable of emitting to, then inevitably you will have a drop-in performance. This will be due to the amount of ‘matter’, such as walls and floors, that signal must travel through before reaching your device. The next most common issue is interference. This can affect anyone’s wireless signal, but most commonly effects those who live in highly-populated areas. Other wireless networks, electronics, and even phone systems, can adversely affect your wireless signal and must all be in mind when addressing issues with wireless networks. Thirdly, and least commonly, you could have uninvited guests sponging off your network. In this case, you can access your routers Administrators interface to see how many, and what devices relate to you network. Most Amin interfaces will let you revoke access from specific devices and can run a network analyser programs.
Many factors can affect your connection speed, and make it a less than idea network. Luckily, we have some easy problem solving tips to help, and most the solutions won’t cost you a penny!
1.Update Your Router’s Firmware
Maybe your router requires an update. Manufacturers are constantly tweaking software for their products, to ‘iron out’ any imperfections and squeeze out as much speed as possible. Ease of doing this is completely dependent on your devices manufacturer and the model. Currently most router have this service built-in to the administrator interface of the router, so I just a matter of logging into the router and clicking an update button. Although some models, commonly older, require you to manually find and download the update directly from the manufactures website. This process can take longer and is a bit monotonous, but is well worth if your suffering a slow network speeds. It’s best practice to check and update your router’s firmware regularly. This means you will get performance improvements, more up-to-date features, and security updates too.
2. Optimal Router Placement
Not all rooms, houses and spaces are fashioned equal. Fact being, wherever you physically setup your router can affect your wireless coverage. For the ‘neat freaks’ of the world, it may seem rational to hide a router inside a bookcase or cupboard, or right by the phone port where the cable comes in, but this isn’t always the case. A wired router for instance, can be tucked away in a cupboard, out of sight, out of mind. Whereas a wireless router, needs allot of open space away from large obstructions. As well as physical obstructions, wireless routers are also negatively impacted by heavy-duty and electronic appliances. Having these types of appliances near can impact on your wireless routers performance.
3. What’s Your Frequency?
In your routers administrator interface make sure its configured for optimum performance. If your router is Dual Band, you will most likely get better signal by switching to 5GHz Band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz Band. Switching is a quick simple process, just see if your routers admin interface supports 5GHz, if it does, activate it. with this quick change, you will likely come across less interference from other devices and networks due to 5GHz not being used as much by other devices.
4.Change The Channel
Modern routers are multichannel products. This means they can switch between different channels when communicating to your devices. Most people tend to use whatever the router comes setup to as default, but this can lead to signal congestion if one of your neighbouring networks is utilising the same channel. One way of checking who is using what channel, is by using the command prompt feature on a window based PC. Simply type ‘netsh wlan show all’ and hit enter. This will bring up a list of all the surrounding wireless networks, and the channel they are using. Simply use your routers admin interface to select a channel that the other networks are not using. This should generally ‘amp-up’ your signal.
5. Control Quality
Modern routers commonly come equipped with QoS tools (Quality-of-Service) to put a limit on the amount of bandwidth that is used by apps. If you tend to use VoIP (Voice over IP) allot, you don’t want the quality of your streaming to go down because of someone on your network downloading a large file. By specifically choosing which applications get priority on your network, you maximise the performance by setting your own rules. You can set downloads to a lower priority, to certain parts of the day, and even bandwidth per user on certain routers. These setting are on the administrator interface of your router, but is commonly found under ‘Advanced Settings’.
I hope you have gained some insight into how to improve your Wi-Fi signal, and have manage to do so. Stay tuned for five more top-tips!