How do you improve your Wi-Fi connection at home? Or get the best out of your Internet bandwidth? The Home Networking Expert is here to make sure you have all the right connections. Expect only the best and most cost effective networking recommendations for your home!
Wi-Fi has become an integral part of our lives, but sometimes it also gives us the biggest headache if it is not set up properly. In this article, we’ll recommend a number of tips that will help improve your Wi-Fi connection at home.
1. Find the perfect spot
The location of your router plays a huge part in providing the best Wi-Fi experience! As a router might not be the nicest looking piece of home decor, it is understandable that you might have placed it somewhere less visible. But in doing so you are disrupting Wi-Fi signals, so avoid hiding them directly behind your wardrobe, cabinet or television. The best height for router placement is between your waist and shoulders. Reason being, the general height when we use our devices is between our waist to shoulder level. So keep your router elevated at that height as much as possible! Keep the antenna pointed upright as well, so the router can spread the signal widely and horizontally! Also, avoid placing your router next to a thick wall. Stone, metal and concrete can block out your signal.
2. Find the right channel with a Wi-Fi analyser
For Android users, you can download this app called the Wifi Analyzer. It is a free Wi-Fi scanner app that scans all the Wi-Fi channels available around your home. For iOS, try iStumbler or Network Analyzer.
Essentially, every Wi-Fi network transmits and receives data on a certain channel. So if too many routers are using the same channel, the router signals will interfere with each other, causing bad connection. The good news though, is that you can manually change your router channel. But first, scan your area to see who’s using which channel and pick out the one with the least number of users!
3. Two is better than one
If you are constantly having issues with your Wi-Fi speed then perhaps it’s time to change to a new router. We would highly recommend getting a dual band wireless router like the Asus RT-AC88U which features both a 2.4 GHz band and a 5.0 GHz band, allowing for connections on both bands.
The main difference between the 2 bands are as follows:
2.4GHz: Wider coverage but lower speed as compared to 5.0GHz
5.0GHz: Higher speed but lesser coverage as compared to 2.4GHz
Dual band routers are ideal for homes which have multiple users connected to the internet at the same time. With dual band, you can split your devices across two different bands – for example, mobile devices like smart phones and tablets which are not so speed intensive on the 2.4GHz band and devices like laptop/desktops on the 5.0GHz band. For more information on the difference between the 2 bands, you can check out this 2.4 GHZ vs 5.0GHz article.
4. Use a repeater to extend Wi-Fi coverage
A repeater is a device that helps to extend the range of your wireless signal. All you need to do is to place the repeater a distance away from your router (do ensure that the Wi-Fi signal is strong at the particular spot you place the repeater) and the repeater will simply extend your wireless signal. To ensure optimal coverage around your home, you can just place repeaters to cover spots where Wi-Fi is weak. A good repeater we would recommend is the ASUS RP-68U, check out our review.
5. Installation of Ethernet Lan Points/Power-line adapters
If you live in a very big house with lots of thick walls, you might want to invest in the installation of Ethernet Lan points. Because chances are, they are bound to be Wi-Fi dead spots. With Ethernet Lan points, you can simply plug in additional router as access point, helping to broadcast additional Wi-Fi signals around the house, i.e. increasing Wi-Fi coverage in your house.
Installation of LAN points might require extensive cabling work so this method might not be feasible for everyone. A much more hassle-free alternative would be the use of powerline adapters which are plug-and-play devices that help turn electrical network into a computer network by converting your electrical points into LAN points.
Important: Please take note that powerline adapters might not work properly if you have multiple circuit breakers within you house
6. Get rid of other interferences
Keep your cordless phones, wireless devices (smartphones and tablets) and microwaves a distance away, to ensure your router doesn’t get any third party signal interruptions. Cordless phones and microwaves in particular will affect your router’s signal if they are positioned nearby. So avoid placing them within 1 metre of the router to avoid signal interferences!
7. Lock it up
It is extremely important to lock your Wi-Fi connection to prevent others in the vicinity from tapping on and hogging your connection!
Not only does it cause lagging, you’ll never know what others are doing with your connection. They might be downloading illegal content, an offence which could get you fined or even jailed.
8. Set-up automatic restart
Sometimes when you are unable to go online or experiencing slow speed, a simple router restart can usually fix the issue! But depending on where you place your router, this might not be a feasible long term solution.
So to keep your router performance optimal at all times, we would recommend setting up your router to automatically restart once a day, week or month. To avoid getting interruptions with your internet experience you can schedule this while you are at work or sleeping.
Note: This function might not be available for older router models
We hope this post can help you to improve your internet connection at home. Think this article is missing something important – Post it in the comments below! (If it’s good we’ll add it in. If not…well at least you tried).