Do you feel frustrated with your internet connection and wish you could wave a magic wand to make it better? You are not alone! In today’s jet age, what everyone will disagree with is having a slow internet connection. Whether at work or home, we all appreciate the awesome experience of a fast internet connection (check this guide on internet speed at Speedcheck.org for more details).
For the sake of efficiency and productivity, it’s great if we have a wireless internet connection from a router that allows us a few hundred meters from where it is placed.
It could be infuriating when you are stuck with a router that only produces a good signal when placed in the same room as you; not to mention dropped WiFi signals, slow browsing, inability to stream, and zones impenetrable by the wireless network.
Before you give up on your router altogether, you should read this.
In this article, I’m going to show you the best practices to adopt to boost the signal strength of your internet wireless router.
However, it is imperative to understand that depending on your subscription plan, your internet service provider (ISP) may assign a certain browsing speed to you. For example, if your speed is set at 2 Mbps (megabytes per seconds), it implies that your maximum browsing speed can never go above 2 Mbps unless you upgrade your subscription plan. But, these proven methods will guarantee faster wireless reception and lots more.
Distance is a major constraint when it comes to wireless connection, sometimes, you wonder why you experience dropped signals in some areas around the house or workplace; the reason is not far-fetched. It is due to the fact that the router is not capable of sending signals to such areas due to long distance. Another constraint is obstruction offered by walls or home furniture and interference by neighboring network channels, especially in a crowded vicinity.
All these can add up and cause your WiFi signal to slow down a bit. With these seven proven ultimate guidelines, we are about to delve into; you can be rest assured that you are going to get the best out of your router. Some if not all, will enable you to boost your WiFi signal to guarantee the much-needed internet experience.
Get Modern Devices
Before we take a look at all the other methods, I think it will be great to, first of all, examine the status of our hardware. Most gadget users do not discard their old devices until they are broken and are certified to be beyond repair.
You know, the “don’t fix till it’s broken” mentality.
There is no way you are going to get the best out of your wireless router if the devices connected to them are old with outdated technology, or if the router you’re using was bought many years back; the chances are that it doesn’t have the capacity to power sophisticated modern-day devices.
In the time past, when the best wireless router one could get was an 802.11g with a maximum throughput of 54Mbps, you would naturally not expect these to performance like the 802.11Ns with a maximum throughput of about 300 Mbps or the 802.11ACs at 1 Gbps. So if you have an old router, computer systems or devices, make sure to replace them with modern ones.
Getting newer devices doesn’t guarantee updated software. It just means you have firmware that will run smoothly when current software is installed on them. Gadget manufacturers as well every other player in the technology sector are always on the move, tweaking and renewing the software programs of their current products.
Unfortunately, most of these devices do not update automatically even when they are new. It’s appropriate for you to get your routers, computers and browsers up and running on current software to guarantee that faster connection you desire. Quick ways of doing this include updating directly from your admin panel or visiting the website of your devices’ brand to check for updates.
Using WiFi Extenders
You may not know what a WiFi extender is, but it could be the last resort when you are at a loss and have no other options on what to do. A WiFi extender is a little device that receives the signal of your router then amplifies it to a higher frequency. By doing this, the extender allows the signal to reach a wider range.
The WiFi extender is ideal for users with a large house or office. The WiFi extender comes in two designs. It can either be a wall plug type or a desktop type. WiFi extenders like the NETGEAR N300 WiFi Range Extender Essentials Edition (EX2700) which costs about $25 on Amazon are relatively cheap and provide the needed coverage to areas that were initially dead zones. Irrespective of the brand of your router, it can work flawlessly with any WiFi extender when properly installed.
Positioning Is Key
If you make use of the Ethernet cable to connect your devices to the router, the placement of the router doesn’t matter as long as you have cables long enough to reach the desired areas. But on the other hand, most WiFi users place their wireless routers at the center of their homes or offices. There is the notion that if it is at the center, it can reach all areas in the building.
If you happen to be one of such people, don’t beat yourself acting on the information gotten from the internet and this could be incorrect in some cases. It is not necessary to have the connection covering the entire location. What is important is to have a strong signal in the specified places where it is needed. So I would suggest that you find that sweet spot, that is open, without any form of obstruction. This should enable the router cover all the needed areas.
External Antennas Over Inbuilt Ones
Most modern-day routers come with inbuilt antennas. If such a router is what you own, it would be clever to get an external antenna. A router’s antenna could either have the capacity to send signals in all directions (omnidirectional) or just to a particular direction.
An omnidirectional antenna spreads the connection signal by thinning it out with Signal strength not strong enough to guarantee a constant browsing speed. However, the reverse is the case with those antennas that send signals to a particular direction (the one directional type).
When you have an external antenna marked with the “high-gain”, it guarantees a stronger signal. This is because it enables you to direct the signal to the spot where it is most needed. Keep in mind that there are different kinds of antenna out there in the market. Consult your router’s manufacturers’ manual to get informed on the right one to buy.
Locate That Perfect Channel
Modern-day routers possess the ability to switch from channel to channel, though that can only be done manually. The pain comes when neighboring routers are on the same channel as yours, the signal of your router will degrade in a congested area because there is serious interference from other networks.
With the aid of a WiFi analyser, you can determine the right channel, with the least interference to which you can connect. Same thing applies to a WiFi Stumbler: A web-based tool that uses your device’s WiFi antenna to scan local access nodes will show you the least congested channel in the process.
One other method of getting the list of neighboring traffic can be accomplished on a Windows PC or laptop. On Windows 7 in particular, if you simply type “netsh wlan show all ” from the command prompt, you’ll get a list of all channels and wireless networks in the area then all you need do is simply switch to that channel that will double your speed.
Kick Out Hooligans And Unused Devices
Being on a less congested channel is ideal, and your aim here is to have less congestion on your WiFi router. Congestion (whether on a channel or router) slows down your internet speed.
There are two ways your router signal can get congested. The first could be an uninvited guest using your network without your permission. There are no sure ways of preventing hackers from gaining access into your WiFi connection, but there are few ways to keep the less savvy ones at bay.
If you protect your network with the easy-to-hack WEP password, then you should be thinking of creating another password and also upgrade to a WAP or WAP2 security as these have proven to be more secure than the WEP. Ensure to change your password as often as possible without any provision for a guest network.
Next, ensure that you kick out unused appliances away from the network. Remember that “restrict background data usage” feature on Android phones, which disallow background apps to consume data? Same thing applies to your home appliances. By kicking the unused appliances out, you release the signal so it can be efficiently utilized by any appliances you are currently using.
So there you have it, you have now been armed with the knowledge of how to boost your WiFi signal. These methods above are proven to be some of the best, and easiest anyone can try out, but if you think that there some I should know and is not included, do feel free to drop it in the comment box below.