EZVideo streaming slowing to a crawl, spotty Wi-Fi signals throughout your home, the endless spinning wheel of doom. Welcome to the Wireless Dead Zone…
Okay, without being so dramatic, this stuff really can be frustrating, am I right? If you feel like your Wi-Fi has become sluggish or like the only way to get a decent connection is to stand right next to your router then check out these simple tips on how to optimize your home network.
Location, Location, Location!
There needs to be some strategy in choosing the location of your home router. Hiding the ugly black box with the pointy ears might make for an eye-pleasing room but be prepared to suffer the digital consequences. Avoid placing your router next to any metal appliances or anything that emits electromagnetic waves. This is the biggest disrupter of a Wi-Fi signal. Plastic, wood, glass and cardboard are materials that will also disrupt the signal to a less severe extent.
Wi-Fi signals radiate out in all directions. The further the signals travel the more they dissipate. You can increase the travel ability of these signals by placing the router in the center of your home with minimal surrounding obstructions. This way signals have less distance to travel. Elevating the router by placing it on a shelf in an open location would allow the signal to travel downward. Remember, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by hiding it in a cabinet or behind some books.
Switch to 5GHz
If your current router only supports 2.4GHz and not 5GHz, consider updating your hardware. Switching to 5GHz will provide you with faster data transfer rates across a short distance. The reason this is only the case at a shorter distance is because higher frequency signals have a harder time traveling through obstructions than lower frequency signals. Refer to tip one to help give that higher frequency range a little boost.
2.4GHz offers a limited number of channels for devices to use for data transferring. When those channels become over-crowded with too many devices trying to use the same radio space or by channels overlapping, it can significantly impact your Wi-Fi signal in a negative way. 5GHz offers more channels that don’t overlap providing some private space for your device.
Cut Off Bandwidth Leeches
Have you noticed how nearly every hotel, restaurant and even department stores advertise their “Free Wi-Fi”? Welcome to the 21st century. With soaring data plan prices, free Wi-Fi has become a hot selling point. People will connect wherever they can. That includes your unsecure home network.
Protect your Wi-Fi bandwidth from outside moochers by upping your home network security. Reliance Connects highly recommends using a complex network password and making sure your router’s security is using at least WPA2. WPA and WEP have weaker security encryptions that can easily be hacked using software anyone can purchase. You can check what security measures your router is using by giving our help desk a call. If your router is using WPA or even WEP, ask about upgrading to a router with higher standard security.
Upgrade Your Hardware
If you are still using an 802.11n router, it is time to leave that far behind. Upgrading to the next model, the 802.11ac, will bring you a dramatic increase in speed. The “ac” is capable of handling speeds several times faster than the older “n” model. Though there are more advanced models you could upgrade to, an “ac” router will likely be more than enough for your needs.
Adding Wi-Fi Network Extenders to your home network will help bring the signal to every dark corner of your home. Reliance Connects has a wireless option that works to capture and re-broadcast your Wi-Fi signal. Same as your router, you will want to make sure these are placed in an open location somewhere between your router and the areas of your home receiving a weak signal. They should be close enough to the router that they can grab the signal, but far enough away that when they re-broadcast that signal, it will reach those low signal areas.
Reboot Your Router
This is probably one of the simplest things you can do. In the same way that restarting your computer can clear up performance issues, rebooting your router could be the remedy for weak signals. To reboot your router, turn your router off and leave off for at least 30 seconds. Turn it back on and give your internet a test to see if issues have been resolved.
The Reliance Connects Help Desk is available Monday-Friday from 7am-9pm and Saturday-Sunday from 8am-5pm. If there are any problems that come up with a rented router, please don’t hesitate to call us.
In Estacada & Corbett 503.630.8909
In Mesquite 702.346.0040
In Elkton, Haines and Antelope Toll free 1-866-894-4657