Whether you’re working from home, are a die-hard gamer, or simply have a busy household, a strong and stable WiFi connection is important to keep all your devices up and running. Check out these tips for improving your WiFi signal in your home.
Internet speed vs. Wi-Fi speed #
The speed you get over Wi-Fi is a combination of two things:
- The wired connection speed sent from the network to your router
- The wireless connection speed sent from your router to your Wi-Fi devices over radio signals
Want to know what speed you’re getting over Wi-Fi? An internet speed test can help you determine the connection speed you’re getting from the network to your device. Based on the results, you can then optimize and improve the Wi-Fi connection. This result will only tell you the speed you are getting to the device you used to run the test and not the speed from the network to your router.
Tips for optimizing your Wi-Fi signal #
As you set up a Wi-Fi network, there are a few things you can do to improve your signal strength.
Tip #1: Find an optimal spot for your router #
One easily overlooked way to improve your Wi-Fi connection has to do with the position of the router. Find a spot for your router that’s as central as possible. Choose a place that is higher up, like a bookcase or shelf. Also, do your best to move the router so that no thick walls, windows or large appliances are blocking the path between your router and your devices.
You might be surprised by how much your Wi-Fi speed can be impacted by where your router is. For example, if you’ve placed your router on a bookshelf, tucked behind books and other objects, this could cause interference in your Wi-Fi signal.
The distance between the router and your device has a major impact on your Wi-Fi connection speed and performance.
Physical obstructions can also slow down your Wi-Fi. Try to avoid placing your router near any of these:
- Thick concrete walls or doors
- Heavy doors or thick windows
- Large metal appliances such as fridges or microwaves
- Large containers of water, such as fish tanks.
If moving the equipment isn’t an option and there are doors between you and your router, try opening doors between rooms to get as clear a path as possible.
Lastly, heat sources can cause problems as well. Make sure your router is placed in a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight. Excessive heat can permenantly damage your router and affect it’s Wi-Fi performance.
Tip #2: Reduce eletronic interference from other devices #
If you’ve received one of our Free-to-use routers, or chosen an upgraded mesh system – opt for the 5Ghz frequency to get a stronger connection and avoid congestion from surrounding devices. Make sure you have at least 1.5-2 meters between other devices and your router to help reduce interference.
Wi-Fi is just one of the many radio frequencies all around us. Devices that use the same 2.4Ghz frequency range can interfere with your internet speed. These include microwaves, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, TVs, wireless security cameras, baby monitors, electric door openers and many more. Some of these generate short range interference that can affect your Wi-Fi even when the device is turned off. Most new routers support automatic band-switching, meaning they will detect and switch to a faster frequency, but if your router is older you will want to manually change to a 5Ghz connection whenever possible.
Tip #3: Reduce bandwidth consumption from other devices. #
Limit the number of devices in your home that share your Wi-Fi network during peak usage hours. The more bandwidth used in total, the less speed you’ll have on other devices. Power off or disconnect devices that you aren’t using.
All the wireless devices in your home share the same Wi-Fi connection. The number of devices running at the same time impacts your Wi-Fi speed significantly. The more devices you add to the network, the less speed you’ll get when working from home on your laptop, streaming on a tablet, etc. Gaming systems, video streaming devices, smart TVs and a number of the smart home systems can eat up a signification portion of bandwidth. In addition, many connected devices are always on and may frequently run updates in the background that you aren’t aware of, which can slow down your speed on your other devices.
Tip #4: Reboot your router #
Rebooting your router periodically can significantly improve your internet connection and network performance. Routers are electronic devices that handle the task of directing network traffic between your devices and the internet. Over time, they can encounter various issues such as memory leaks, software glitches, or network congestion, which can affect their performance.
By rebooting your router, you give it a fresh start and allow it to clear out any temporary files, refresh its memory, and resolve any software issues that may have accumulated. Here are a few reasons why rebooting your router is beneficial:
- Improved Speed and Stability: Rebooting your router can help eliminate sluggishness and improve the speed and stability of your internet connection. It clears out any network congestion or bottlenecks that may have developed over time, allowing for a smoother experience.
- Software Updates and Security Patches: Rebooting your router ensures that any pending software updates or security patches are applied. Many routers automatically download and install updates when they are rebooted, helping to keep your network secure and up to date.
- Fixes Connectivity Issues: If you’re experiencing connectivity problems, such as intermittent disconnections or difficulty connecting to certain devices, a router reboot can often resolve these issues. It helps establish a fresh connection between your devices and the router, eliminating any temporary glitches that may be causing the problem.
- Memory and Resource Management: Like any electronic device, routers rely on memory and system resources to operate efficiently. However, over time, these resources can become exhausted or fragmented, leading to decreased performance. Rebooting your router helps free up memory and clears out temporary files, enabling the router to operate more effectively.
To reboot your router, simply locate the power source and disconnect it for about 10-20 seconds before plugging it back in. Give it a minute or two to fully restart and establish connections. It’s a quick and simple step that can have a significant positive impact on your network’s performance.
Remember to check your router’s user manual or contact your internet service provider if you have any specific instructions or concerns about rebooting your router. By making rebooting a regular practice, you can maintain a reliable and efficient network connection for all your internet needs.
When is it time for a different Wi-Fi solution #
Sometimes your home is too large for a standard Wi-Fi router and you may need additional access points or a custom solution. Adding on a mesh system or cabled access points may be your only option for the best Wi-Fi experience.
Chat with our team about the options available to you, or shop our recommended mesh kit solutions on our store