Is your Wi-Fi problem? This article presents the best tips to improve the quality of your internet signal
Connection Wi-Fi an indispensable technology today. However, it is not proof of failure. Browsing slowly, inability to transmit videos, signal drop, wireless dead zones – all of these problems are maddening in a world where going online has become, for some, as necessary as breathing.
If you feel your Wi-Fi it got slow, there are many tools that you can use to test your Internet speed. However, if the only way to get a decent reception is next to the wireless router, these tips we have collected in this article can help you optimize your network.
Update the router's firmware
Perhaps your router just needs an update. Router manufacturers are always improving the software to get a little more speed. How easy – or difficult – to update the firmware depends entirely on the manufacturer and model of the device.
Most current routers have the update process incorporated directly into the administration interface, so it is just a matter of pressing an update button. firmware. Other models, especially if they are older, still require you to access the manufacturer's website, download a firmware file from the router's support page, and upload it to the administration interface. tedious, but still a good thing to do, as it would be a very simple solution.
Even if your wireless network is not in a bad state, you should regularly update the firmware for performance improvements, better features, and security updates.
Get good positioning of the router
The fact is that where you place the router can affect your wireless coverage. It may seem logical to have the router inside a case and out of the way, or next to the window where the cable enters, but this is not always the case. Instead of relegating it to another end of your home, the router should be in the center of your home, if possible, so that the signal can reach as far as possible.
In addition, wireless routers need open spaces, away from walls and obstructions. So while it is tempting to place the device in a closet or behind a pile of books, you will get a better signal if you are surrounded by the outdoors (which should also prevent the router from overheating). Keep it away from household appliances or heavy electronic appliances, as their operation in close proximity can affect the performance of the Wi-Fi.
If your router has external antennas, orient them vertically to increase coverage. If you can, mount it on the wall or on the top shelf to get a better signal. There are many tools to help you visualize your network coverage. HeatMapper, for example, a program that shows both weaknesses and strengths in your network Wi-Fi. There are also many applications for smartphones, such as WiFi Analytics from Netgear .
What is your frequency?
Take a look at your network's administrator interface and make sure you have configured it for optimal performance. If you have a dual band router, you will probably get a better transfer rate by switching to the 5 GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4 GHz band.
Not only does 5 GHz offer faster speeds, but you are likely to find less interference from other wireless networks and devices, because the 5 GHz frequency is not so commonly used. (However, it does not handle obstructions and distances as well as, therefore, does not necessarily reach up to a 2.4 GHz signal).
Most modern dual band routers should offer the option of using the same network name, or SSID, on both bands. Check your router's administration interface, look for the 5 GHz network option and provide the same SSID and password as your 2.4 GHz network. That way, your devices will automatically choose the best signal whenever possible.
Change the channel
Interference is a big problem, especially for those who live in densely populated areas. Signals from other wireless networks can affect speed, not to mention some wireless phone systems, microwaves, and other electronic devices.
Have you ever played with walkie-talkies as a child? You can remember how the units needed to be on the same ?channel? so that you could hear yourself. And if you were on the same channel as your neighbors, you could hear someone else's conversation, even if they were using a completely different set.
Likewise, all modern routers can switch between different channels when communicating with their devices. Most routers will choose the channel for you, but if the neighboring wireless networks are also using the same channel, you will encounter signal congestion.
A good router set to Automatic will try to choose the least congested channel, but many cheaper routers will choose only one predefined channel, even if it is not the best one. This can be a problem. On PCs with Windows, you can see which channels the networks Wi-Fi neighbors are using. At the command prompt, type it netsh wlan show all , and see a list of all wireless networks and channels used nearby.
Most modern routers come with Quality of Service (QoS) to limit the amount of bandwidth that applications use. For example, you can use the QoS to prioritize video calls over file downloads – so your connection to your grandmother will not be interrupted just because someone else is taking a large file from Dropbox. Some configuration QoS allow you to prioritize different apps at different times of the day.
The settings for QoS they can usually be found in advanced configurations in the network administrator interface. Some routers may even make it easy, offering a one-click multimedia or gaming setup, so you know that these applications will be prioritized.
Do not trust obsolete hardware
It is a good idea to make the most of your existing equipment, but if you are running old hardware, you cannot expect the best performance. We tend to use the ?if it's not broken, don't fix it? mentality with devices like that, especially network equipment. However, if you purchased your router years ago, you may still be using the oldest and slowest 802.11n standard.
These wireless standards limit reasonably low bandwidth. Thus, all the settings described above will only take you to the maximum bandwidth your device allows – the maximum transfer rate for 802.11g is 54 Mbps, while 802.11n reaches 300 Mbps. The latest 802.11ac supports 1 Gbps, while the latest Wi-Fi 6 routers can theoretically reach 10 Gbps.
Keep in mind that a high quality router does not just support these faster standards – it will also do better than what we described above. It will perform better channel selection, bandwidth direction for 5 GHz devices and have better QoS.
Replace your antenna
If your router uses an internal antenna, adding an external one would be a good idea, as the latter tends to send a stronger signal. Your router may have been supplied with antennas that you can add, but if not (or if you threw them away a long time ago), many router manufacturers sell antennas separately.
In many cases, you can choose between omnidirectional antennas, which send a signal in all directions, or directional ones, which send a signal in a specific direction. Most built-in antennas tend to be omnidirectional; therefore, if you are buying an external one, it must be marked as ?high gain? to really make a difference.
Configure a wireless range extender
Distance is one of the most obvious problems – there is a certain ideal range that the wireless signal can travel through. If the network needs to cover a larger area than the router capable of transmitting, or if there are many corners to go through and walls to penetrate, performance will suffer.
If all of the above fail, your home may be too big for a single router to send a good signal anywhere. All routers are capable of reliably transmitting over a distance before the signal is weak. If you want to extend your signal further, you will need a range extender of some kind.
Range extenders (also known as "repeaters") are similar to standard routers, but work differently. For beginners, they pick up the signal Wi-Fi your wireless router and simply relay it. With regard to your network router, the extender will only reach another client with an IP address, such as a laptop.
Even if it is not a router, you should still use the same rules to find out the placement; the extender should be close enough to the network's main router to pick up a solid signal, but close to the weak point, so that it can do the job of extending that signal.
The extended signal will almost never be as good as the original, but better than nothing. You do not need an extender of the same brand or model as your existing router, although in some cases, extenders of the same brand may offer extra features.
Above all, choose one that can transmit an equivalent signal: do not buy an 802.11n extender if your router is on 802.11ac. To learn more about choosing and configuring an extender, take a look at the best wireless range extenders we've tested.
Upgrade to a Wi-Fi system based on mesh networks?
Range extenders help to bring connectivity to dead zones, but generally provide about half the bandwidth you get from your primary router. In addition, they usually require separate management of two different administration pages and may even force you to use two different SSIDs, which is a big pain. If you want perfect connectivity anywhere in your home, manageable from a simple smartphone app, consider upgrading your entire network to a mesh Wi-Fi system.
Designed to cover every corner of your home, systems Wi-Fi mesh aim replace the router instead of just extending it. You connect a node directly to your modem and place one or more satellite nodes in your home. The application includes guiding you through the setup, ensuring that each node is placed in the ideal location for the best signal.
The resulting setup covers your home with a single wireless network, which uses a single administration interface (in the form of a friendly mobile application), and generally dedicates at least one wireless band to the network's backhaul, offering better performance than many extenders. Many mesh systems even update their firmware automatically, so you always have the latest performance and security improvements.
The downside is that mesh Wi-Fi systems are not cheap, especially if you have a big house, which will require several nodes. But if you are in the market for a new router anyway, it is worth considering as an alternative. One of the models we recommend Twibi, from Intelbras. Check out our full review below:
Did our tips help? Leave it in the comments if you have another suggestion on how to improve the signal Wi-Fi and share with our readers!