Three Important Things You Can Do to Improve Your Home's Wi-Fi Signal
Working remotely in light of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has meant that many of us are using our internet connections more than ever before, and we rely on that internet connection to be as strong and consistent as possible. After all, what could be more frustrating than losing Wi-Fi in the middle of an important meeting or project? In many areas, we may not be able to control which company is our internet service provider (ISP), but we can make a few adjustments to our Wi-Fi settings and setup that can improve our work-from-home experience.
Here, we asked the tech experts to weigh in with their tips to improving Wi-Fi signal and speed.
Check the Location
One of the easiest ways to improve your Wi-Fi connection is to place your router in the best spot in your house. But where is that? Right in the center of your home or at least where you intend to log onto Wi-Fi majority of the time. "For example, if the home has two floors, and you tend to use your Wi-Fi throughout the entire house, the router should be on the second floor and closest to the center so the signal can be transmitted throughout the entire home," says Laura Maiuri, information technology specialist and certified IPv6 network engineer. You may need to find out how to re-connect your router in a new location if you don't know how to do it yourself, but definitely look for the best room in the house for your Wi-Fi usage needs.
Extend the Signal
Before you use Wi-Fi all over the house and it is hard to find an ideal location to place your router because of where the phone lines are located. Another way to improve your Wi-Fi connection is to extend the reach of the signal. Extenders like the NETGEAR Wi-Fi Range Extender EX2700 ($19.99, amazon.com) can connect up to 10 devices and cover 800 square feet. This means that your Wi-Fi signal stays strong even though you may be several hundred feet away from the actual router. Just imagine being able to work in an outdoor office or working in that quiet room that is far, far away from the rest of the busy (and loud) household.
Change the Channel
Your home's Wi-Fi is actually a frequency from your ISP and wireless networks. Wi-Fi frequencies have even smaller frequency bands which are referred to as channels, and these channels can get clogged with interference that will mess with your overall signal strength and the effectiveness of data transmissions. So, if your channel is congested with traffic, you can change the channel on your router to a better one, which will improve your Wi-Fi.
But how do you know which is the best channel? Depending on your ISP, the router could have a setting that can automatically determine the best channel and all you have to do is press a button or turn on the setting. Consult your router's manual for how to change its channels. Every router is going to be slightly different. According to Minim (the company behind the Motorola brand), though, the best channels to use are Channels 1, 6, and 11.