When was the last time you took a good look at your Wi-Fi router? Don’t feel embarrassed, I’m just as guilty as you are. And yet these devices have the power to transmit those useful Wi-Fi signals, connecting us to the wonderful world wide web.
Those Wi-Fi signals may be powerful, but they are also prone to interference, which can be caused by objects standing in their way, various radio signals in the area, other routers, and so on.
No matter the cause, there are several proven methods that will help you boost weak Wi-Fi signals. Some of them won’t cost you a dime, while others may require a small or moderate investment. Read on to discover them all.
Many people aren’t aware of this, but your router will work better if it is placed in an open position, where its signal isn’t obstructed by walls, furniture, etc.
Ideally, you should place your router close to the center of your house. Still, this isn’t always the best solution, especially when there are lots of electrical/electronic devices near it. You want your router to be away from microwave ovens, cordless phones, and so on.
Of course, if certain Internet connected devices have a higher priority, you should move the router closer to them. As an example, if you run a small business in your home, it is wise to keep the router near your desk.
Most routers broadcast their signal using 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies. And to make the matters worse, most of them are set to broadcast on Channel #6 by default. This means that your router may interfere with your neighbor’s router, for example, and this diminishes the Wi-Fi speed.
The good news is that you can easily change the router channel by accessing its admin panel. More than that, there are several apps that will show you which channels are used and abused in your area.
As we all know, companies release updates for their hardware products to fix security holes, increase speed, improve functionality, and so on. Be sure to keep your router and network cards up to date by checking their manufacturers’ websites regularly.
Most routers come with omnidirectional antennas, which broadcast signal equally in all directions. Fortunately, many of them have removable antennas, and this means that you can replace them with high gain, directional antennas, which can then be pointed towards the devices that need higher Internet access speeds.
It is true that some routers come with built-in antennas, making the antenna replacement process a bit more complex. Still, if you are familiar with electronics, you can disconnect the internal antennas and plug in a compatible cable, which can then be connected to an external Wi-Fi antenna.
We have put the blame on the router so far, isn’t it? And yet, often times the router is working fine, and the problem lies elsewhere – it may be your Wi-Fi adapter, for example.
Purchase or borrow a Wi-Fi USB adapter, and then install it. For best results, pick one that’s got an external antenna. Then, check the strength of your Internet connection by making use of a dedicated web service.