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How to Improve Your Wi-Fi

How to Improve Your Wi-Fi

eloiseverona's picture
Posted by eloiseverona
on Sat, 12/07/2014 - 20:48

These days having a good internet connection isn't just about your PC or Mac receiving a decent signal, you also need it for your phone, tablet and TV, as well as your games console, Netflix and even smart heating or lighting systems.

There are a number of factors that contribute to a negative impact on your Wi-Fi performance, but here are a few tricks to help you improve it.

Test the performance

The first thing to do is to test your Wi-Fi performance so you can work out where the problems lie, such as a neighbor's Wi-Fi signal.
To test your Wi-Fi signal, you could use inSSIDer, which is an app that will scan and report all the Wi-Fi signals it finds, along with SpeedTest that will tell you the speed of your connection.
It's worth doing a number of tests around your house as the results will vary depending on factors such as distance from the router and furniture.

Solving the problem

Once you have worked out which areas of the house are your problem areas, be it the bedroom thanks to your large fridge, or the utility room because it is too far away, you can go about fixing them.
There are a number of options available to help including adding a more powerful router in to extend the performance and range, or install a number of network repeaters to extend the range you already have.
If you have two wireless networks, you could also merge them by giving them the same SSID, which would make switching between the two easier.

The products to help

To get the best out of your Wi-Fi network, you might find that you not only need to spend a bit of money, but you will probably also end up with more than one box and a few less available plug sockets.
Linksys offer a new dual-band Wi-Fi router called the Linksys WRT1900AC, which will set you back £232 but it comes with a 1.2GHz processor, four antenna and eSata plus USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports so you can position it for better signal.
There is also a Gigabit WAN port and four Gigabit LAN ports on the rear for delivering IEEE 802.11ac and while there are others available, we found this one boosted our signal and speed when we tried it.
For the black spots, both Linksys and Belkin offer extenders that you plug into a wall socket and set them up to connect to your network. They will cost you around £60 and they can increase network traffic which is a negative, but they work well and if you need your Wi-Fi to reach your bedroom to watch Netflix in bed for example, then these are a good option.

Other tips

You might be trying to improve your Wi-Fi on a budget, in which case spending the £300 plus by doing the above might not be the best route for you.
However, by doing a few simple things like putting your router in the most central place you can while bearing in mind you need to connect it to your phone line, or placing it high up and away from a cordless phone can help.
It is also worth changing the password on your network to make sure your neighbors aren't on it and you could also try changing the Wi-Fi channel number.

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