WiFi, and wireless internet, have become a utility, a basic supply. In your home, you need water and electricity and, for a few years, you also need a WiFi connection.
We are now in summer, so you have likely put the internet on if you have a second residence. In that case, surely you have enabled WiFi for the whole family’s enjoyment.
And it is that WiFi has become synonymous with leisure time. And what time of year do you usually have more free time? Well, in summer, of course.
But what if the Wi-Fi isn’t working up to your expectations? What can we do to improve the WiFi network before you buy a new router?
To begin with, we must assess whether the location of the router is correct. In this article, we explain them to you.
Keep your router up to date
Surely you have heard of the increasingly frequent large-scale malware attacks. Many of these attacks would not be possible if all routers were up to date with updated firmware.
Once the malware infects a router, it can steal bandwidth and spread it to other computers and devices throughout the rest of the network.
But even without the presence of dangerous malware, routers with outdated software or firmware perform worse than those that update when needed.
Get a stronger antenna
Most WiFi routers exhibit small and weak antennas. It’s not that manufacturers are obsessed with skimping. Rather it has to do with the fact that the most powerful WiFi antennas tend to be very large, up to about 40 centimeters.
If you don’t mind the size, unscrew the fragile antenna you have now and put on a new, more powerful one. A stronger Wi-Fi antenna is the best way to extend the Wi-Fi signal at home or in the office without buying a new router. Remember that all WiFi antennas have the same RP-SMA connector.
Wi-Fi equipment manufacturers rate compatible antennas in units called dBi (isotropic decibels). The higher the dBi, the stronger the antenna reception.
A WiFi antenna that has more dBi will have a higher concentration of power and, therefore, signal.
Get rid of ‘stowaways’ from your WiFi signal
It may seem obvious, but we must emphasize the importance of protecting your WiFi with a password. If you leave your WiFi unencrypted, your neighbor and anyone who passes by will drink from your wireless internet signal. Those stowaways will subtract bandwidth.
You can create a guest WiFi network if you often have guests. You can allocate less bandwidth to that network. The password should be different from the leading WiFi network. You must change that password.
Buy a WiFi repeater
WiFi repeaters take the signal, amplify it, and retransmit it. In other words, they capture the signal of a pre-existing WiFi network, to extend it over a larger area.
The repeater takes the WiFi signal from the area with good coverage to the area where the signal is weaker.
Therefore, it is good that this device is halfway between the router that emits the WiFi signal and the computers that the wireless bandwidth poorly reaches. Of course, the repeater must be within the good coverage area, at a point where the signal from the router is still strong.
A WiFi repeater connects to the WiFi network wirelessly, just like a smartphone or laptop would. Like any other device dependent on a WiFi network, it can suffer from the instability of the wireless connection. In addition, it is sensitive to walls, ceilings, interference, and other obstacles.
Switch to a different WiFi channel
Just as there are different lanes on the highway, a WiFi router has several channels through which to transmit.
In many cases, a bottleneck can occur because many neighboring routers are on the same channel. They overlap, which can cause interference, crashes, slowdowns…
The solution is simple: find out which channel is least crowded, and switch to that channel.
We can easily change channels with free tools like WiFi Analyzer, available on Google Play. This application will show you all the WiFi routers that are broadcasting nearby, their power, and the channel they are occupying.
Control the applications and clients that ‘devour’ the most data on the network
A single user or a single application with a lot of data hunger can seriously damage the WiFi signal quality in your home or office.
The most modern routers allow you to prioritize certain applications over others. With the router’s QoS (Quality of Service) service, you can prevent the download of a particularly large file by another person in your family from interrupting your online gaming session.
Use the latest Wi-Fi technologies
The latest wireless technology, IEEE 802.11ac, offers a greater range of action and higher upload and download speeds than older technologies.
To get the most out of these latest technologies, you need to ensure your router, smartphones, tablets, and laptops support them.
Go to 5 GHz
The 5 GHz frequency provides faster data rates over short distances. In addition, it is usually less busy than the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency.
Buy a WiFi adapter for your laptop
If you have an old laptop that you don’t want to part with yet or don’t have the money to replace it, one option is to buy an 802.11ac adapter. It’s as simple as connecting the adapter to the laptop via a USB port.
While not the most elegant solution globally, this adapter is the easiest way to get faster speeds when connecting to an 802.11ac router.
Reset WiFi router
This is advice we have inherited from the early days of personal computing. “If it doesn’t work, turn it off and on” It is a wise recommendation, which also makes a lot of sense with WiFi routers.
A simple reset or reboot can be more than enough to improve your WiFi signal’s speed significantly. A reset clears the router’s memory and makes it easier to install updates.
Many of us have suffered these problems to a greater or lesser extent, and, perhaps, we have taken it as an unfortunate blow of fate. However, it is possible to improve the coverage of your home network by making a few small changes and reviewing whether we have made the right decisions.