WiFi is incredibly important for most of us, rendering our computers useless without it. Poor WiFi signal, reliable or performance are problems we’ve all suffered from in the past, although most of us are unaware of a number of steps we can take to address this issue, which is why we’ve put together this list of the top 10 ways you can improve your WiFi signal.
10. Make sure you’re using the latest WiFi technologies
One of the better ways to make sure your getting the most out of your network, in terms of speed and reliability, is to use the latest WiFi router hardware. If your network uses wireless A, B or G, then it’s likely to be slower as these are old technologies, making upgrading your network to wireless N or the even newer Wireless AC the simplest way to get faster speeds.
9. Find a better sport for your router
Where your router is positioned is a factor in signal strength, performance and reliability, as walls, furniture and other obstructions can all work to degrade your network signal.
You can to position your router as close to the centre of your property to ensure maximum coverage throughout your home. You’ll also want to move it to a place that’s exposed, not tucked away in a cabinet or behind your TV.
8. Find the best wireless channel
If there are other WiFi networks nearby they may be interfering with yours, resulting in your WiFi signal being degraded. Routers can work on a number of different channels, making it possible to remove this interference by switching to a channel that other networks aren’t using.
To find a suitable channel you’ll need to use a WiFi stumbler or WiFi analyzer program, which will tell you which channel will be best for your network.
7. Limit interference from other appliances
Other nearby wireless routers aren’t the only thing that can cause interference, with all manner of electronic appliance, from cordless phones to microwaves, potentially interfering with your router’s signal, limiting it’s quality and range.
The easiest way to do this is to upgrade your router to a dual band one, which will allow you to run your network on a different band to the one other electronics in your home operate on. Before doing so, it’s worth re-positioning your router away from electronics that are likely to cause interference as this action may be enough to improve your network reliability and performance without needing to invest in new hardware.
6. Stop people stealing your bandwidth with better security
5. Control bandwidth of applications that hog bandwidth
If you regularly play games online, download torrents, use streaming services like Netflix, or use video chat applications these could be hogging your bandwidth, slowing down your internet even if you’re not using them as many of these tend to run in the background.
You can counter this by using Quality of Service (QoS), something which allows you to prioritize specific applications, assigning more bandwidth to the most important and those you’re using at the time.
4. Increase the range of your WiFi network
There are a number of DIY hacks you can use to increase the range of your network, although the impact of these will be limited, so don’t expect these to solve your network range and reliability issues completely. You can use a beer can, cooking strainer or the windsurfer tin foil hack, all of which are pretty easy and straightforward to do.
3. Hack your router’s firmware
Replacing your routers stock firmware with DD-WRT gives you a load of additional features and enhancements, including the option to boost the transmitting power of your router which will increase your network range.
It’s important to be careful with this, as enabling this option could damage your router, limiting it’s lifestyle, however most modern routers can easily handle an increase of up to 70 mW without issue.