We wanted to offer you this series of tips with which you can improve the quality of your home Wi-Fi signal, as well as improve the reception of the signal on any type of device and prioritize the speed of Internet access for certain services.
By increasing the quality of the Wi-Fi signal, you would improve the reception of your devices in those places where you have usually had problems, considerably increasing the range of action.
As a result of having a faster connection, you should find that the web pages load faster, that YouTube or Netflix are transmitted more smoothly and that the downloads are instantaneous.
The following tips that we have compiled, will help you to ensure that all family members can enjoy the broadband of your home, regardless of the device used and where they are within the Wi-Fi range.
Take a speed test
How fast is your connection? There are various tools on-line free with which to test the connection speed of your router associated with your communications provider or operator.
But the most accurate way to identify the appearance of a problem with Wi-Fi is to test with your Mac directly connected to your router via cable, then follow the same procedure via Wi-Fi.
If there is not a big difference between the speeds, then you will be clear that the problem is in your broadband connection, since by cable, the offered speed must be much higher than that achieved through the Wi-Fi.
Now, with the new wave of MacBook devices, it is quite likely that your laptop no longer has an Ethernet port, so you can only test the connection wirelessly via Wi-Fi.
In that case, you can run the speed test in two different rooms in your home, such as the living room and in a room where you usually use your Mac. If there are differences in speeds, there may be something that causes the interference.
If after performing the speed test, you notice that the figures are not those promised by your operator, contact the supplier and ask for help, because you may have some mismatch in your configuration that favors each speed.
We used Speedtest.net to check the speed, but you can also use any other tool. The main operators usually offer their own, although it is something that we do not recommend, since sometimes it can lead to errors.
Before moving on to the next step, tell you that the most advanced routers have more precise tools and functions to check these types of situations. Access the management of your router and verify that everything is as it should.
Restart your router
We know that resetting a device is the number one rule that asks you to do an IT system technician or administrator. It is not for less, because it can solve the speed problem when trying to use another free connection channel.
If you live in a residential building, you may have around you a host of Wi-Fi home networks that compete to offer the best signal through the same channel your router is using.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to restart the router by unplugging its outlet, wait approximately one minute, and plug it back in. The router will look for a better position or a less saturated frequency band to emit the Wi-Fi signal.
How to locate and eliminate Wi-Fi blackheads
Although we are not aware of this, it is likely that in your home you have objects that affect the intensity of the wifi signal. We will see below, which affect the quality of the seal to a greater extent.
A good start to end these shadow points or black dots, where the signal is weaker, is to download a free heat mapping application, as is the case with Wifi SweetSport for iPhone.
After installing the application, brela in your mobile and walk through the rooms of your house. This will be examining which areas are deprived of a good Wi-Fi connection and which are considered black spots due to the low signal coverage.
Change the location of your router
Imagine that the new room you have chosen to work and set up your small desk, is the area with the worst Wi-Fi signal in the house. What can I do about it? Need to change plans? Not necessarily if you follow our advice.
Move your site router whenever possible, depending on the location of the fiber cable of your connection. Routers tend to connect to the telephone line, which tends to be at the entrance of the house, or in the living room, depending on the installation performed by your operator.
In the case of a two-storey apartment, Wi-Fi signals travel better from the top floor down, but probably if this is your case, you already have in your possession an alternative solution of Mesh network devices to amplify the signal among them.
If the router is next to an exterior wall, or, next to an area near the elevator of the building, it is likely that you are interested in moving it in order to avoid interference.
As much as possible, try to eliminate objects or elements that obstruct communication. Do not place the router under a closet, or near a window, as it will be sending the signal in that direction pointing out, instead of distributing it around the house.
Adjust the orientation of the antennas
If the router has external antennas, try to change its orientation. Ideally, it is best that they point up. Wi-Fi signals are best reproduced laterally and downwards, compared to the fact of doing so upwards.
Remove unwanted devices
Find out what other devices are using your wifi signal and try to eliminate those that for some reason are no longer part of your ecosystem. It is possible to consult them by accessing the management of your router through a web browser.
The most advanced models already offer a mobile application that allows you to check it from your iPhone. Otherwise, you will have to resort to doing so by entering a series of numbers of type 192.168.XXX.XXX as a URL. You will locate it on the label of your router.
Once connected to it through the administrator password, you should be able to check how many devices and elements are connected to your router. You can also see if they are using the 2.4 GHz frequency band, or the 5 GHz frequency band and what associated channels.
If there are many connected, you can always try to balance the load so that some use a frequency band, and others use the other. Ideally, disconnect all those who are no longer using or do not know to identify who is.
Update the firmware of your router
Since you are within the management of your router, it may be a good time to look for the latest update published by the manufacturer of your router. This is likely to be done automatically, but if not, force the update.
Not only does it allow you to adopt new technologies and correct bugs, but it is also a very important safety measure, since manufacturers tend to focus a large part of the firmware update in correcting security holes or associated faults.
Switch to a 5 GHz band
If your router can operate both in the 2.4 GHz band, and in the 5 GHz band, your Mac address may change to the 5 GHz frequency. If your MacBook was on the list of devices connected through the 2.5 GHz frequency, it will not be difficult to change the band.
More and more digital home devices are connected to this 2.4 GHz frequency band, as it is usually the most supported. This causes that there is massive connection with its corresponding appearance of interference.
Switching to 5 GHz may mean improving the connection. It is likely that 5 GHz will give you faster speeds, however, there is a consideration. And the frequency of 2.4 GHz may be better if you have thick walls in your home, since the wavelengths in 5GHz are not so good for penetrating walls.
Unfortunately, it is not easy to force your Mac to change 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz Wi-Fi band. However, if this is what you want to do, follow these steps:
- In the advanced Hub Manager configuration, separate the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and assign different names. (Note that this may cause other devices in your home to lose connection.)
- On your Mac, go to System Preferences> Network> Advanced and move the 5 GHz network to the top, to be the first option your Mac connects to.
Change the channel in the frequency band itself
If you have discovered that there are many nearby networks that use the same channel, you can speed things up by switching to a less crowded channel.
Apple makes it easy to see what other nearby networks are transmitting. To find out which band your neighbors are using, follow these steps:
- Press and hold the Option / Alt key while clicking on the Wi-Fi icon in the menu at the top right of your screen.
- Open the Wi-Fi diagnostic option.
- From the menu at the top of the screen, select Window> Scan.
- This will indicate how many elements are connected to your network through the frequencies of 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz, as well as the best channels for each frequency.
You should also be able to say what channel you are using. To see which channel your network is using, scroll to the right. See if nearby Wi-Fi networks are using the same channel. You will also see a recommendation of what will be the best channel for each band.
You can try changing the channels by simply turning your router off and on again, since doing this the device automatically searches for the option with greater intensity. If the thing does not change, try scanning again with the software from the router administrator.
Change your router for a new one
If you discover that there are many wireless networks around you that use the 2.4 GHz band and you have a somewhat old router, perhaps the most feasible solution is to acquire a new one with more advanced management options and that supports new technologies such as Mesh.
All routers use a standard known as 802.11. The previous specification called 802.11g still prevails, but it works much slower than 802.11n and the most current 802.11ac. In fact, the most recent is wifi 6 with speeds up to 6.6 Gbps.
One of the features that came with 802.11ac is Multi-User-Multiple Input-Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), which means that you can send and receive multiple data streams simultaneously to multiple devices without degrading bandwidth.
These routers are also capable of optimizing the wifi signal of some services, which allows prioritizing the traffic of what interests you most, such as IP voice communications, the streaming of video, or even games.
Another reason to get an 802.11ax router is if you do a lot of transmission. At present, that is due to services such as Netflix or similar, where 802.11ax is better to alleviate latency or bfer video storage.
Before obtaining an 802.11ax compatible router, verify that your Mac supports it. Go to Apple Menu> About this Mac> System Report> Wi-Fi. Find the supported PHY modes: 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac.
Also, don't run off to buy a new router without first contacting your ISP and asking for an update. It is possible that you take time with it and that the company may offer you the option of advantageously replacing it with another superior model.
There are brands such as AVM that offers joint solutions. It is the case of the model Fritz! Mesh Set composed of the Fritz! Box 7530 router and the Repeater 1200 wireless repeater, which take advantage of Mesh technology to extend Wi-Fi range and coverage.
Extend your Wi-Fi network
If your wifi is limited by factors such as the presence of thick walls (a common problem in old houses) or having an excessively large house, you can always benefit from the use of wifi extenders or repeaters.
Alternatively, if your Wi-Fi suffers from the connection of excessive devices, check if it is possible to reduce the number by implementing additional accessories (PLC devices) to improve the connection through Ethernet cable connections.
First, Wi-Fi extenders can pick up the wireless signal and amplify it. In the past year, Mesh devices have gained strength due to their simplicity when starting them up. By pressing a button you can talk to each other, in addition to doing so with the router itself.
The problems that may appear in a Wi-Fi extender are the degradation of the signal and the fact that if the extender is placed at an inappropriate point, it emits a weak signal that does not take advantage of its potential.
One option here is to bet on Powerline adapters. Powerline adapters can create a home network through the electrical wiring in your home. Simply connect a Powerline adapter to the power outlet and one of the router's Ethernet ports.
You can connect the second PLC anywhere in the house next to an outlet, from which to extract the network connection from your router. If the PLC has built-in Wi-Fi, you can deploy a new network wherever it is installed.
By having an Ethernet port, these PLC devices are suitable for bedrooms or living rooms where you usually have a video game console, a PC computer, or a video decoder that transmits video streaming.
Share the connection from your iPhone
One last suggestion if things get desperate is to share the 4G connection of your iPhone or iPad. We have a complete practice on how to configure the iPhone as a Wi-Fi hotspot.
Keep in mind that if you use it very frequently, it can affect the assignment of data that you have contracted with your operator. So, we suggest you reset the mobile data record of your iPhone in Settings> Mobile data to control consumption.
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