The router They have extra work these days: on the one hand, we have more and more devices that need to connect to a wifi network; and on the other, the confinement situation means that we have to be connected to the same Wi-Fi network for 24 hours.
Since smartphones, computers, smartTVs and even electrical appliances, require a continuous wifi connection. Added to this are smart speakers, thermostats, security cameras, and the binge that we give Netflix, especially during the period of isolation.
The good news is that you may not have to spend money to fix this – there are ways to speed up the wifi for free. However, if the culprit is slow broadband or a router old, you may have to consider updating the package and the hardware.
But before buying anything, try the tips below.
Move your router
We have seen it countless times: routers lying under the sofas or hidden in a corner. We understand that you do not want the ugly box of the router to hinder the design of your living room, but if you want a good Wi-Fi connection, you will have to remove the router to the light.
The best place for it is in the middle of your house. For most users this is impossible because their phone line or cable box is located on a wall in the front of their property. However, if you can, get a telephone extension cord and relocate the router so that it is more or less in the center and as high as possible from the ground.
This will give you the best opportunity to offer strong and fast wifi to all areas of the house and avoid those black spots.
Wi-Fi can be an issue at best, but you will make it worse by placing wireless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, and Bluetooth devices near it.
Even some fairly clear lights will interfere with the signal and slow down at a slow pace not seen since the 1999 dial modems.
So keep the area around the router Free from other electronic devices, or face the consequences.
Change wifi channels
Even if you router You are not near a device that can interfere with the wireless signal, it is very likely that your wifi is broadcast on the same channel as your neighbors, and just like when there are too many cars on the highway, things can get congested.
You will see, despite the fact that most countries offer six non-overlapping channels (usually 1, 6, 11 and 14, but this varies), most routers default to Channel 1 or Channel 6.
What you can do is download an application like the NetSpot Wi-Fi Analyzer for PC or the Wifi Analyzer for Android and see what channels are currently in use in the nearby ones.
From there, you can go to the configuration menu of the router and manually select the new channel you want to broadcast on. The problem is that with so many routers and control panels available, it is almost impossible to tell you how to do it on your router specifically, but a quick glance Google should give you the information you need.
Use the fastest settings
The routers They are not the easiest devices to use. You shouldn't be expected to understand the difference between Wi-Fi standards and frequencies, but only the best routers They'll automatically give you the fastest speeds possible the need for manual intervention.
Essentially, the vast majority of Wi-Fi devices currently use the 802.11ac standard but, confusingly, there are two frequencies that you can use. If you router It is 'dual band' you can deliver wifi in 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
Since 2.4GHz is more common and has a better range than the 5GHz variant, you and all of your neighbors' devices are probably struggling to share available channels.
If your phone, tablet, laptop or other device is capable of connecting at 5GHz, switch to that instead. While you are relatively close to you router, you will have a faster and more reliable connection.
Some router They transmit two separate Wi-Fi networks, making it easy to see which is which, but others (particularly BT's Home Hubs and most mesh Wi-Fi systems) combine them – you have to log into the router to configure it to show the two bands separately.
Some routers they have antennas that can be unscrewed. If that applies to router you are currently using, you may be able to buy larger versions that have a higher profit. This means a faster and stronger Wi-Fi signal throughout the house without the need to buy a new router.
A cheaper method – which also helps if you can't physically reposition your router – is to make a reflector that is placed behind the router and bounces the signal to the other side.
Dartmouth College students successfully demonstrated that a simple tin reflector can effectively increase Wi-Fi coverage in the direction of the reflector.
It also has the secondary benefit of limiting coverage behind it, so you don't end up broadcasting on the street outside, or at your neighbors' homes. It may look a bit like a poorly made Doctor Who costume from the '70s, but it should make a noticeable difference in Wi-Fi performance.
Restart your router occasionally
It's the standard answer from the computer expert, but have you tried turning it off and on again? This old trick cures a multitude of problems and you may find that fast wifi is restored after a reboot.
One thing a reboot does is take each device off the network and force it to reconnect. It is also worth setting a password other than the default in case someone is taking advantage of your connection. With most of the routers Modern out-of-the-box insurance, that's pretty unlikely, but it's always worth checking.
Update your router
If you have a too old model, it may be time to buy something better. Wi-Fi technology has come a long way in recent years and there are several options.
One of them is to replace the router with a newer model that uses 802.11ac (preferably get one that supports MU-MIMO for the best protection of the future) or you could spend a bundle on a wifi router 6 to take advantage of the latest generation wifi speeds.
Not all of them look like the crazy Asus model above, but most improve coverage as well as speed.
A better option might be to invest in a set of power line adapters with built-in Wi-Fi, although this is only appropriate if you have a certain corner of your home – even a single room – which is currently a Wi-Fi black spot.
More expensive, but also more effective and easier to use, is to invest in a mesh wifi system. These kits contain multiple routers that communicate with each other and spread a fast and constant wifi even in the biggest houses.
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