Pretty much everybody uses WiFi. It has become so common place that many people don’t truly understand the difference between WiFi and the Internet. WiFi is the king around here, letting us use our devices without being tethered down to a wall. That means we all know the universal trouble.
We have all had our wifi signal go for a walk. Either way it’s a heck of a lot better than it was back in the day. As the years go by I pick up more and more wifi tricks. I’ve had to tackle my share of wifi problems, and I’ve come out on top every time.
If you’re looking to get faster speed, more stability and reliability from your wifi network, these eight tips to improve your wifi networks performance will be of interest to you.
1. Speeding it up
To start, we should probably start with the basics. Wifi dose not mean what everyone thinks it does, it is just a number. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers was actually the first place to develop the standard for wireless networks in the year 1997. The number that represents wifi is followed by a letter that tells you what type it is. Basically, the newest types are easier to rely on and faster than the last one. However, that doesn’t mean that all higher letters are faster.
2. Get ready for the show
The past winner for it’s speed was, 802.11n, but now the winner is someone who is three times as fast, the wifi standard 802.11ac. Every 802ac antenna is able to move to up to 1,300 megabyte in a second, compared to the max of 450 MB for the n, in geek terminology. The best way to get a better speed with your wifi is to purchase a brand new 802.11ac router. If you have not purchased a new wifi router in the past couple years, this is especially true for you, because to get the best out of your router, you need a good up to date router.
People do not realize how much can change in two to three years in the technology world, you could not read up on technology for two years, then dive back in and all of a sudden skynet has taken over. Devices to work for the 802.11ac are already being built every day. The new ASUS RT AC3200 seem a little out of this world with it’s six antennas that have an output of 3,200 megabytes in each second as a maximum limit.
However, older types of laptops and phones will work alongside the newest routers, they just can not get the access that the newer technologies would be able to get, such as speed and other features. The best features do come at a higher price though, and they are not as cheap as one would hope. You could end up spending hundreds of dollars on a new router.
For the T-Mobile customers out there, you will be provided with a free Personal CellSpot, but it is really just a ASUS ac router in disguise. Even though it may seem complicated to some of you non-techs, it is possible to get a little extra out of your current gear.
3. Taking a closer look, to find the right spot
Every good tech will tell you that there are just some spots you should and should not put your router. Such as, all WiFi signals are known to not like water. Some other no-go areas are, anything to do with metal, brick, human bodies, insulation and glass. These types of things are known to make things harder for the signal of the WiFi. So maybe dig a tunnel under ground. To get the most out of your WiFi signal, you should probably put your router in an open space, I guess that means you shouldn’t put it underground, so that it is as high of the floor you can make it.
4. Knowing the strength of the signal
When it comes to WiFi reception, a couple of feet can become a big problem. There are some applications that can help with finding the dead zones in your home and help you to determine the best spots for all of your WiFi devices, such as Amped Wireless’s Wi-Fi Analytics tool application and the Assia’s Cloudcheck app.
5. The power of the antenna
Some routers are known to have adjustable antennas, so if you mess with them long enough, you might be able to realign the signal and find a good spot. At freeantennas.com, they will show you how to make a parabolic reflector using card stock and how you can place it on the antenna to help your signal get better, though this might just make the spot very narrow. The people who have the new and improved 802.11ac shouldn’t need this, these routers use beam-forming, this helps to make the signal focus on devices that are toward the end of a network.
6. Channel changing
Some of the not so new routers will be known to have interference thanks to other people’s devices jamming together in the same spectrum. This means that you should probably not be running microwaves, blue-tooths or cellphones near the signal, and also, your neighbors‘ wireless networks might mess with signal too. „Hey Bob! Turn off your stinking technology, I’m trying to watch Netflix!.
Most of the time though, the routers default settings will end up working out, but if the WiFi signal seems to be going bad, try to up the routers administrator page and change the channel from there to check if things will get better. WiEye, a mobile application, will enable you to see the wireless networks in your area and see what different channels they are on currently. To all of those who are iPhone people, Apple has put on a ban for WiFi scanners throughout the iTunes Store, you will most likely be stuck grabbing an application like WiFi Scanner for Mac.
Most of the known routers will use around 11 channels on a set list of radio frequencies. These are most likely set at the channels 11, 1 or 6 by their default standards, just because the frequencies will not usually overlap each other. Meaning that Bob next door will probably be set on 6 and yours will be on 11 or 1 so as not to mess with interference. Less prone to interference are the routers that are operated with the 5 GHz range (the 802.11a, n and the ac), which are throne over 23 different channels. So, if you have this type of router, you probably will not need to mess with the channel settings. Another way to change the channel is to go into the routers web control panel that is available.
7. Using bands, both of them
Routers are usually operated on two types of different frequencies, that are usually around 2.4 GHz and 5GHz, making it so that every channel will work on a frequency specific to close to that. This means that you should be able to have to different networks going during the same time, one being for the devices that can get access to WiFi at a lower frequency and the other for devices that are able to connect at higher frequencies. The higher the frequency, the more room there is to stream videos from youtube or visiting other site that take a lot of bandwidth.
Bonus Tip: When possible, use the wires
A wired connection is way faster than the newest of WiFi standards, and they are way more reliable. So when it is at all possible, try to get connected with the bandwidth-hungry devices that are set up in one location, such as a Roku streaming media box or the Xbox consoles, so that you can gain access directly to the router through the networking cable available. This will save you from having to use the WiFi connections for until you need to use the movable technology.