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Now more than ever, having access to a strong Wi-Fi signal across your home is paramount to successfully working remotely.
With the Coronavirus outbreak causing many of us to carry out our day jobs from home, having confidence in your connection is key.
If you don’t want to be kicked out of your next video conference due to a loss of signal, then read on!
If you’re struggling to secure coverage in every room, then our Wi-Fi boosting techniques will ensure that you can access the internet and remain online across every part of your home – including those far-reaching places that you’ve never previously been able to maintain a strong connection.
1. Correctly Position Your Router
Plenty of people think it quite simply doesn’t matter where their router is kept. “Surely it’s not going to have any sort of effect on Wi-Fi performance?” Wrong.
You want to position your router in the most optimal place to achieve a strong and consistent Wi-Fi connection.
You might be tempted to hide your router because it looks rather unsightly – but you really shouldn’t as this can really slow your speeds. Cupboard doors and walls can absorb signal strength and this can hamper your connection speeds.
Try to find an unobstructed home for your router, away from electrical appliances such as a microwave or a telephone, as these devices can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal.
2. Use A Strong Wi-Fi Password
If your router is well-positioned and you’re still not having any luck with your Wi-Fi signal, then there’s every chance that an intruder may be piggybacking on your private network.
“How could this be possible? My Wi-Fi is password protected!” Yes, but perhaps with a weak password – or maybe even your network has been left open by mistake.
It’s entirely possible that your Wi-Fi woes have nothing to do with interference from other devices or simply being out of range, you may well have an opportunistic neighbor stealing your precious bandwidth! The simple solution? Quickly secure your home network by changing to a secure password, booting intruders off in the process.
3. Manage Bandwidth Accordingly
If it turns out that there are in fact no nosey neighbors taking advantage of your connection, then it could be down to those in your own home. If you know your connection isn’t the best and you have an important video conference to attend for work, then make sure your device has priority on the network.
Try and stagger other users’ use of your Wi-Fi network. For instance, you might need to ban the kids from simultaneously streaming a series on Netflix while online gaming with their friends if you need to make an important work call over Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Warning those around you is one of our do’s and don’ts of video conferencing.
High bandwidth activities such as downloading movies or uploading photos can also cause a slow connection. By staggering usage, your entire family will be able to enjoy a faster and more seamless connection.
4. Update Your Router’s Firmware
One more technically advanced solution is to update your router’s firmware – or software, as it’s more commonly known. While this may seem like an arduous or laborious task, keeping your router’s firmware up-to-date is what allows it to run most efficiently and will help you to avoid any Wi-Fi lagging issues.
If you’re not sure how to update your router’s firmware, then a quick Google search should help you find the right method for your specific router’s make & model number. Alternatively, Windows Report has a handy guide.
5. Use A Wi-Fi Repeater or Extender
One fairly straightforward way to instantly boost Wi-Fi coverage across your home is to invest in a Wi-Fi repeater or extender. These clever devices extend the range of your router much further.
Typically a standard router provided by your broadband company will possess a range of approximately 50 meters – which might not hack it if you’re trying to work remotely at the bottom of your garden to enjoy some sunny weather!
A Wi-Fi repeater is super easy to set-up, simply plug it into any wall outlet in your home and it will provide a notable boost to your Wi-Fi signal’s range and strength, helping you to reach the farthest parts of your home.
6. Consider A Wi-Fi Mesh System
If you want to build on the use of Wi-Fi repeaters or extenders, then why not consider a mesh system?
Mesh systems are built on remote nodes, which are small devices that essentially replicate the function of your router but can be placed throughout your home to provide a stronger and more consistent Wi-Fi signal.
Helpfully, these nodes all run on the same network, with the very same password, so you won’t need to switch between devices as you move around the house. While this type of Wi-Fi set-up is, without doubt, one of the best, it can prove pretty expensive and is much more difficult to set up for a technology novice.
7. Connect To The 5GHz Band
If you’re fortunate enough to have a dual-band router, then make the most of it by switching to the 5GHz band from the 2.4Ghz one. The 5GHz band provides a much stronger Wi-Fi signal but with a shorter range.
So, if you know you’re going to be well within the range of your router, it’s worth tweaking this setting to ensure you’re getting the maximum potential out of your Wi-Fi connection.
Alternatively, if you plan to work remotely further away from your router, then you might want to opt for the 2.4GHz band, which provides a much longer range but with slower speeds to compromise.
8. Change Up The Channel
If you’re prepared to delve even deeper into your router’s settings, then altering the channel you are connected to can really speed things up. Many routers will be stuck on the default channel when initially unboxed. The default channel is conversely often the most crowded and typically hosts a higher number of devices.
When multiple routers utilize the same channel, Wi-Fi speeds often suffer, particularly in densely populated areas or apartment buildings. Most routers come with up to 40 different channels, so filter through them and find the least crowded channel to suit your needs and boost your Wi-Fi signal across your home.
9. Replace Your Router’s Antenna
If your router is the typical box-like shape that many broadband providers issue you with, then you may wish to replace or upgrade your router’s internal antenna with an external one that could further boost the Wi-Fi signal across your home.
If you have a particular dead spot in your home where you simply cannot get a consistent connection, then this could be the solution for you. Opt for a directional antenna, which sends your Wi-Fi signal in a specific direction, and point it directly at the room or area in your home that you’re struggling to get a connection in.
10. Invest In A New Router
Ultimately, the quality of your Wi-Fi connection, speed and range often depend on the router you are using. If you have quite an old model, then there is every chance that your device might not be able to support the latest Wi-Fi standards.
The best Wi-Fi routers nowadays support Wi-Fi 5 – or 802.11ac as it is less commonly known – and can induce speeds of up to 3.4Gbps. This is much, much faster than many older 802.11g routers, which can only support 54 Mbps – a fraction of the speed commonly available nowadays.
11. Upgrade Your Broadband Package
If all else fails and you’re still getting a rubbish connection across your house, then maybe your broadband provider is to blame. In this case, it’s worth comparing the market to find the best internet providers with a suitable plan for your needs.
For instance, if you’re going to be using your internet for online gaming, video streaming or virtual conferencing, you may wish to consider a provider who can guarantee you a faster download speed – or better yet, a provider that doesn’t throttle your connection speeds at peak times.
If you’re only using the web for light browsing and checking email and you’re still having connection issues, then a technical issue with your device could well be the problem.
Working remotely can prove a real challenge for many but a lot of remote workers’ pains can be eased with a better internet connection.
If your Wi-Fi woes are stopping you from meeting deadlines or missing vital information on company calls, then now is the time to act. Working remotely could well become the ‘new normal’ for many, so it’s time you got yourself – and your WiFi – ready for what’s to come.
Hopefully, these suggestions help you to maintain a better Wi-Fi connection across your home and enable you to carry out your daily duties from the comfort of your kitchen table, sitting room sofa, upstairs home office – or even the backyard!