A slow internet connection is the bane of everyone living in the 21st century’s existence. Nothing quite beats the boiling annoyance that creeps up inside as you watch the slow, agonising roll of a loading screen before it finally appears or times out.
There are ways to speed things up though. Checking things like the location of your router and making sure no one is leeching off your connection can guarantee a stronger, faster connection.
Here are 10 steps to get better WiFi at home.
1. Choose the right router
Don’t just pick up the first router you find. Think about what your internet needs are and adapt according to that. Consider smart devices, personal devices, and anything else that will be on the network. If you’re going to have more than thirty devices connected, you can’t buy something that only supports ten.
2. Pick a good spot
Try to place your router in a central spot. Make sure it’s not close to anything metal, electric wires or anything that emits electromagnetic waves. You’ll also get a better wireless signal if the router isn’t on the floor.
3. Test the speed
Use something like SpeedTest to check your speed. Use the initial number you get as a reference to refer to later to see if any of the following changes improver your performance.
4. Update, update, update
As annoying as they are, updates keep your router safe from malware attacks that slow it down and spread across the network. Old firmware can also slow down a good router. Rebooting the router allows updates to install.
5. Secure your network
Make sure to set a strong password. Never just keep it on the default username and password. Default settings are easy pickings for hackers and WiFi leeches.
6. Limit users
Try to limit the number of devices and users on the network. The busier it is, the slower it will feel. If you have a lot of guests that use the WiFi, then it’s worth considering a separate guest network.
7. Get a strong antenna
The standard antennas that come with routers often aren’t strong enough to give the ideal gain. Stronger antennas are bigger, but also much stronger, so it’s worth looking into. All WiFi antennas use the same RP-SMA connector, but it’s never a bad idea to look at user reviews and ratings before you commit to a purchase.
8. Consider an extender
A good extender can significantly amplify a WiFi signal and it’s easy enough to install. They’re also inexpensive compared to the actual router.
9. Research the latest tech
Stay up to date with the latest WiFi technology. To get the most out of it, you need to update to something like IEEE 802.11ac and make sure that all devices connected to the network support it.
10. Switch frequencies
WiFi works at different frequencies. Some routers support faster frequencies that work at shorter distances. If able to, switch to a 5 GHz wireless frequency.
By Daniëlle Kruger
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