Have you ever had a deadline at work and suddenly your Wi-Fi stops working? How about moving your laptop to the other room and “poof”, no more Wi-Fi? This can be one of the most frustrating situations one can face in the workplace or at home. Many times there are simple hacks than can fix the situation.
Don’t throw out your router just yet…check out some great solutions to help boost your signal.
Watch Where You Put That Router!
Yes, I have complained about my Wi-Fi only to have the cable company tell me that I shouldn’t have it on its side on the floor. Whoops! To achieve the strongest possible wireless connection, position your Wi-Fi router on a flat surface off the floor and close to the center of your home if you can. It is ideal to place it somewhere up high and out in the open is best, away from brick, stone, metal or concrete walls that could mess with the signal.
Place your router accordingly so that signals will go straight through walls, as opposed to at an angle. Wi-Fi signals will significantly weaken when they hit walls at angles. The best thing to do is in a multi-floor home or office is to place your router on the top floor for maximum coverage.
Also make sure to situate your router at least 10 feet away from certain devices or objects that could interfere with your signal, like refrigerators, cordless phones, garage door openers, speakers, microwaves, and mirrors.
Switch the Channel
To reduce interference from neighboring Wi-Fi networks just switch the channel I am told that channels 1, 6 or 11 are the best and most common channels for wireless networking. It all varie depending on the router you have. If you switch and your signal is still not working, try any other channel until you find one that maintains a strong connection.
Update Your Router’s Firmware
Maybe your router just needs an update. Manufacturers are always tweaking software to dish out more performance and speed. Most current routers have the update process built right into the admin interface, so its easy to click just by hitting a firmware upgrade button. Older models still require you to first find and download the firmware from the router manufacturer’s website.
Buy a Strong Wi-Fi Antenna
Many Wi-Fi routers come with an antenna or two, but sometimes there are not strong enough to send signals to hard-to-reach areas and distant corners. If you add a high-gain or “booster” antenna to your router, it can fix the problem! This will instantly extend and strengthen your router’s range and give you coverage over large areas. They aren’t expensive, as I purchased a Cisco-Linksys High Gain Antenna Kit for for $15. The great thing is that you don’t have to be a genius tech superstar to install a high gain antenna. Just unscrew the old and replace with the new!
Buy a Plug-in Extender
High-gain antennas broadcast your Wi-Fi signal and Wi-Fi extenders, also called repeaters, rebroadcast them with improved range and speed and you can say adios to Wi-Fi dead zones.
The process of finding an extender’s sweet spot can be hit-or-miss at times. You may have to move it a little to find the best location and tilt the antennas on it.
Don’t Share with Others
I am all about being neighborly but there is no need to share your Wi-Fi network’s name with your neighbours. You can prevent this y turning off its Service Set Identifier (SSID) broadcasting option. This blocks strangers in your area from seeing your network, mooching off it and slowing it down. Most important, it reduces your risk of getting hacked! Of course, password protected Wi-Fi is also strongly encouraged to prevent this.