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How to Improve my Wi-Fi Signal?

Wi-Fi is the foundation of the home internet experience, so it’s not fun if you can’t get a strong signal from your router to your phone, smart TV, or other devices. Here are some tips for enhancing your Wi-Fi usage.

Upgrade your Router

By all means, follow the advice in this list to make the most of the equipment you have. However, in our decades of experience with wireless technology in both consumer and business settings, we’re leading by suggesting that you upgrade your router first and foremost because it has repeatedly shown to be a panacea.

All of these suggestions will be very helpful if your router is very new (or even straight out of the box!) and you’re not receiving the signal strength and Wi-Fi experience you anticipate. However, if your router is old, making minor changes and adjustments will only make a minimal difference in terms of improvement. A ten-year-old router will always be a ten-year-old router, no matter how many tips and tricks you use.

In a modern home where everything from the TV to the thermostat is internet-enabled, a router that was perfectly adequate when people only had a few Wi-Fi devices simply isn’t good enough. There’s a strong probability that your old Wi-Fi network is struggling under the weight of all those new devices and their increased bandwidth requirements.

We advise updating outdated equipment rather to putting up with a poor Wi-Fi experience that includes slow speeds, latency, and dropped connections. There is no way to compare early Wi-Fi routers to even current budget routers, much less premium Wi-Fi routers, because Wi-Fi technology has advanced so rapidly.

Many customers find that purchasing a mesh network system like the Eero or Nest Wi-Fi solves all of their router problems at once—weak signal, inadequate coverage, devices overloading the router, etc.

Move your Router

Moving your router is by far one of the simplest ways to increase Wi-Fi coverage and signal quality, given the majority of users place their routers in less than ideal locations. Why does shifting the router work so well? Comparing your router to a lightbulb will help. Similar to how a lamp emits visible light, the Wi-Fi radio signal emanates from it (the radio topography of Wi-Fi signals is a bit more complex than that, but you get the idea).

You wouldn’t place the lamp in the farthest corner of the room if you were trying to read a book on the couch in the middle of your living room since the light wouldn’t be where you needed it. By the same token, it doesn’t make sense to place your Wi-Fi router at the furthest corner of the basement on the opposite side of the house if you want a strong Wi-Fi signal while fooling around on your phone on the exact same couch. Instead of just being located where the cable or fiber connection enters your home, your Wi-Fi router should ideally be put in a location that is central to the activities and devices in your home.

Use Ethernet

This is possibly one of the most ignored advice since individuals only consider wireless connections when they are troubleshooting their Wi-Fi. But looking for devices you can remove from the Wi-Fi network and switch to Ethernet instead is one of the easier approaches to handle Wi-Fi device congestion.

We are aware that not every home is connected for Ethernet, and that for many devices, such as an Xbox or a smart TV in a second-story bedroom, Wi-Fi is the only connectivity option. However, we have visited several homes where the modem and Wi-Fi router are located in the living room or home office and where many Ethernet-cabled devices, such as a desktop computer, gaming console, or TV, are using Wi-Fi rather than Ethernet.

There is no drawback to doing this if you have a stationary device, such as a computer or TV, that can simply be connected to the network through Ethernet. You’ll make room for additional Wi-Fi devices and benefit from a quicker connection with a shorter ping time.

Update Your Firmware

Updates to router firmware are crucial for two main reasons. First and foremost, updating your router makes sure you’re using the most secure software for your specific model, which is far more crucial than receiving a robust Wi-Fi connection. That’s significant enough that if your old router isn’t receiving security updates, we suggest upgrading and getting rid of it.

However, updating your firmware goes beyond security. Additionally, a firmware upgrade can fix faults and enhance functionality. It can feel like you just acquired a brand-new router when a bug fix makes sure your old router is compatible with your new phone.

Change Wi-Fi Channels

Wi-Fi routers use a specific region of the radio spectrum for communication. For instance, when you buy a dual-band router, you get one that can communicate in both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands. The channels inside those bands are further separated. These channels resemble the individual walkie-talkie channels in many ways. Everyone’s ability to communicate is hampered if everyone at one building site uses Channel 9, and if everyone at the construction site directly across the street uses Channel 9.

The same situation occurs and affects the Wi-Fi experience for the clients on both Wi-Fi routers when numerous Wi-Fi routers attempt to use the same channels in close proximity, such as your router and your neighbor’s network straight through a thin apartment wall.

Adjusting your channel allotment in the past was a greater concern than it is today. When 2.4 GHz was the standard for routers, the range, channel “width,” and resulting overlap frequently forced you to change the channel your router used in order to achieve a steady connection (Channels 1, 6, and 11 are the only non-overlapping ones). Since the channels in the 5GHz spectrum don’t overlap, there are fewer instances where you might need to manually change them.

Additionally, if congestion is found, the majority of routers will automatically change the channel for you. This is adequate to prevent issues the great majority of the time. Although it’s important to keep in mind that occasionally, especially when there are a lot of Wi-Fi routers in a condensed space like an apartment building, the auto-change option can actually make things worse because it can be overly aggressive when switching channels to improve the connection. It is good to disable the feature in these circumstances and manually adjust the channel.

If you think band/channel congestion is the cause of your issue, it’s still worth looking into. Then, by determining the ideal channel for your router to use, you may rule it out.