Buy A Wifi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender
Even though they are referred to by many names, WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are basically the same thing.
WiFi repeaters are relatively simple devices that take an existing signal from your WiFi router and rebroadcast it as a new network. This new network is just an extension of your main network, and all data that go through it also go through the main network.
WiFi boosters and extenders are very similar, but they also amplify the existing signal before rebroadcasting it to create a second network. Because WiFi boosters typically have greater range than WiFi repeaters, they make sense in situations where the original signal is very weak.
A good repeater or booster costs less than $100, and it can be installed in a few minutes by anyone since the installation process usually involves only the press of the WPS button. You can find a list of the top 5 WiFi boosters at the end of this article.
To achieve the best performance when using a WiFi repeater or booster, its a good idea to use a WiFi booster app to analyze existing WiFi coverage and determine the optimal way how to extend the existing WiFi network.
How Can I Improve My Wi
There are many things that can slow your Wi-Fi speeds, such as connecting multiple devices or even running the microwave, which means there are many things you can do to help improve your connection.
For more tips and tricks to get faster Wi-Fi, check out our guide on how to boost your Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi will be slower than your internet plans advertised speeds
One thing to note about Wi-Fi home connection is that it is inherently slower when youre connected through an Ethernet cord, by up to 50% or more. So if your wireless internet provider advertises speeds up to 100 Mbps, you can expect at best speeds of 50 Mbps or lower when using Wi-Fi.
How Modems Differ From Routers
A router and your devices arent the only components on your home network. Theres also the modem. In fact, without the modem, all youd have is your local network with no access to the internet.
The modems job is to bring the internet service from your provider into your home. It then connects to your router, delivering that internet connectivity to your home network.
When most internet service was delivered over telephone lines, modems enabled communication between the digital devices in your home and the analog signals used on telephone lines. With todays internet connections, including cable and satellite, modems play a similar but different role.
Router security: How to setup WiFi router securely
Wireless internet or Wi-Fi access has become a necessity in the home and workplace, but it can also open a door to risks from hackers, scammers, and identity thieves.
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What Are Mesh Wi
Craig Lloyd is a smarthome expert with nearly ten years of professional writing experience. His work has been published by iFixit, Lifehacker, Digital Trends, Slashgear, and GottaBeMobile. Read more…
If your homes Wi-Fi network has dead spots, or doesnt reach across your entire house, then you might have recently considered getting a mesh Wi-Fi system. Theyve skyrocketed in popularity, but what exactly is mesh Wi-Fi and how is it different than a traditional Wi-Fi extender?
Whats Slowing Down Your Network
The weakened signal or WiFi dead spots could be the result of physical obstructions. Simple things like the floor, doors, and walls of your home can come between you and your router, especially if theyre made of metal, brick, or concrete. Or perhaps the distance is simply too great in a large home, and your traditional router is only capable of reaching as far as the kitchen, but not to the backyard, the garage, or a distant bedroom. Interference from other devices could also be the culprit, whether its your microwave, cordless phone, or baby monitor. If you live in close quarters with other WiFi networks and devicessuch as in an apartment complexthis problem increases tenfold. Think of it like a room full of people who are all speaking at oncenobodys going to be heard very well.
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Run Some Quick Speed Tests
If you’re going to make changes to your home network, then you’ll want to do so from an informed position. The best way to get there is to run some speed tests to get a good sense of any weak links in your Wi-Fi connection — and there are plenty of free services on the web that’ll help you do just that.
Among your options, the Ookla Speedtest is the most widely used and the one I’d recommend starting with. It features an abundance of worldwide servers, which lets you choose from several nearby options to measure the speed of your connection. And, like most speed tests, it’s also really easy to use — just click the big “go” button and wait about a minute.
Comparison With Wifi Ready Devices
One thing to keep in mind is that a built in Wifi device is not the same with a Wifi ready device. The primary difference between the two is that Wifi Ready device doesnt come with an adapter installed into the unit. Simply put, youll have to buy an attachment so that it can be connected to your internet connection. A Wifi dongle is a good example of this attachment. Devices that are Wifi Ready typically have a slot for an Ethernet cable, essentially allowing you to connect to the internet via a hard wire. This setup is fairly common in older computers and desktops.
Disadvantages Of Using Wi
The advantages of using Wi-Fi outweigh the disadvantages, but there are some disadvantages.
- Range: A Wi-Fi signal reaches a limited range, which may not cover your entire home or office.
- Security: Because wireless signals travel through the air, they can be intercepted. Using encryption technology minimizes the danger.
- Disruption: Large metal objects, such as a refrigerator, can block a Wi-Fi signal in your home. A microwave oven can disrupt the signal.
Blanketing Your Home With Wifi
A better solution is WiFi that works with your home design, instead of against it. Think of a standard router like a speaker. You could be playing music loudly in the front of your home, but the office in the back will only hear a faint echo. A standard router works the same wayyou can only move so far from it before the signal starts to wane, and eventually its going to cut out altogether.
Instead, why not install a speaker in each room of the house? Thats how whole home WiFi or mesh networks work, with multiple nodes installed around your home so youve got solid WiFi coverage from one end to the other.
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Connecting A Windows Laptop Or Desktop
The process for connecting computers, whether its a desktop or laptop is pretty much the same. Look into rightmost corner of your laptop screen, right beside where the date and time is on display. Click the little upward arrow and there should be a pop-up tab that shows different icons like the icon for the Bluetooth or the Battery.
What youre looking for here is the Globe icon. If you click on that, there will be a pop up showing the existing network connections available. Click on your particular one and simply enter your password. If you check the remember box, then your laptop or desktop will automatically connect to the wifi whenever its turned on.
How Do Wifi Extenders Work
Its important to note that WiFi extenders do not amplify or boost the wireless signal they help extend the wireless coverage area. The extender gets the internet access from the router and broadcasts its own signal into the space where the wireless signal did not originally reach.
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How Would I Know If The Wifi Booster Is Working
The first sign showing that the booster is working is experiencing better signal in the weak zone and dead zone areas.
But, if you are a person of numbers and prefer actual proof, speed tests are great tools that can be used to analyze WiFi signal improvements. To visually see the difference, you will need to conduct multiple speed tests one with just your WiFi connection and the other with the WiFi booster. Ideally, you would want to record the results to have a side by side comparison.
Speed Test Apps: SpeedSmart , SpeedCheck , and Fast by Netflix
Buy A Wireless Router
The first step to enabling Wi-Fi at home is to get a wireless router if you dont have one already.
In the old days, your broadband modem and your wireless router were always separate devices. Your ISP supplied the modem, and you headed down to the local electronics store to buy the router. But today, most ISPs offer a combination device that is both a modem and a wireless router.
At MATE we let you bring your own modem and wireless router, but if you prefer, you can add on our preconfigured nbn-ready modem for just $149. This modem has wireless capability built right in. The best part? Its preconfigured, meaning you can skip steps 2 through 4!
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Portable Wifi Hotspot Or Portable Wifi Router
This device is a portable pocket-sized router. It connects to a mobile network through a data-only sim card, similar to how your smartphones connect to the mobile network. After the portable WIFI router picks up the mobile network, it converts the signal and broadcasts the radio waves to let wireless devices connect to the WiFi.
You can purchase portable WiFi hotspots form your local electronic store or your cell phone provider. They do require an active sim card to work. You can get the sim card from your carrier and get the device activated on a plan that fits your needs. Portable WiFi hotpots have data plans that allow you to share more than 15GB. When you reach the limit your data plan provides, speeds can drastically decrease and extra charges may apply.
How Do Wired Mesh Wifi Networks Work
If your home is already wired with ethernet cables, or if you want to use a wired connection, you can. Make sure your nodes are ethernet backhaul compatible. Ethernet backhaul is a fancy way of saying that the backbone of the network is composed of a wired connection rather than a wireless connection. If the nodes are compatible, theyll have ethernet ports for a successful wired installation.
The nodes will be wired to a switch, and the switch will be wired to the LAN port of the mesh WiFi router . The main node will pick up on the wired connection and transmit information through fast ethernet cables or gigabit ethernet cables.
There are some benefits to a wired installation. Any wireless form of communication is susceptible to speed slowdowns due to obstacles like walls, floors, doors, and building material however, some are affected more than others. When using cables, you bypass all obstacles, resulting in faster speeds throughout the entire home.
To learn more about the differences between ethernet and WiFi, read our article on: The Differences Between Internet, Ethernet, WiFi and Cellular
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How To Set Up Your Home Wi
So you just signed up for internet service and want to ditch the wires? The good news is that setting up a wireless Wi-Fi connection should only take about ten minutes. All you need is a modem , a wireless router and an active internet connection. Your internet provider should give you instructions to follow on setup, but you can also follow these steps to configure any wireless network:
What If My Wifi Only Works In Some Areas
If you are experiencing good WiFi signal in some areas and weak signal in other, it could be because those areas are out of the WiFi routers range. Gadgets like WiFi extenders, mesh networks, and long-range WiFi networks can help extend the range of the wireless signal being transmitted by the WiFi router. As a result, you will have a larger wireless coverage area.
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Prioritize Your Work Traffic
So let’s go back to that scenario where your kids are home from school streaming Disney Plus and playing Fornite while you’re trying to work. There are a couple of things you might be able to do to keep their internet traffic from impacting yours.
The first, and easiest, is to make sure that you’re using different frequency bands. Most routers operate both the 2.4 and 5GHz bands, and many will split those bands into two separate networks that you can connect with. The 5GHz band is faster, while the 2.4GHz band offers better range. Dedicating one of those two bands to work-related traffic only will return a much better experience than sharing a band with your family or housemates.
The Netgear Nighthawk RAX120 is one of many routers that includes a Quality of Service engine capable of prioritizing specific types of web traffic, including important work-related services like Skype.
Most routers can also put out an optional guest network, sometimes with max speed settings that can help keep your kids from eating up too much bandwidth. Some will even let you run the network on a schedule, in case you want to cut them off entirely at certain hours. Similarly, your router might be able to schedule access for specific devices or a group of devices.