Solution #: Upgrade Your Hardware
Resolving your issue with having weak WiFi in your garage and other parts of your home may be as simple as getting a hardware upgrade.
Tech experts recommend updating your router, modem, or router/modem combo every 3-5 years. If youre using something older than that, speak with your internet service provider to see if they have newer networking devices available.
If you use a separate router and are looking for a new model, the range of choices and features can be rather dizzying to navigate through and performance can vary widely.
Do your homework, look for a reliable brand, and keep in mind that online product reviews arent always trustworthy.
If you have your router in a good location and still arent happy with how it performs, exchange it for a different model that will hopefully produce better results.
Improving the WiFi signal strength in your garage could be as simple as upgrading your network hardware.
Solution #: Add A Powerline Network Adapter
Powerline network adapters are another option to add internet access and WiFi in your garage.
These adapters use your homes electrical circuit to transmit your internet signal. Theyre easy to install heres how they work:
Hardwiring a particular device in your garage or throughout your home isnt always practical, so you could also pair the second adapter with another router to give you a usable WiFi signal.
Note that factors like the quality and age of your homes electrical wiring, the distance a second powerline adapter is from the main router, and interference from other electronics can all affect your signal quality.
Solution #: Install A Home Mesh Network
Adding a mesh network is another way to improve the WiFi coverage in your home.
Its similar to a WiFi extender in that it takes your routers WiFi signal and sends it to additional strategically placed hardware devices to expand your signal range.
Unlike most WiFi extenders, however, a mesh network is less prone to certain performance issues. For example, they provide faster network speeds. Mesh networks are also far more reliable in delivering a consistent WiFi connection when youre using mobile devices while roaming about your home.
Performance benefits arent the only reason mesh networks have increased in popularity with homeowners in recent years.
Aesthetics have also played a part. Mesh network hardware has a more modern, stylish look than traditional network hardware devices like WiFi extenders and routers. Theyre also smaller and less conspicuous.
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Things You Can Do For Free
As you probably know, WiFi only works if you have a functional router. But you can’t just put a router anywhere and expect peak performance. It would be nice if things worked that way, but we live in a world where wireless signals can only do so much on their own, so we need to help them as much as we can.
Is your router in your basement, or in a cupboard, or generally far away from the devices you use? If so, consider fixing that. Your router needs to be in as central a location as possible. I realize that isn’t always easy my modem is at the far end of a long apartment because that’s where the cable is. That said, if you have a lengthy ethernet cable lying around, you can make it work.
Even if you can’t, you can still improve your signal by putting the router in an elevated position and making sure there’s open air between it and any device you’re using. Don’t put it on the floor if you can help it. Walls, especially thick ones, can also be hell for wireless signals. It’s possible for other electronic devices in close proximity to the router to disrupt the signal, too.
In general, keep the router away from other devices, don’t make the signal pass through too many walls, and keep it up as high as you can. Of course, you could always try limiting the number of devices you have connected to WiFi, too. All of those things should help.
Move Your Workspace Or Router
If you’re able to work in close proximity to your router, then a wired Ethernet connection to your computer is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the fastest speeds. But if that’s not an option, you might have to work in a room where the Wi-Fi signal isn’t as strong as you need. That happens when you’re too far from the router, or because there are too many walls or obstructions separating you from it.
A simple, inexpensive plug-in range extender like this one from TP-Link might be all it takes to boost a better signal to your home office.
Before you buy anything, the first thing you’ll want to try doing is repositioning your router to strengthen the connection. For the best results, you’ll want to keep it out in the open — ideally as high up as possible. If you can reposition the antennas, try experimenting with that, too. Staggering them at different angles might be all it takes to boost your speeds. If the router is downstairs and you’re trying to boost the signal upstairs, try moving one or more of the antennas to a horizontal position. Antennas like those tend to put out their Wi-Fi signal at a perpendicular angle, so a horizontal antenna will put out a vertically-oriented signal that might be more likely to make it upstairs.
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Make Sure Youre On The Right Frequency Band
Modern routers work primarily on two radio frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The band you use for your connections can affect your speeds and the quality of your connections at different distances from your router.
The 2.4 GHz band is the oldest and most commonly accessed Wi-Fi connection. Its used for many other wireless communications other than Wi-Fi, so the airwaves in this frequency can be a little crowded. This band trades speed for rangemeaning its better at passing through walls and other objectswhereas 5 GHz has better speeds but a shorter range.
The two frequency bands often appear as two separate Wi-Fi networks. To reorganize your connections, log off from the incorrect band and connect to the correct one on each device.
Connections best for 5 GHz band:
- Gaming consoles
Connections best for 2.4 GHz band:
- Smart speakers
- Security cameras
Tip #: Reduce Electronic Interference From Other Devices
If you have a newer modem, opt for a 5 GHz frequency signal to get a stronger connection and avoid congestion from surrounding devices. Put at least 5-10 feet of space between other devices and your router to help reduce interference and competition.
Here’s why: WiFi is just one of many radio frequencies all around us these days. Devices that use the same 2.4 GHz frequency range can hurt your internet speed. These include many microwaves, cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, TVs, wireless security systems, baby monitors, garage door openers, and more. Some of these generate short range interference that can affect your WiFi even when the device is turned off. Many newer routers support automatic band-switching, meaning they will detect and switch devices to a faster frequency, but if your router is more than a couple of years old, you will want to manually change to a 5 GHz connection whenever possible. You can read more about the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, or find out how to manually change the wireless channel on your router to avoid congestion.
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Ways To Get Better Wifi In Your Garage
Theres an ever-increasing reliance on internet connectivity with so many aspects of our daily lives.
Getting the most out of your smart tech products and mobile devices in your house means having a good WiFi signal if you dont have a data plan or want to limit your data usage while at home.
That can be a hit-or-miss thing, however, especially when it comes to getting reliable WiFi in your garage or some of the far-reaching areas of your property.
See Who’s On Your Network
Windows users can download a free, portable program called Wireless Network Watcher , which will provide a list of every device currently connected to your network, so you can identify the ones that belong to you.
To use Wireless Network Watcher, just launch the program, and it will immediately begin scanning your network. This will take a minute or twoyou’ll know it’s working if the bottom-left corner reads “Scanning…” Once it’s done, that message will disappear, and you’ll be presented with a full list of connected devices.
The resulting list may look a little cryptic, especially if you aren’t super tech-savvy, but don’t worry. You can ignore the IP address and MAC address listings for now. If you’re using Wireless Network Watcher, just focus on the Device Name and Network Adapter Company columns.
For example, I see an item named “Dulce” in Wireless Network Watcher, which is the name of my wife’s MacBook. I see another with no name, but with “Philips Lighting BV” as the network adapter manufacturer, it’s probably the hub for my Philips Hue lights. You can double-click on a device to add “User Text” that helps you identify each device and narrow down all the items in this list.
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Make Sure Your Device Is Connected To The Best Possible Network
Rogers WiFi modems support two frequencies, meaning you have access to two different WiFi networks.
Newer modem models, like the Ignite WiFiTM Gateway modem , use band steering by default automatically connecting your device to the best available network. Our Hitron CODA and Hitron CGN AC family of modems also support band steering, but it might need to be turned on.
Learn more about how to turn on band steering:
If you’ve disabled band steering or have an older modem model, you’ll see two networks:
- < Network Name> -5G is the 5 GHz network which offers the fastest WiFi speeds great for streaming, but it has shorter range than the 2.4 Ghz network. This frequency is also less commonly used by household electronics, so theres typically less signal interference or congestion to slow you down. We recommend connecting devices to this network whenever possible.
- < Network Name> is the 2.4 GHz network which offers speeds that are ideal for everyday surfing. Its signal also has a farther reach.
Keep in mind, older devices may not support connecting to the < Network Name> -5G WiFi network. If you cant see this network on a specific device but you can see it on others, you may want to consider replacing the device or updating its WiFi adapter, if possible for better WiFi performance.
Find Your Router’s Ip Address
You log into your router’s firmware through a browser. Any browser will do. At the address field, type the IP address of your router. Most routers use an address of 192.168.1.1. But that’s not always the case, so you may first want to confirm the address of your router.
To find your router’s IP address, type cmd in the Windows search bar and press Enter to open the command prompt. Type ipconfig in the command prompt and press Enter to run the command. Scroll through the information until you see a setting for Default Gateway under Ethernet adapter or Wireless LAN adapter. That’s your router, and the number next to it is your router’s IP address. Close the window when done.
In Windows 10, you can also go to Settings > Network & Internet > Status > View hardware and connection properties. The next screen displays details for your different network connections. Scan the entry for Ethernet or Wi-Fi and look for the Default Gateway setting to find your routers IP address. Once you have the correct IP address, type it into your browser’s address field and press Enter.
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Move Your Wireless Router To A Central Part Of Your Home
Placing your router in a central spot can help maximize where your signals travel. Since you probably wont hang your Wi-Fi router like a living room chandelier, here are some alternative locations you can place your router to boost your Wi-Fi signal and raise your internet speeds.
Best places to put your internet router
- On a mantle in a central living room or family room
- On a small coffee table placed strategically in a central hallway or living space
- On the second floor landing if you dont have a basement
Places to avoid putting your internet router
- In the kitchen where other devices emit waves that can interfere with your signal
- In a corner of your house or in a windowsillmost signals will travel outside where youre not using them
- In the basement
Change Your Wifi Channel
How to improve wifi range when your signal is strong, but you live in a populated area so you are still not getting good speeds?? Try checking for a less-Congested Channel.
Just like radios and t.v.s, wireless routers can run on different channels. To check the channels available if you are using a Windows-based operating system, use your PCs command prompt to search: netsh wlan show all. If you do not know how to access your computers command prompt window, simply go to your Start button, type command prompt in the search box. Or you can navigate to it by going to All Programs, then Accessories and selecting the Command Prompt. Once youve checked it, you can go to your wireless routers interface and change to a less used channel.
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Where To Put A Router For Best Signal
Now that you know all the different objects and materials that can hinder your Wi-Fi signal, the obvious answer is to move your router to an area that has minimal things blocking it from your devices. If your router is not wireless, you can purchase an extension cord to move it to a better area.
Its always best to place the router up high, because the signals tend to spread out downward from the router. Its never a good idea to keep your router on the floor and remember to place it somewhat close to your television or computer in case you want to plug an ethernet cable into it.
Upgrade Your Router Or Add Extenders
Replacing your router is always something of a last resort. Not only can a new router be expensive, but it’s a lot of work to set up a new router and have your various devices join the network. But if your router is limited to obsolete 802.11n or 802.11g standards, for example, you might want to look for an 802.11ac or Wi-Fi 6 router.
If you have an especially large house and your router isn’t yet obsolete, you might want to add one or more Wi-Fi extenders. These are small, affordable devices that amplify the Wi-Fi signal and therefore extend the coverage area in your home. You’ll generally need to plug them in close enough to your router that they receive a solid, reliable signal, but are close enough to your home’s “dead zone” to fill in the gap. The major disadvantage of extenders is that they usually have their own SSID, so you need to change Wi-Fi networks when going from one end of the house to the other.
Another alternative: Upgrade to a mesh network. Mesh routers usually come in two or three components rather than a single router, and you connect them in different locations throughout the house. Together, they deliver a strong and fast signal over a much larger coverage area than a typical router can do on its own. For recommendations on this front, check out Insider Reviews’ guide to the best Wi-Fi mesh networks.
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