How To Increase Your Wifi Signal

Why Buy When You Can Rent

How to Improve Your Wifi Signal

Many consumers simply accept the model provided by their ISP. But internet companies usually charge a $10 to $12 monthly rental fee for the privilege, which can eclipse the price of a new router within two years.

In addition to providing potential savings, buying your own router gives you far more say in the operation and security of your home WiFi network. Using a simple mobile app, you can set up your router to receive automatic firmware updates. If you have a large family or frequent houseguests, our experts suggest a model that offers robust settings that let you establish parental controls and a guest network to wall folks off from certain websites and private information.

If your router doesn’t come with a companion app, however, instructions on how to update routers vary by brand. For most models, you need to log in through a browser on your computer, using the routers IP address. Here are links on how to update widely used routers: Apple, Asus, D-Link, Linksys, and Netgear.

You may also be able to get security notices via email from your routers manufacturer. To learn how, go to the company websiteyoull probably have to register the device.

Rodrigo DamatiRodrigo Damati

What To Do Instead Of Wi

So what can you do instead, when the signals are looking too weak?

Here at Wi-Fi Central you will find plenty of advice on mapping and improving your coverage in ways that are both fully legal and completely free. This article is a good place to start: Stop Clearing Away Your Wi-Fi Signals.

Article by Geir Arne Rimala and Jorunn D. Newth

Check Channel And Frequency

Having your router on the same channel as those in neighboring homes or apartments can cause interference and prevent optimal Wi-Fi performance.

The most common channels for the default 2.4 GHz frequency are 1, 6 and 11, and if your closest neighbors are using the same channel you are, its likely youre both getting less than you should from your signal.

How can you figure out which channel is being used the least in your area? There are many tools available to analyze signal use, including an app for Android called “Wifi Analyzer” and inSSIDer for Windows. These tools look at nearby networks to determine which channels have the heaviest usage.

Once you know what to avoid, go to your routers wireless settings and pick the channel with the least traffic. While youre making changes, try switching the frequency from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz.

This may offer a performance boost if you have a dual-band router or recently upgraded to the AC Wi-Fi standards. Not only does 5 GHz support up to 1300 Mbps speeds, its also used by fewer devices and should provide more stability for Wi-Fi connectivity.

Recommended Reading: Change Wifi On Blink

Tip : Upgrade Your Routers Firmware

If youve tested different router locations and youre still dealing with low download speeds, its time to get a bit more technical. Firmware is software thats updated less often and has a particular use designed for a piece of hardware. Every router runs off firmware, and router companies continually update their firmware to improve functionality and efficiency. Its essential to update this firmware periodically to ensure your router has the latest version and can continue to output a strong WiFi Signal.

The process to update firmware varies by manufacturer, but the most common steps are to:

  • Go to the administration interface at the IP address of the router using a web browser.
  • Log in using the admin username and router located on the back or bottom of your router.
  • Select an option for Firmware Update or Router Update and install.

Make Sure Youre On A Clear Channel

Our 5 Tips for better WiFi

If you live in a densely populated area, your Wi-Fi signal could be suffering from congestion. If you and your neighbors are trying to use the same channel, everyones router performance can suffer.

Most routers are set up to automatically use the clearest channel available, but thats not the case for all of them. Check your routers administration interface to see if yours is set on automatic. If its not and that option is available, select it. If your router doesnt have that option, youll need to change the channel manually. PCMag has more information on how to do that.

Also Check: Connecting Blink To Wifi

Upgrade To Faster Internet

While we hope these tips will do the trick for you, sometimes your internet connection is simply too slow to sustain your internet consumption. If thats the case, youll need to upgrade to a faster internet plan to get better speeds.

Unsure what internet speeds you need to support your online habits? Check out our guides to internet speed for online gaming and video streaming requirements.

And if youre confused because youre sure youve paid for enough internet speed but your connection still doesnt cut it, that might be because your internet connection doesnt always perform at 100%.

Internet providers advertise speeds up to a certain speedthey dont promise that you will always get those speeds. So even if you have a 100 Mbps plan, you might not always get that much bandwidth. In that case, you might need a bit of a buffer or a plan thats actually faster than you think you would need. That way, network slowdowns will still happen, but youll probably notice them less.

Ways To Upgrade Your Wi

Whether you’re working from home, binge-watching Netflix, or streaming your gameplay on Twitch, there’s no such thing as too much bandwidth. Even if you have gigabyte fiber mainlined into your router, everyone could use help getting faster internet around the house. It doesn’t matter if you have the best possible wires outside your houseeliminating subpar speeds and Wi-Fi dead zones is largely up to you. To help, we’ve put together some suggestions on ways to troubleshoot and, hopefully, improve the quality of the Wi-Fi inside and outside your place.

Be sure to check our guides for more, including our how-to on securing your home Wi-Fi network, our router buying guide, an explainer on Wi-Fi 6, and our gear guide for working at home.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a1-Year Subscription to WIRED for $5 . This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine . Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

If you buy something using links in our stories, we may earn a commission. This helps support our journalism.Learn more.

If you don’t have a flat surface near the best spot, you can mount your router halfway up a wall. If possible, keep it away from other devices that use electromagnetic waves that includes baby monitors, wireless keyboards, and even microwaves.

Ethernet. It still works.

Netgear Nighthawk AX8

Also Check: Best Wifi Extenders For Spectrum

Ways To Boost Your Wi

Check out these quick tips to boost your wireless signal from your router, extend and optimize your Wi-Fi coverage, and speed up your surfing.

Browsing slowing to a crawl, the inability to stream, dropped Wi-Fi signals, wireless dead zonesevery one of these problems is maddening in a world where getting online has become, for some, as necessary as breathing.

If you feel like your Wi-Fi has gotten sluggish, there are many tools you can use to test the speed of your internet. There are also a few tricks you can try to troubleshoot your network issues. However, if the only way you can get decent reception is by standing next to your wireless router, these simple tips can help optimize your network.

Buy A Wifi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender

How to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength- Tips & Tricks

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.

Don’t Miss: Can You Have Two Wifi Providers In One House

Easy Ways To Improve Your Wi

How many times have you tried to watch a movie or work on an important project only to have your activities interrupted by skips, stops and buffering?

Yeah, that’s all of us.

A poor wifi signal puts a damper on what should be a relaxing evening and can also interfere with your ability to have a productive day if you work remotely for your employer. Slow load times and a lack of support for bandwidth-heavy activities make Wi-Fi unreliable, resulting in frustration and wasted time.

You should be able to trust your connection without experiencing slowness or hitting dead zones in your home. If your devices are always dropping the signal or you can never seem to achieve optimal performance when connected, run a speed test to discover the actual speed your connection is delivering. Disappointing results indicate a problem at one or more points in the Wi-Fi network.

So what can you do to overcome Wi-Fi difficulties and enjoy speedy internet for work and play?

Try these 15 simple tricks to give your signal a boost:

Tip #: Reduce Bandwidth Competition From Other Devices

Limit the number of devices in your home that share your WiFi network during peak usage hours. The more bandwidth is used in total, the less speed you see on each device. Try to power off or disconnect devices that you aren’t using. If necessary for plans with lower speeds, develop a household schedule that helps you manage which devices or which members of the family can do certain activities at different times.

Here’s why: All the wireless devices in your home share your WiFi connection. So the number of devices running at the same time impacts your internet speed significantly. The more devices you start adding to the network, the less speed you’ll get when working from home on your laptop, streaming on a tablet, etc. Gaming systems, video streaming devices and smart TVs, and a number of other smart home systems can eat up a significant portion of bandwidth. In addition, many connected devices are always on and may frequently run updates in the background that you aren’t aware of, all of which can slow speeds down.

Are you a Fiber customer? Check your router requirements.

Customers with Fiber Internet service have specific router needs. With a connection that fast, you need to make sure your gateway can keep up. If your service is connected using the wrong modem, you may not be getting top performance.

Also Check: Blink Sync Module Reset Button

Create A Seamless Network

In large homes or homes with layouts in which its hard to avoid interference, a mesh router system may be a potential solution for poor Wi-Fi performance.

These systems include a main router like youre already using and add node routers throughout the house. Unlike extenders or repeaters, nodes maintain full signal strength for all users. You also get the benefit of connecting to a single network instead of one segmented between multiple access points.

Setting up a mesh network may sound complicated, but its actually less of a guessing game than moving your router around, playing with antenna direction or building aluminum signal boosters. Most systems have an accompanying mobile app designed to guide you in the setup and optimal placement of router and nodes.

You may have to make a few adjustments after the network is in place, but you should see a marked improvement in overall performance.

Use A Less Crowded Channel

How to increase your wifi signal  Tech Sharing

If you live in a crowded neighborhood or in an apartment and share a lot of the same signal space with your neighbors, choosing the right channel can cut down on interference and help speed things up a bit.

For starters, channels 1, 6 and 11 are most frequently used in the 2.4GHz spectrum, as they are the only three channels that do not overlap one another. If you’ve switched to 5GHz, you have whole host of channels to choose from. The selection of channels varies by model.

You can use an application like Wifi Analyzer on Android or WifiInfoView on Windows to analyze the nearby wireless signals and see which channels are being used the most. Mac has this functionality built in. Simply hold option and click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, then select Open Wireless Diagnostics.

It’s worth nothing that many newer routers will automatically choose the least crowded channel upon rebooting, so pulling the plug may also switch the channel to a less crowded one.

Read Also: Wifi Extenders Compatible With Spectrum

Your Typical Home Mesh Wifi Network In Action

Image Courtesy of Linksys website

  • The satellite nodes are all within range of another node, creating a mesh system that overlaps. That is a critical piece of information that we will discuss later.
  • Your smartphone will stay connected to the WiFi network since the Mesh network uses the same network name and password. There is no need to worry about reconnecting from one node to another as you move about your home. It is all done automatically for you. Pretty cool, huh?
  • If one node goes down, the other nodes can pick up the slack, assuming your devices are in range of another node

Find The Best Spot For Your Router

The next thing to consider when youre trying to optimize your Wi-Fi signal is where you place your router. In general, the farther your router is from the devices connected to its signal, the weaker that signal is going to be.

Ideally, you want to place your router in a central location in your home so youre never too far from it even if youre moving about with your mobile devices. If you use Wi-Fi primarily for streaming to televisions in your home, youll benefit from the router being closer to those TVs.

Other things that can help are making sure the router is elevated and that its not surrounded by other electronic devices.

Recommended Reading: Can You Connect 2 Routers Together

Popular Articles

Related Stories

Stay on op - Ge the daily news in your inbox