Are you having issues with your wifi signal? You might want to read this post. Routers are not the most sophisticated or scientific of devices. Like other electronic items, they can produce electric noise, random dropouts, and slow speed at random times even when technical support has ruled out any issues with the network or other equipment connected to it. This affects all devices connected to the router regardless of where you are in the house and whether it is close or far from the router. This guide gives you 10 simple but effective tips for improving your wifi signal on your smartphone, iPhone, and laptop.
Use a Wireless Signal Booster or Extender
You can use a Wi-Fi signal booster to amplify your wireless router’s signal. A signal booster or extender is a device that will strengthen the Wi-Fi signal and extend the range of your network. These come in two options:
1. The first option is to purchase a Wi-Fi extender that amplifies the signal from your router and then broadcasts a stronger one to areas of your home that had previously been without a signal.
2. The second option is to purchase a pair of devices, an amplifier and a repeater, which are more expensive but offer more flexibility.
The amplifier must be placed close to the router, while the repeater can be placed anywhere in your home that gets a strong enough signal from the router. The repeater then rebroadcasts the amplified signal throughout your home.
Check and fix Network adapter driver issues
The first thing you want to do is check your device manager and see if you have any network adapters that are not working correctly. These devices send and receive the WiFi signal from your computer to a router or access point. You can do this by going to Start -> Control Panel -> Device Manager.
If you see a yellow exclamation mark or a question mark next to your network adapter, then there may be an issue with the driver for that network adapter. If this is the case, you will want to update the drivers for that device. I recommend using DriverEazy.
Manually set the wifi channel on your router
The most important thing to improve your wireless network is to set the channel on your router manually. Most routers will automatically select a channel for you, but this is rarely the best choice.
To fix this, first use an app like wifi Analyzer to see what channels are available in your area. You want to pick a channel that is not crowded with other networks.
When selecting a channel, keep in mind that channels 1, 6, and 11 are “non-overlapping” channels. That means that there is no overlap between the signals of these channels. For example, if you set your wifi network on channel 1, it won’t interfere with the signal of other networks broadcasting on channel 6 or 11. A good rule of thumb is to use one of these three channels when setting up your wifi router.
Use an Antenna to Boost Your WiFi Signals
Adding a WiFi repeater to your network is an option that might sound attractive. You’ve probably seen them advertised on websites like eBay for anywhere from $2 to $20. These indoor units plug into a power socket and have an antenna, usually a couple of feet long, that sticks out from the unit.
They were cheap because they don’t work very well. The signal has to be strong enough that the repeater can hear it, then it has to repeat the signal and send it out again. The result is a reduction in signal strength by at least half and likely more than 75%. So while they’re cheap, they aren’t cost-effective as they’ll eat up bandwidth without providing any benefit.
An antenna or booster is the only way to boost your WiFi signal effectively. Indoor antennas are not very powerful and won’t be able to pull in weak signals. Outdoor antennas will give you better results but require you to install them outside, which means climbing up on the roof or finding another way of getting the antenna up high enough to get a clear line of sight with few obstructions between themselves router.
If your router supports a higher frequency band, for example, 5 GHz (802.11a) instead of 2.4 GHz (802.11b/g), use it. Some routers claim to support both but will only broadcast one SSID at a time, and you have to switch between them manually. The 5 GHz WiFi band has less interference from cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, and other appliances like microwaves that operate on the same 2.4 GHz band your router is broadcasting.
Move your Router in an Open Space
If you want excellent signal strength, make sure your Router is in an open space with no physical obstructions such as floors, walls, and ceilings in between the device and your Router. If you have routers that work on 2.4 GHz frequency, it is best to place them at least 5 feet above ground level and 3 feet away from any other devices.
Wireless signal strength depends on distance and obstructions. The farther you are from your Router, the weaker signal will be, and the slower your internet connection.
When you place your Router in an open space, it has a clear line of sight to each connected device. If you place it somewhere high, like on a shelf or cabinet, it will have a better range and can reach more devices at once.
Reboot Your Router Regularly
Every once in a while, you should reboot your wireless router to make sure it’s running at top speed.
To do this, unplug the power from the back of the router and then plug it back in. Wait until all the lights on the front of the router have stopped blinking before restarting your devices.
If you have a modem-router combination device, you will need to unplug both devices during this process.
Don’t Share Bandwidth-Hogging Tasks
It is recommended that you should not share bandwidth-hogging tasks on your wifi when other devices are using the same network. You should avoid downloading or streaming large files or movies through Internet if your family members or colleagues require the Internet for their work or gaming.
You can use applications like BitTorrent to download large files without impacting the speed of other devices in your network. BitTorrent allows you to prioritize the file you are downloading so that other devices in your network can have a fair share of bandwidth for their tasks.
Use the Right Hardware
If you’re using the wrong type of hardware, it will affect your Wifi signal strength.
You need a wireless router that is capable of delivering the speeds your internet connection provides. The fastest wireless standard right now is 802.11ac, aka “5G Wi-Fi” or “Wi-Fi 5″.
But what if you have older devices? It’s recommended to get a dual-band router (capable of both 2.4GHz and 5GHz connections). This way, you can use the 5GHz band for newer devices and the 2.4GHz band for older devices.
Switch to 5GHz Band If It’s Available
The first thing you should do is switch to the 5GHz band if it’s available. If you have a dual-band router, it will have two bands, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 5GHz band has a higher frequency than 2.4 GHz and has less interference from other devices like Bluetooth, cordless phones, and microwaves. The signal does not travel as far but provides much faster data connections.
If your device is old enough, it may not support the 5GHz band. You can check by looking at the specifications on your device manual or by contacting your manufacturer directly. If you are unsure whether your computer or mobile device supports the 5GHz band, we recommend searching for its model number in Google to find out more information.
Another thing to consider is that many laptops have only one wireless adapter installed within them and so may only be able to connect to one frequency at a time (2.4GHz or 5GHz). In this case, you may need to buy an adapter that can support both frequencies if you wish to use both bands in the future.
Use Ethernet For Devices Closer To The Router
The first thing you want to do is connect the device that needs the highest signal strength closest to the router. It’ll be a desktop computer in most cases, so you’ll want to use an Ethernet cable rather than WiFi for its connection.
In addition, if your router is located in a poor signal area of your house or apartment (e.g., in a corner with lots of walls), then you might consider moving your router to an alternative location that’s closer to the center of your home where there’s less interference from other devices (e.g., microwaves, cordless phones, etc.) or thick walls.
Hopefully, the above tips will provide you with some advice on how to boost your router’s performance. As I stated earlier, there’s no magical cure or one perfect tip that can solve all of your signal issues, but if you try out a few of our suggestions, chances are that you’ll see an improvement in your router’s performance and your wifi signal strength.