How to Get the Best Wi-Fi Signal
More than likely you have set up your Wi-Fi and are pretty content with it. But, we very well know how sometimes your laptop or phone can be one-loading-wheel too slow for our fast-paced search needs or, the connection may have gone completely MIA in certain areas of your home or office –remember those days where you would raise your phone to get better reception– Yep! Those days are back. We’re hovering our phones side to side looking for a good Wi-Fi connection. Oh, the flashbacks…
So, how to improve it? Well we’ve made a list to improve Wi-Fi range as well as give you additional ways to boost it.
1) Update Firmware
Manufactures can release improved versions of the software the router runs on. Just like app or iPhone updates, make sure to update and keep your connection flow smooth.
2) Location, Location, Location
The placement of your router is essential for great Wi-Fi reception. Any door or wall between the router and your laptop will weaken the signal, making it more frustrating for you. Preferably, your router will work best in an open and higher area.
You can test the signal strength with a strength monitor app like these for Android and this one for iPhone, and move the router accordingly for best coverage.
3) Connect To The Best Wireless Channel
Nowadays most routers support 2.4GHz and 5GHz of bandwidth. 2.4GHz is most commonly used because it has a longer range. 2.4GHz Wi-Fi operates between the 2400MHz and 2500MHz. The 100MHz in between are separated in 14 channels. On every 2.4GHz channel, two to four other channels signals overlap. Overlapping channels are bad and are the primary reason for poor connection with the Wi-Fi. For example, channels 1, 6 and 11 have space between them to avoid interference.
In contrast, 5GHz has a higher speed with a greater number of channels. This allows for little to no interference. If used, take into consideration that 5GHz has a smaller distance range. In perspective, while 5GHz can reach about 40-60ft, 2.4GHz will be able to reach the triple or four times more than that.
Use the strength monitor app to see nearby networks and the channel they are on to set your router to less used channels.
At last, you’ve check all of these but the Wi-Fi didn’t do like The Rock and build up its muscles. So, what are the ways to improve upon it?
1) Range Extender
These are easy solutions to extend your Wi-Fi. These small units connect to an electrical outlet and you can configure them to repeat your Wi-Fi signal. However, this devices decrease the signal. Many extenders have a limited bandwidth and a broadband speed you have above that you won’t be able to access it, unless you’re closer the Wi-Fi source than an extender.
2) Using More Access Points
For larger homes or offices you can use more access points by connecting the LAN port to the main router.
For this, let’s take a step back and explain all the elements needed to transform the internet signal from a wire to Wi-Fi. Your internet provider will supply you with a router which now includes within itself these three things: the Router, the Switch and an Access Point. The router receives the internet signal, the Switch passes over the signal to the AP and the AP transforms the internet signal in to Wi-Fi. Switches and APs can be purchased additionally and placed along longer distances for the Wi-Fi to reach further away from the router.
Take for example a long or a multi floor building, like a large corporation office, an airport or a hotel. Your router will connect to several Switches along each floor; each Switch will then be connected to one or more AP which will broadcast the Wi-Fi signal. This system is the most recommended for hotels or big offices. The only downside is that each switch will create a different Wi-Fi name, AKA a SSID. Meaning that for each floor you would have to disconnect from one Wi-Fi and log in to another. The solution to this: Mesh Wi-Fi Systems (below).
Mesh systems work by duplicating the Wi-Fi signal without losing power with the same name (SSID). This new technology helps you set up a couple of devices throughout your home or office. It allows you to easily set them up through an app from where you can manage things like screen time, security, guest network or, speed tests.
Additionally, wireless mesh networks create a highly scalable, end-to-end system of devices spanning multiple locations across your home, office, cities or even the world with capabilities in most cases to be all controlled by a single interface accessed via the Internet or local network.
Most newer access points are proving this mesh technology while being cost effective.
VND IT Department