10 Ways To Improve Your Home Wi-Fi Via

There are few things more aggravating than sitting down to watch your favourite TV show and having your streaming service all of a sudden slow to a crawl and start buffering playback. Maintaining a home network with a reliable connection can sometimes seem like a never-ending battle. But you don’t have to rely on your internet service provider to increase your bandwidth, you can take matters into your own hands and try some of these useful ways to boost your Wi-Fi.

10. Leave Your Router Out in the Open

A lot of people will try to conceal their routers by placing them in cabinets or behind desks because they find the jumble of wires and blinking lights just too unsightly to bear. This is one of the primary causes of slow Wi-Fi since walls and other obstructions can absorb signal strength before it reaches your intended devices. A great place to keep a router is usually on top of a bookshelf or table right out in the open. Since many router designs emit their signal in a semi-downward direction, the elevation will help ensure the Wi-Fi signal is evenly disbursed throughout the home. Via

9. Centralize the Router’s Signal

Routers are actually omni-directional transceivers that transfer information data between your modem and connected devices. This means that there is essentially a bubble of signal connectivity surrounding your router. But, if there are walls or furniture crowded into that bubble’s space, it can interfere and degrade the signal strength. Generally you should avoid placing your router right next to an exterior wall because it could end up chopping its output by 50 percent since half of the connectivity bubble will exist outside your home. This can lead to slower internet and transfer rates. Try to keep your router in a centralized location free from obstructions to ensure all your devices are receiving a strong signal. Via

8. Keep Your Router Away From Other Appliances

Microwaves, cordless phones, and even florescent lights can all interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. To diminish the conflict, try to ensure your router isn’t too close to household appliances. Signal interference can also be caused by neighboring routers. So if you notice you’re continually getting a weak signal, it could be because some else’s router nearby is set to the same channel. Via

7. Change the Channel

Nearly all wireless routers transmit at the 2.4GHz wavelength and work within the set boundary of the 802.11 standard. But since quite a lot of other devices, such as microwaves, cordless phones, and bluetooth gadgets, also operate on the 2.4GHz band, problems invariably arise with everything vying for a spot on a finite amount of spectrum. The result usually ends up being significantly reduced bandwidth on any single device. To solve this problem of competing devices, the 2.4GHz band is divided into 13 separate channels. However, much like a semi-tuned radio, those channels can sometimes interfere with neighbouring frequencies. In order to prevent this, you should set your router channel to 1, 6, or 11 (1, 5, 9, or 13 for residence outside the US). And to further optimize coverage, you can also talk to your neighbours and make sure your routers are set to different channels. Via

6. Reset Your Router Frequently

Whenever you call tech support complaining about sluggish internet speeds, one of the first things they’ll tell you to do is reset or reboot your router and modem. By frequently resetting, you can help maintain a faster connection. And if you find the thought of always having to physically disconnect and reconnect the power to your router upsetting, you can always purchase an outlet timer and set it to reset your router once a day during a time that’s convenient for you. Via

5. Update the Firmware

Router manufacturers regularly release free firmware updates that include benefits such as security patches, bug fixes, and increased compatibility with other devices and software. To get the latest updates for your router, go to the support section of the router company’s website and you should be directed to a link where you can find step-by-step instructions for downloading and installing new firmware. Via

4. Prioritize Devices

Some newer model routers allow you to give priority to specific devices or apps. This technology is typically referred to as Quality of Service (QoS) or Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM). By utilizing it, you can throttle back your bandwidth on some devices in order to boost it where it’s needed. This can make a huge difference for things like online gaming and high-definition streaming. Via

3. Hide Your SSID

Your Service Set Identifier (SSID) is automatically broadcast from your router to make it easy for you to add new devices on it. By hiding your SSID, it won’t show up when unauthorized devices scan for nearby networks. And if you don’t show up on any network scans, people will be much less likely to try and hack your password to gain access. The only setback is you’ll have to manually enter in your router’s SSID each time you want to add a new device on your network. Via

2. Get a Repeater

Most common routers have a range of roughly 45 meters. So if you live in a big house, devices located in rooms that are farthest away from your router might have more trouble connecting to your home Wi-Fi network. One way to fix this problem is with a Wi-Fi repeater — a device that plugs into any wall outlet and can boost a signal’s strength and coverage. However, it should be noted that devices connecting to the network in the router’s new extended range might not achieve speeds as fast as devices located closer to the actual router. Another alternative for more technical minded individuals is to convert an older or unused router into a dedicated Wi-Fi repeater. Via Amazon

1. Use a Beer Can

This idea sounds a little crazy but certain metals can actually reflect Wi-Fi signals. With a little ingenuity, you can harness that quality to focus the signal from your router and aim it towards the area where your wirelessly connected device is located.

To use this trick, first drink the contents of the can. Next, rinse it thoroughly and pull off the tab. Then, put on some protective gloves and use a box cutter or metal cutting tool to cut off the bottom of the can. Do the same for the top of the can, but don’t completely remove the top portion. Instead, try to leave a small inch-wide tab attached to the top. Opposite the tab, cut the can lengthwise and carefully unfurl both sides to create what looks like a little radar dish. Finally, turn the can upside-down and slide the mouth of the can over the router antenna. You can also file down any jagged metal edges and secure the can with tape to make it a little more safe.

By reflecting the Wi-Fi signal, you do sacrifice some area coverage, but it allows you to boost the overall signal strength. Which is great for people living in small apartments.

Minors, please use a pop can instead! Via

Wes Walcott

Wes Walcott

Wes is a devourer of media. He ravenously consumes podcasts, books, and TV shows with seemingly no regard for review scores or subject matter. If encountered in the wild, Wes is said to respond positively to verbal cues relating to X-Men or the SNES. The subject can be easily captured and tamed using Transformers or Gundam models.