Ah, the internet. Much like love, we never knew how much we needed it until it came along. Also much like love, it can be a cantankerous creature–every little thing can throw things off the rail and break your heart.
As each new electronic doodad introduced to the market is ostensibly “smart”, the scramble for bandwidth becomes fierce, weighing down the strength of your connection. But while connectivity can get noticeably slower, there are a few quick-fix ways to help the strength of your WiFi signal at home.
Location, location, location
You would think that of all the things that man has invented, they would have come up with a jacked up router. Until then, we’re stuck with what we have. Naturally, the farther away you are from the router, the slower your signal will be. Find a place where your router’s signal can be accessed wherever you decide to park your butt.
Proximity of other devices
Microwave ovens, cordless phones, lamps, refrigerators, or other wireless devices do interfere with your signal. This include your neighbors’ WiFi network, which can retard and degrade your signal. Do change your frequency and/or your router channel. Which means you will have to revisit your user manual. You didn’t throw that away along with the box, right?
The age of your software/hardware
As you might have noticed on your various gadgets, manufacturers are always tweaking firmware to upgrade the performance from their devices. Same rings true with routers. Regularly check to see if an update is available. Or maybe your router, which you bought in the year 2000, just needs to be replaced. It has been 17 years, you know.
Consider a range extender
Routers are reliable only up to a certain distance. So, say you have a huge house. Or you live in a compound along with other members of the family. Consider investing on an add-on device that can stretch your WiFi signal. Repeaters, or range expanders , act like another client with its own IP address. These will pick up your signal then extend it.
Beware of data hogs and leeches
Obviously, your connection will bog down when you have too many people connecting to your WiFi. Moreso when family members are downloading 16 gigs of torrent files, playing online games or video streaming. All these eat up a lot of your bandwidth allocation. We cannot discount the fact that your neighbors may have gained access to your wireless network–especially if you have not changed the password your router came with.
Manage your gadgets at home
As appliances get smarter and smarter, they necessitate the use of the internet as well. Televisions, CCTVs, house alarms, even the remote access to lighting, sound systems, toaster oven–all these can eat up on your bandwidth. Add all these to your phone, tablet, laptop, PCs, and you could very well be slowing down your connection.
All those materials in your house that enable it to stand is actually a hindrance to your WiFi signal. Wood, cement and metals are effective barriers to your router’s signal. Mirrors are the worst.
Get an effective WiFi plan
You must take in to consideration the wireless needs of everyone in your household. Get a plan with higher data allocation if you have more users at home. It would be unrealistic for you to expect fast connection for your family of seven on a 3 Mbps data subscription. There are plans out there that offer up to 100 Mbps per month. But no matter how big your data plan is, you still need help in setting up your Wi-Fi modem to make sure you cover all the areas in your home.
Setting up the perfect WiFi connection can be tedious and some may not be so effective. We’re all on the search for that one solution that can give us perfect internet experience at home. For now, do your research first and take stock of your internet habits. Choose wisely.
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