Faster WIFI at home is a general win for everyone. To improve your internet browsing speed, there are a few tricks you can easily do with your mobile devices and wireless router which is commonly called a ‘hub’ by major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Virgin Media or BT. These tricks are quick and mostly free. Without further ado, let’s jump straight into tip number one.
Position your router in the best location
Objects around the house such as furniture or appliances can disrupt the WIFI signal coming from your router. Therefore, it’s best to avoid placing your router in cabinets or behind the TV. Keep it out in the open, standing upright with its lights facing towards the centre of the room. Cordless phones and baby monitors may also disrupt your WIFI signal so keep your router away from these devices if possible.
Naturally, you will want to locate your router in the middle of your home and preferably in a room where you will do most of your surfing. Broadband connections are typically located in the corner of rooms so you may wish to extend the cable so the router sits in a better location. The kitchen typically is not the best room to locate a router because metal dissolves WIFI signals quite well. Microwaves operate on the same frequencies as WIFI routers and will also disrupt your signal.
Maximise your connection for multiple floors
Placing your router high up on a shelf or attached to a wall is recommended if you want to maximise your connection on multiple floors and if you live in a two storey house. If your router has an external flexible antenna, point it sideways to get a better signal upstairs.
Pointing your antenna upwards will spread your signal horizontally.
If your router has two antennas, consider pointing one up and one sideways to maximise your signal strength upstairs and downstairs.
Reboot your router
This classic trick is still one of the best ways to boost your WIFI speed and here’s why. Routers communicate with devices on invisible channels. However, other gadgets such as Bluetooth speakers or cordless phones also use these same channels to work and this can slow down your WIFI speed.
Switching your router off and back on again after waiting roughly 15 seconds will allow the device to find the quietest channel to communicate. Switch the router off using its power switch or by the plug. Some modern ISP manufactured routers will automatically restart if they detect a problem with the internet connection. Don’t use the reset button (if there is one) as this will wipe all the settings off your router and may cause service disruption.
Use the right frequency
Home WIFI routers use radio signals in either 5GHz or 2.4GHz Your 5GHz frequency covers shorter distances at faster speeds and is most suited for devices closest to your router. The 2.4GHz frequency covers longer distances at slower speeds, perfect if it’s sunny and you are out in the garden on your mobile. These frequencies are completely separate so you’ll need to connect to both usually using the same password and switch between the two according to how you are surfing the web.
Connect devices using ethernet cable where possible
Certain devices such as smart TVs or games consoles can consume a lot of your WIFI bandwidth. The more devices connected to your WIFI, the greater the demand will be. Therefore, it’s a good idea to connect your static devices to your router using an ethernet cable. They are inexpensive and many high-quality makes are easily available on Amazon.
Extend your home network using Powerline
If you cannot connect using ethernet, or don’t fancy the idea of extra cables around your home, use Powerline. These adapters send data signals down electrical wiring when plugged into regular power sockets after connecting to your router. Basically, WIFI signals and AC power use different frequencies and therefore can use the same wiring without disruption. This is also why you can get broadband using a standard phone line which are called DSL cables although using fibre optic is much faster.
Before you consider Powerline, it’s best to understand the limitations. If your home has very old electrical wiring or you are trying to connect a device using two distant plugs, your speed will be affected. Avoid plugging your Powerline adapters into surge protectors as this will scramble the signal and disrupt your speed. It’s best to plug straight into the wall. You also need to secure your Powerline network with a password, especially if you don’t live in a detached house. Check that password security comes with the Powerline device before you buy.
Running many Powerline adapters will cause congestion on your WIFI network, less is more! Inevitably, you will need to test for the best solution. Having said that, it’s best to purchase Powerline from a manufacturer with a generous returns policy just in case.
Do you have any tips on how to get faster WIFI at home? Share them in the comments below.