Net­work­ing se­crets re­vealed

How to su­per­charge your Wi-Fi and get the com­plete Ap­ple-con­nected home

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - Words: Kenny Hemphill Il­lus­tra­tions: Mag­ic­torch, Paul Blach­ford

Whether you’re stream­ing mu­sic from Spo­tify, lis­ten­ing to the ra­dio, or watch­ing movies on Net­flix, you rely on hav­ing a speedy and sta­ble con­nec­tion to the in­ter­net. Most of the time we don’t even think about it – on­line con­tent has be­come as eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble as that stored lo­cally. Un­til, that is, things go wrong. Whether your ISP suf­fers an out­age or, as BT cus­tomers ex­pe­ri­enced at the end of last year, DNS prob­lems, or your own Wi-Fi net­work stum­bles and fails, it’s a frus­trat­ing and, if you rely on it for work, po­ten­tially costly ex­pe­ri­ence.

The good news is that there’s a great deal you can do to im­prove the per­for­mance of your Wi-Fi net­work, and even mit­i­gate the risk as­so­ci­ated with a fail­ure be­yond your con­trol, thanks to sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments in mo­bile in­ter­net con­nec­tions in re­cent years.

One step you can take which could sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove your net­work is to up­grade your router, par­tic­u­larly if it’s a few years old. Re­cent de­vel­op­ments, such as dual bands and 802.11ac, as well as the use of the 5GHz spec­trum, mean that mod­ern routers have a num­ber of weapons at their dis­posal when it comes to squeez­ing as much data as pos­si­ble as fast as pos­si­ble be­tween your in­ter­net con­nec­tion and the de­vice you’re us­ing.

Over the next nine pages we’ll ex­plain ex­actly how you can make the big­gest im­prove­ments to your Wi-Fi net­work, and we’ll show you ex­actly what to look for if you de­cide to up­grade your router. We’ll cover all those new tech­nolo­gies in de­tail and ex­plain which ones mat­ter and which you don’t need to worry too much about. And, of course, we’ll help you trou­bleshoot the net­work prob­lems we all en­counter from time to time.

Away from Wi-Fi, we’ll show you how to ex­tend your net­work, or help it reach the parts Wi-Fi can’t, us­ing the ca­bles that carry mains power around your home or of­fice.

Ac­cess­ing the in­ter­net on the go is now sec­ond na­ture for most of us, but many of us are also us­ing our mo­bile con­nec­tion as a backup or even re­place­ment for a wired broad­band con­nec­tion. The ad­vent of 4G has made that pos­si­ble, so we ex­plain all and take you step by step through the process of set­ting up Per­sonal Hotspot in Yosemite and iOS 8 so you can use your iPhone’s in­ter­net con­nec­tion on your Mac or iPad.

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