HOW TO IM­PROVE YOUR HOME’S WI-FI

HWM (Singapore) - - LEARN - by Kenny Yeo

If you ask peo­ple to cre­ate a list of items that they ab­so­lutely can­not live with­out, chances are, Wi-Fi will ap­pear very high on that list. There­fore, a dwin­dling Wi-Fi sig­nal is ev­ery­one’s night­mare. If you are suf­fer­ing from poor Wi-Fi per­for­mance at home, try these tips and so­lu­tions.

1. Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion

The sim­plest way to im­prove your Wi-Fi is to sim­ply po­si­tion the router in a more ideal lo­ca­tion. For the best per­for­mance, it should be in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion in your home. Other things to note in­clude not plac­ing it near any ob­struc­tions like walls, glass, mir­rors, or any elec­tronic or metal­lic ob­jects. In ad­di­tion, never ever place it on the oor. In­stead, try to put it in an el­e­vated po­si­tion, prefer­ably on a desk, side ta­ble, or con­sole ta­ble. Also, re­mem­ber to make sure the router’s an­ten­nas (if it has any) is put it an up­right ver­ti­cal po­si­tion.

2. Up­date its 9rmware

Router man­u­fac­tur­ers fre­quently make soft­ware tweaks to their routers to squeeze out more per­for­mance, so it makes sense to en­sure that your router is run­ning on the lat­est rmware. Most mod­ern routers can au­to­mat­i­cally up­date their rmware on their own and it is a good idea to turn this op­tion on. Im­proved per­for­mance aside, rmware up­dates can also some­times bring about new fea­tures and se­cu­rity up­dates for the router, which are just as im­por­tant.

3. Which fre­quency are you on?

Band steer­ing is a fea­ture found on many new routers these days, es­pe­cially tri-band ones. Band steer­ing au­to­mat­i­cally as­signs client de­vices to the router’s net­works. Users do not need to worry about con­nect­ing too many de­vices to a sin­gle net­work. This sounds good on pa­per, but in prac­tice, the router might some­times as­sign de­vices to the wrong net­works. Though the 2.4GHz net­work of your router pro­vides bet­ter cov­er­age, it is signicantly slower com­pared to the 5GHz net­work. If per­for­mance is crit­i­cal, you should al­ways con­nect to the 5GHz net­work. So for fussier and savvier users, our rec­om­men­da­tion is to man­age the net­works your­self and en­sure that your per­for­mance-crit­i­cal de­vices are con­nected to the faster 5GHz net­work.

4. Change your chan­nels

If you live in a densely pop­u­lated place, chances are, there are lots of other Wi-Fi net­works be­ing broad­casted apart

from yours. This can cause in­ter­fer­ence which re­sults in sig­nal degra­da­tion. The im­por­tant thing to note is that Wi-Fi net­works op­er­ate on dif­fer­ent chan­nels, so what you want to do is to use a chan­nel that is not used by the other Wi-Fi net­works in your area. To de­ter­mine what Wi-Fi chan­nels are free, use an app like Wi-Fi An­a­lyzer, which shows all the Wi-Fi net­works in your area and the chan­nels be­ing used. You can change your own Wi-Fi net­work’s chan­nel sim­ply by go­ing into your router’s man­age­ment sys­tem.

5 .Use Qual­ity of Ser­vice

Qual­ity of Ser­vice or QoS is a fea­ture that is avail­able on most routers to­day. Es­sen­tially, it helps man­age and pri­or­i­tize your con­nec­tions so that the most crit­i­cal ones get pri­or­ity over the oth­ers. For ex­am­ple, if video stream­ing is es­pe­cially im­por­tant to you, you could pri­or­i­tize over other con­nec­tion like gen­eral ones such as web brows­ing or emails. Some routers even al­low you to pri­or­i­tize de­vices over oth­ers. So if you are a gamer, you could as­sign pri­or­ity to your gam­ing con­sole or gam­ing PC over your work lap­top.

?. Use a range ex­ten­der or Power adapter

If you have tried the meth­ods above and still can’t get your Wi-Fi work­ing at a sat­is­fac­tory level, it is time to get help with ad­di­tional de­vices. Range ex­ten­ders are a rel­a­tively af­ford­able way of ex­pand­ing Wi-Fi cov­er­age at home but bear in mind that even if Wi-Fi cov­er­age is ex­panded, ex­pect per­for­mance to be neg­a­tively im­pacted.

Pow­er­line adapters let users quickly cre­ate a wired net­work in their homes. They are gen­er­ally not quite as quick as a true Eth­er­net con­nec­tion, but they are still faster than Wi-Fi con­nec­tions. How­ever, they can un­re­li­able at times and they need to be plugged di­rectly into a wall socket and not through a power strip, adapter, or surge pro­tec­tor.

C. witch to a mesh net­work­ing so­lu­tion

Mesh net­work­ing de­vices are ar­guably the most ad­vanced way to ex­pand Wi-Fi cov­er­age at home. Easy to setup and use, these de­vices use Wi-Fi to com­mu­ni­cate with each other to ex­pand Wi-Fi cov­er­age. Their ex­i­bil­ity also makes them ideal for use in large homes or homes with odd lay­outs. That said, mesh net­work­ing sys­tems can be pricey and they are quite lim­ited in their abil­ity to ex­pand Wi-Fi cov­er­age, which means mul­ti­ple satel­lites or nodes may be re­quired to ef­fec­tively ex­pand Wi-Fi cov­er­age over a large area.

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