Wi-Fi is one of the most useful and important parts of using a computer, and yet it’s also one of the most frustrating. If you’re plagued by slow speeds, bad reception, and other Wi-Fi issues, here are a few ways you can power up the Wi-Fi in your home.
Use the Latest Wi-Fi Technologies
One of the best ways to make sure your network is as fast and reliable as possible is to use up-to-date hardware. The main thing you need to know: Wireless A, B, and G are old and slow, and wireless N (and the even newer wireless AC) will give you the fastest speeds around. Note that you’ll need both a wireless N router and a wireless N card in your computer if you want the full speed boost. The best routers also have to be dual band, which means it supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz signals.
Find the Perfect Spot for Your Router
Routers may be ugly, but that doesn’t mean you should hide them behind the TV cabinet. If you want the best signal, you’ll need it out in the open, free of any walls and obstructions. Point the antennas perpendicularly, and elevate the router if you can. Lastly, make sure its in the center of your house, so you have the best coverage possible throughout your home.
Get Rid of Interference from Other Appliances
Other routers aren’t the only thing that can cause interference. Cordless phones, microwaves, and other appliances can muck with your signal as well (we even had one client with a large metal bowl full of change in front of their router – we moved it and boom, great signal). Buying a dual band router can help with this, but you can also buy cordless phones on other bands too. If you don’t want to buy new hardware, you can always try moving your router further away from interfering appliances, too.
Thwart Wi-Fi Thieves with Better Security
Even if your router has a password, it can be really easy to hack. There are easy ways to find out if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi, but the best thing to do is just lock them out with better security. Using a WPA password is absolutely essential, but even those can be cracked pretty easily—so see our security recommendations here to fully protect your network from prying eyes.
Set Your Router to Reboot on a Schedule
If you’re one of the many folks that has to reboot their router every so often so it doesn’t drop out, there is a solution. You can run a few tests to make sure the problem isn’t caused by heat, old firmware, or excess downloading, but an easy way to solve the problem is just automatically reboot it once a day or so. You can do this with just a regular old outlet timer. When you’re done, you shouldn’t have to reboot your router so often.