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6 easy ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal

6 easy ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal

Friday 09 June 2017

boost Wi-Fi signal

The most hated symbol that can show up in your browser is probably the buffering symbol. When movies keep stopping in the middle of a heart-wrenching scene, your Facebook feed can’t load images or videos anymore or you only get the best signal when you sit right next to your router, it’s time to take matters in your own hands and boost your Wi-Fi signal. Issues like outdated hardware, interference from other wireless devices or the position of your router in the house might be slowing your connection down.

Don’t worry! You don’t need to call a technician in. Our 6 easy ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal, will help you to get your connection up to speed yourself:

Take a broadband speed test

To be able to tell if your internet speed has changed, take a speed test before and after you made changes. There are a few things that can affect your broadband speed test. To get flawless results, make sure you do the following:

  1. Connect to the internet via Ethernet cable and not your Wi-Fi.
  2. Don’t download movies or perform any other data-heavy feats while you’re running a speed test.
  3. Take the test at different times throughout the day. Just like there are more cars in rush hour traffic, there are more people online at certain times of the day. This can also slow down your connection.

You jotted down the results you got but have no idea what the numbers mean? The results on the speedometer show your download and upload speed. Your download speed is the rate at which your computer downloads data from the internet. Upload speed means how fast you’re able to upload files from your laptop to the internet. Download speeds are usually higher than upload speeds, as providers assume that users download more than they upload. Speeds are measured in Megabits per second (Mbps) and shouldn’t be confused with Megabytes (MB). 8 bits make up a byte. For example, if your result is 8Mbps, you’re downloading or uploading 1 Megabyte (MB) per second.

Here's a quick overview of how long it will take you to download certain files with different internet speeds:

Item   Size (Mb) 4Mbps 8Mbps 16Mbps 32Mbps 50Mbps 100Mbps
Single song single song 5 10s 5s 2.5s 1.25s 0.8s 0.4s
YouTube Clip (HQ) YouTube Clip 50 1m40s 50s 25s 12.5s 8s 4s
Album (HQ) Album 100 3m20s 1m40s 50s 25s 16s 8s
TV show (HQ) tv show 450 15m 7m30s 3m45s 1m52s 1m12s 36s
Film (HQ) film 1500 50m 25m30s 12m30s 6m15s 4m 2m

 

Reposition your router

Is your router hidden in a cupboard in the hall? Placing your router into an enclosed space like that can slow down your signal as much as the walls do that it will need to penetrate before it gets to your bedroom upstairs. Put your router in a central elevated space for the signal to spread out unhindered by too many walls or doors. Get all other wireless devices and put them as far away as possible from your router.

If you’re worried that the black box ends up destroying your carefully arranged interior design, just get creative. Hide your router with style and in a way that doesn’t interfere with the signal, for example, in the cover of a book.

Boost your signal

You’re still getting different speeds depending on where you are in the house although the router is now placed in a central area of your house?

You might want to opt for some extra hardware to amplify your Wi-Fi signal to reach even the bedroom in the attic. A Wi-Fi booster can extend your router’s signal and solve your problem at a little extra cost.

If you don’t want to invest in additional gear for your Wi-Fi, you can go for the DIY option and turn a beer can into parabolic antenna to boost your signal. Just cut off the bottom and the top of a beer can. Then slice it down the middle to form a sheet of metal and place it around the back of your router’s antenna.

Secure your Wi-Fi network

Make sure you have a secure Wi-Fi password to keep any rude neighbours from tapping into your network and slowing you down. If you feel that is what could be causing the problem, you can change your password in three simple steps:

  1. Look for the IP address of your router printed on the device and enter the number in your browser.
  2. Login with your admin password and username that you should also find on the router. If not, ask your provider for more details.
  3. Create a new password to protect your Wi-Fi in the settings tab of the administration panel.

Other options to speed up the performance of your router and internet connection are to change the frequency and to a less busy channel that your neighbours aren’t using. Wireless routers are usually set to a frequency of 2.4 Ghz by default but many other devices may run on the same frequency and slow your connection down. Try changing the frequency from 2.4 Ghz to 5 Ghz in the administrator panel of your router and check if that improves your internet speed.

WiFi signals are also divided into channels. Devices within a close range of each other can end up on the same channel. This way some channels can become more crowded than others. Here’s a way to switch to a different channel and benefit from better speeds:

Upgrade your hardware and software

Your old router from five years ago might have a hard time keeping up with the change in technology. Don’t get left behind and make sure your firmware is up to date. Check for updates in the administration panel of your router. If it is too out of date for updates, you can ask your provider to replace your old router with a new one. Most internet service providers offer this service free of charge now.

Switch providers

After you followed the above steps, check your speed test results again. Are you getting faster broadband speeds now or are you still unhappy with the results? Our internet speed test also shows you results logged by other users in your area. If you see that your neighbours are getting better speeds with a different provider, you can get started on comparing broadband deals and switch for a better online experience.

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