Improving WiFi Connections

WiFi is a radio wave that transmits on a 2.4 or 5 gigahertz frequency and is the means by which laptops and smartphones connect to the internet.

When looking at improving WiFi connection there are really two aspects – speed and distance and there are several factors that can impact on both of these aspects of performance.

How to Improve WiFi Connections

Obstructions and location

Radio waves can go through many objects such as walls, but this decreases the strength of the signal. The more metallic or dense the material, the more it blocks WiFi – walls, floors, furniture, mirrors and metal objects can all cause interference and signal degradation.  Don’t put things between the router and the computer if you can possibly avoid it.  Position your router to be centrally located in your home to where you use your wireless devices most often. Position the router up high, and preferably towards the center of the house – not on an external wall. Place the router on a table or bookcase to assist better reception.

Other signals

Anything with a signal can cause problems with your WiFi performance.  For this reason we recommend that you keep cordless phones, microwave ovens, and baby monitors at least 2 meters away from your wireless router – the further the better.

Updating the firmware

Check if there is a firmware update for your router. Do this by Googling the model of your router followed by the keyword “firmware.” Hopefully this will bring up a website with the most current version of your router’s firmware with instructions on how to download it.

Changing channels

Try changing the wireless channel on the router such as channels 1, 5, 9, or 13.  Channels are changed by going to the router interface – all routers have different ways to access the interface, so check with your manufacturer.

Safety

It’s important to put your wireless router in an elevated, safe position where it won’t get bumped or fall off or moved.

DD-WRT software

DD-WRT is open-source software for routers and can improve router performance.  Not all routers support it but the numbers are growing.  It is however warned that installing DD-WRT may quite possibly invalidate your router’s warranty.

Change your router to a dual-band N (802.11n) router

Dual band N routers can operate on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency.

Optimise your antenna

By moving the antenna of your router you may be able to boost your WiFi signal.

Use a second router

If a single router is not powerful enough to cover your entire house a second router may be required to extend the network’s range. The secondary router should be plugged into the main router’s LAN port and its setup utility run. the same addressing info should then be assigned then place the second router as far away as possible from the main router where the WiFi signal is weakest. It’s also important that you assign the same SSID and security on the second router and turn DHCP off on the second one as well.

Cordless phones

Check to make sure that your portable house phone is not using the same frequency as your WiFi as this can cause signal disruption.

Update adapter firmware

Network adaptors on PC’s and laptops are subject to firmware updates.  By going to the Network setting you can find the name of the adaptor and then go to the adapter’s manufacturer’s website to make sure that you have the most up-to-date firmware.

Upgrade

One option is to upgrade the network to 802.11n and using the 5 GHz band.  This should significantly improve the performance of the WiFi.

If you are still having problem with your wireless connection, please give us a call at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service on 3397 1215 and we will assist you.

Improving WiFi Connections

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Affordable Computer Repairs and Service Brisbane