When your Wi-Fi signal goes down, so do all your cool high-tech devices. This article provides two tips you can use to boost your Wi-Fi signal without spending a dime.
When home Wi-Fi networks first became popular, few devices were able to use the signals. There were laptops, of course, and a few cell phones. Smartphones were not yet mainstream, and Internet-enabled television sets were still high-priced toys for the wealthy. But as the popularity of Wi-Fi continued to grow, more and more devices were manufactured with built in Wi-Fi. Suddenly the wireless router had a lot more to do, and early adopters often found that their home networks could not keep up with the demand.
Modern homes are likely to have not just laptops but smartphones, tablets and smart TVs as well. Powering all of those wireless devices off of a single Wi-Fi router can be a struggle, but there are simple ways to boost the signal and get everyone online. Best of all, these techniques do not cost a cent.
Relocate Your Router
The location of your wireless router matters more than you know, and simply moving it could yield remarkable results. Wi-Fi routers use multidirectional antennas, which simply means that the signal travels out equally in all directions. If your router is currently resting against an exterior wall, that means half of the signal is heading outdoors. That might be great if you love to surf the web from the deck, but it is not too good if you need to use your tablet in a back bedroom or den.
If you live in a one-story house, the optimum place for the router is the exact center of the home. It may not be possible to exactly center the router, but getting as close as you can should optimize the signal and eliminate most dead spots.
If your home is two-story, the router should be placed either high up on the first floor or down low on the second floor. Mounting the device on the ceiling of the first floor near the center of the home can extend your signal significantly. If you do not feel like getting out the ladder, placing the router on the floor in the upper floor of the home can accomplish the same goal. Just make sure the area is protected so the device does not get damaged inadvertently.
Check The Settings
If you have relocated the router and still experience dead spots and poor coverage, you may need to actually tweak the settings of the device. Wi-Fi routers broadcast on a number of different channels, with most modern devices using either channel 1, 6 or 11.
Other devices in the home and nearby can interfere with those Wi-Fi signals and cause slowdowns and interruptions. Changing to another available channel can eliminate such problems and boost your signal.
To tweak the settings on your router you will need its IP address. That IP address can be found in the manual that came with the device. Just type the IP address into a web browser to access the settings and see which channel the device is using to broadcast.
You pay a lot of money to keep your home Wi-Fi network up and running, and you deserve to have all your devices share the signal. Finding simple and free ways to boost your home Wi-Fi network and make it more efficient will allow everyone in the family to get more out of their smartphones, tablets, laptops and other digital devices.