Top 10 Ways to Boost Your WiFi

Working and studying from home at the moment while you hide from COVID-19. Need to improve your internet performance?

You can give Local Computer Help a call on 1300 883 831 to help or you can try some of these great tips in this comprehensive article from NetSpot.

Why Is My WiFi Signal So Bad? 5 Factors That Affect WiFi Performance

WiFi can be a fickle thing. You may be enjoying a perfectly strong WiFi signal, move just a few steps in one direction, and watch it drop to one bar. The seemingly unreliable nature of WiFi networks has everything to do with the fact that there are many factors that influence their performance.

1. Select a Good Place for Your Router

Not all places are equally suitable for your router. To start with, you want to avoid placing your router close to metal objects and appliances that emit electromagnetic waves. Metal is the top disrupter of a WiFi signal, and its presence close to a WiFi router can easily create a large dead zone

2. Keep Your Router Updated

If you follow the news, you’ve heard about the growing number of large-scale malware attacks that are costing businesses and individuals alike billions every year. Many of these attacks wouldn’t be possible if all routers were kept updated. Once a malware infects a router, it can steal bandwidth and spread itself across the network to other devices.

3. Get a Stronger Antenna

Most WiFi routers come with small, weak antennas. It’s not that manufacturers want to save every cent they can, but powerful WiFi antennas tend to be hideously large. Compared to the antenna that came with your router, which probably is just a few inches tall and has around 4 dB gain, a 10-dB antenna can be anywhere between 10 to 15 inches tall.

4. Cut Off WiFi Leeches

An encrypted, password-protected WiFi is a must in this day and age. With more people than ever relying on WiFi, the hunger for open, fast WiFi networks is real. Don’t think that your neighbors won’t use your WiFi network just because they have their own — they will.

5. Buy a WiFi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender

Even though they are referred to by many names, WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are basically the same thing.

WiFi repeaters are relatively simple devices that take an existing signal from your WiFi router and rebroadcast it as a new network. This new network is just an extension of your main network, and all data that go through it also go through the main network.

WiFi boosters and extenders are very similar, but they also amplify the existing signal before rebroadcasting it to create a second network. Because WiFi boosters typically have greater range than WiFi repeaters, they make sense in situations where the original signal is very weak.

6. Switch to a Different WiFi Channel

Just like lanes on the highway, there are multiple WiFi channels on which a WiFi router can broadcast. Even though most countries have six non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11, and 14), many users leave their router set on the default channel, which is usually either Channel 1 or Channel 6.

7. Control Bandwidth-Hungry Applications and Clients

It takes just one bandwidth-hungry application or a client to make download and upload speeds come to a crawl for everyone else on the same WiFi network. Luckily, modern routers support services like QoS (Quality of Service), which allow users to prioritize certain applications over others. With QoS, your online gaming session won’t ever be interrupted again by a person watching a 1440p video on YouTube or downloading a huge Linux distribution from the Internet.

8. Use the Latest WiFi Technologies

The newest wireless technology, IEEE 802.11ac, offers superior download and upload speeds as well as improved range compared to older WiFi technologies, such as IEEE 802.11b, g, and others. To take advantage of the latest WiFi technologies to boost home WiFi, you need to make sure that both your home router and your WiFi-enabled devices, such as smartphones and laptops, support them.

9. Switch to 5 GHz

The 5 GHz wireless frequency provides faster data rates at shorter distances and is typically much less busy than the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. If your router supports it, consider switching to it for an instant short-range speed boost.

10. Don’t Forget to Reboot

The timeless IT advice, “If it doesn’t work, try switching it on and off”, also applies to WiFi routers. A simple reboot is often enough to considerably improve your WiFi speeds.