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WiFi Woes

We’ve all been there....

 

Be it at work, school or even our own home, at some point we have been driven to the point of hitting our devices as Netflix pauses Archer to buffer for the umpteenth time or that software update takes an aeon to download.

 

There are many reasons why your WiFi signal strength can vary so greatly, most of them down to the router’s placement relative to your device and your surroundings, but there are ways to mitigate the problem. We’re going to look at a few solutions in this post whilst we wait for our buffer of Man Vs. Food to catch up. 

 

1 - Use a 2.4GHz-band network when you’re a long way from the router or it is physically obstructed.

 


2 - Conversely, use a 5GHz-band network if you’re closer to the router or have a lot of other devices using 2.4GHz. On routers that offer both bands, the choice should be made by selecting the SSID (jargon for ‘the name of your home network’) that ends in ‘5GHz’.

 


3 - Use Ethernet connections with big devices in close proximity to the router, e.g. TVs and consoles. These do not benefit from WiFi’s portability but will from Ethernet’s consistently higher speeds.

 


4 - Place your router upstairs above the room you’re most likely to use the Internet in. Radio waves travel best in a downward direction, so this offers the best coverage levels throughout the house in general.

 


5 - Consider a WiFi extender or mesh network product for three-storey properties or old houses with brick wall partitions. These can be wired or wireless and are very simple to buy and set-up.

 


6 - Try to limit the number of devices using bandwidth-intensive applications all at once. Examples of such use would include HD video streaming and online gaming, amongst others.

 


7 - Consider purchasing a router featuring MIMO (multiple antennae) and beam-forming if possible. This kind of router offers beam-forming technology to ‘see’ your devices’ locations and actively direct the radio waves towards them in order to give you the most efficient data transfer - even through walls.

 


8 - Make sure you’re using the fastest ‘type’ of WiFi that your devices and router support. Commonly, this will be type ’n’ but the latest Apple iPhones, Macs and iPads also have the newest ‘ac’ standard’. Older devices may only work with the ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘g’ types.

 


9 - If you have a study/office in your loft, consider placing the router below it in an upstairs room. This will offer the best overall coverage between all rooms in the house.

 


10 - If you live in a flat or work in a busy office space where there are already a lot of WiFi networks, it’s a good idea to change the channel in your router’s settings menu. This is another step you can take to minimise interference with other nearby devices.

 

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