While a wireless internet connection offers a lot of conveniences, it also has a few problems. Since Wi-Fi uses radio signals, it’s going to have a finite range and strength limitations. Such constraints can affect your internet speed and can therefore affect your work, studies or leisure time.
In this blog, we’re going to talk about five easy ways to fix a weak Wi-Fi signal. We’ll mostly be discussing simple methods that you can do on your own, but we’ll also touch on more complex methods that may require a licensed electrician.
Should you upgrade your router?
The first question that most people will be asking is: should I upgrade my router? Well, before you start spending money on the latest tech, you need to first troubleshoot the problem.
The first thing you should do is get an Ethernet cable and plug in your computer directly to the router. Once that’s done, run a speed test to see how fast your connection is. The maximum speed that you can get will depend on what broadband plan you have. If the speed test results are similar to the maximum speed of your internet plan, the problem might be with your Wi-Fi connection as opposed to the router itself.
To double-check this, remove the Ethernet cable and stand right next to the router. If the wireless speed is similar to the Ethernet connection, then the issue might be with your Wi-Fi coverage.
If the speed is significantly slower, then your router is probably in need of an upgrade. In this case, you should contact your internet service provider (ISP) or upgrade your router yourself.
Find an optimal position
Once you’ve established that it is your Wi-Fi coverage that’s to blame, there are few things that you can do. Firstly, check the position of your router. If it’s in a low corner or in a closed cabinet, you’re not going to be able to get proper coverage.
Remember, routers send radio signals in all directions. Because of this, it’s best to place them in a central location in your home so that it has a better chance of reaching the farthest rooms. It’s also good practice to place your router on an elevated platform.
Depending on the layout of your home, you may need to install a more central data point so that you can relocate your router. For this job, you will need to hire a licensed electrician. Alternatively, you can also install wireless access points, allowing you to connect to the Wi-Fi in different parts of your home.
Get a repeater or an antenna
A Wi-Fi repeater is a booster device that ‘repeats’ the radio signal emitted by your router and spreads it across a larger area. Similarly, a directional antenna can broadcast the signal towards a weak spot in your home. There are also omni-directional antennas that can boost your Wi-Fi signal in all directions.
Both antennas and repeaters can be bought for a low price and can be installed quite easily. So, before upgrading your router or buying more expensive devices, it might be a good idea to try these affordable products first.
Kick off intruders
In some cases, the problem might not be with your signal. Slow internet connection can also be caused by having too many users on your network. Unwelcome users might be guests or even your neighbours.
A simple way to combat this is to create a strong WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) password. As much as possible, avoid WEP (Wired Equipment Privacy) as it is an older security standard and is not as secure as WPA.
If you’re struggling to come up with a strong password, try to mix it up with lowercase letters, uppercase letters, numbers and special characters. It also helps to use personal acronyms as opposed to simple words and phrases.
Check for interference
It’s also possible that other devices in your home are interfering with your router’s radio signals. Here is a list of devices that could interfere with your Wi-Fi connection:
- Radios and baby monitors
- Bluetooth devices
- TV receivers
- Audio equipment
Non-electrical objects such as concrete walls can also hinder your internet connection.
To get around this, you need to make sure that your router is far away from interfering devices. If possible, it’s also good to turn off those interfering devices when they’re not in use.
We hope that this has helped you get a better understanding of your Wi-Fi connection. As you can see, there are plenty of factors that can affect the quality of your internet speed. Because of this, it’s important that you’re deliberate with how you set up your wireless devices and networks. With just a little bit of effort, you can study and work from home with no issues at all.