By Marco Horn / Yahoo Tech
5 Easy Ways to Get Your WiFi Running Faster
Can you relate? If you’re sick of cruddy WiFi — or, worse, dreaded dead zones — luckily there are plenty of other hacks and tools you can try.
Here are five easy ways to boost your WiFi router’s range and speed at home or at the office:
1. Put your WiFi router in its (proper) place.
The right place, not under the kitchen sink. For the strongest possible wireless connection, position your WiFi router on a flat surface off the floor, closest to the center of your home, if possible.
Somewhere up high and out in the open is best, away from thick, dense brick, stone, metal, or concrete walls that could hamper the signal.
Even some wallpapers hinder WiFi radio waves (and some are even designed to).Be sure to station your router so that signals will go straight through walls, as opposed to at an angle. WiFi signals significantly weaken when they hit walls at angles.
If you’re in a multi-floor home or office, place your router on the top floor for maximum coverage.You’ll also want to situate your router at least 10m from certain devices and objects that could interfere with your WiFi signal, like refrigerators, baby monitors, microwaves, cordless phones, garage door openers, speakers, halogen lamps, and mirrors.
2. Switch the channel.
TVs aren’t the only gadgets that have channels you can change.
To reduce interference from neighbouring WiFi networks, switch the channel on yours (according to the instructions on your specific router model) to channel 1, 6, or 11.
These are the best and most common channels for wireless networking, according to Best Buy. If you switch and your signal is still, try another channel (2 through 10) until you find one that maintains a strong connection.
3. Buy a high-gain WiFi antenna.
Most WiFi routers come with an antenna or two, but sometimes they’re not strong enough to send signals to hard-to-reach areas and distant corners. Adding a high-gain or “booster” antenna to your router can fix the problem, instantly extending and strengthening your router’s range. Plus, they give you coverage over large areas, often throughout entire homes, offices, warehouses, and outdoor spaces.
A decent variety of high-gain antennas are available at most electronics stores, online and off. Consider buying a reliable, widely-used one.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a techie-type to install a high gain antenna. Simply unscrew your router’s existing antenna and screw on the new one. No cables. No drivers. No fuss.
4. Buy a plug-in extender.
High-gain antennas broadcast your WiFi signal, and WiFi extenders, also called repeaters, rebroadcast them with improved range and speed. WiFi dead zones.
They can be used at the same time as high-gain antennas.PC World contributing editor Lincoln Spector finds extenders more effective than their high-gain cousins, but he notes that they’re generally more expensive than them.
The process of finding my extender’s sweet spot is a little hit-or-miss.
I often have to move it a bit to find the best location, and I occasionally have to tilt the antennas on it.
Also, I use only one extender, but you could use more than one, if needed.
5. Be a bad sharer.
Stop sharing your WiFi network’s name with your neighbours. How? By turning off its service set identifier (SSID) broadcasting option. Doing so blocks people (strangers!) in your vicinity from seeing your network — and mooching off it and slowing it down.
More importantly, it reduces your risk of getting hacked. Speaking of security, if you haven’t already, take a moment to password-protect your WiFi network.d.
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