Jul 16, 2018

5 Solutions to improve Your Wi-Fi Signal

Does the thought of improving your Wi-Fi signal appeal to you? Of course it does, because you use it on your laptop, your phone, and you may even use it to control your entertainment and security systems. To help you troubleshoot a few of the simpler solutions from the comfort of your own home, MetroFibre Networx offers 5 convenient solutions you can try:

1. How old is your router?

Outdated hardware, especially with computers and mobile devices, is a well-known limiting factor. For example, if you have a 10 Mbps line but your old router has a maximum output of 5 Mbps, you’ll only ever get up to half of what you’re paying for. Also, even if your router is not outdated, its firmware might need an update.

Talking about the router and how long it’s been operating, another simple solution is the famous “have you tried turning it off and back on again.” Rebooting your router by switching it off and waiting for 30 seconds before turning it on again often solves the problem (which usually arises from minor software faults in routers that are left on for extended periods). You could also connect your router to a timed switch (make sure to use surge protector plugs) which will switch the router on and off automatically at whatever time you wish to set it for.

2. Move disruptive appliances away from your router

You’ve seen signal jammers in movies, right? Well, you actually have a lot more Wi-Fi jamming devices in your home than you think. Appliances such as microwaves, baby monitors, cordless phones and even other routers can broadcast signals which actively counter your Wi-Fi (if you are operating on the 2.4Ghz frequency).

So if you have any of these appliances positioned nearby your router, try moving them away and see if there’s an improvement. Alternatively, if you’re worried that a neighbour’s Wi-Fi is disrupting your signal, you can try following this guide from Tech Advisor on changing your router channel.

3. Location is key

For most fibre users your ONT (Optical Network Terminal) is installed in the most convenient installation location, in some cases before you move in. It can be quite costly to get this point moved, so rather consider using range extenders to get the signal throughout your house. Also, you’ll want your most extensively used devices (like the TV or computer) as close to the router as possible.

As a point of interest here, the 2.4Ghz frequency can cover a wider area, but is more prone to interference and speed drops. 5Ghz, on the other hand, provides better speeds at close range but isn’t great at range and suffers from interference from walls. So you’ll want to use 2.4Ghz for wide-range areas of your home and 5Ghz near bandwidth-intensive devices.

4. Consider using wired connections

Users who are sharing their bandwidth with others in the home or office space may end up competing for that bandwidth. You will find that video streaming is data-intensive and may require more bandwidth, causing other services to lag. This also tends to grow more severe with more users on the Wi-Fi.

A wired (Ethernet cable) connection is always more stable than the Wi-Fi signal from the same router. So for bandwidth intensive activities like gaming and HD streaming, consider using a wired connection instead. Also, by making use of a cable you will be redirecting traffic from the wireless.

5. Get in touch with the professionals

Contacting your ISP is always your best option for knowledgeable and reliable service. Technicians are familiar with the challenges so they can help you troubleshoot.