Have a room in the house where the WiFi signal is ridiculously weak? Perhaps it’s the bedroom at the far end, or perhaps, it’s the kitchen. There’re just those WiFi dead zones where your high-speed wireless broadband connection just cannot reach.
If you’re sick of your Netflix and Spotify taking forever to load, here’s how you can solve your WiFi woes!
Choose the best spot for your router
The best and zero-cost option is to start by re-positioning your router to somewhere that allows better transmission of signal. Most routers beam WiFi signals in all directions. And, how strong these signals are depend on whether there are any objects, in between you and the router, that is interrupting your signals. So, when you have a router that’s surrounded by walls, metal objects, furniture, mirrors or even other electronic devices, these signals get interrupted.
To get the best signal out of your existing router, here’s where you can place it:
- Near the center of your house, as high up as possible, away from the floor. (Radio waves travel downwards more effectively)
- Away from cordless phones, mirrors, furniture, microwave, metal objects, which are known to be disruptive to your WiFi signals.
- Behind a sheet of curved aluminium foil. This foil can help to reflect your signals away from the wall, back to where you want them to be directed towards.
Besides choosing the best position for your router, how you place your antennas matter too! Tweak your antenna for wider coverage: Stick it up straight for better horizontal reach, or sideways for vertical reach. If you’re living in a multi-storey home, sideway antennas are the way to go.
Change your router frequency
Most routers are capable of sending signals on two network frequencies: One at 2.4GHz, and the other at 5GHz. Often times, the 2.4GHz frequency is more crowded, because it shares the same frequency as your cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens and so on. But if everyone in your WiFi network is using 5GHz, it will again become crowded too.
So, instead of always sticking to one frequency, try changing your frequency whenever you start experiencing weak signals. And if you can, try splitting your devices between these two networks, so that you are not overly crowded on one frequency alone.
Upgrade your router
If changing the position of your router or its frequency do not seem to help, then it could be an issue of your router being too outdated. For such cases, you can consider upgrading your firmware or your router itself.
Upgrade your firmware
If you have been using your router for some time, and you think the router’s performance is slowing down across the board, then you might want to upgrade your router’s firmware. Check with your router manufacturer or your Internet Service Provider to see if there are any new firmware releases available online.
Get a new router
If upgrading your firmware is still not solving your problem, the next option is to opt for a newer router. Before you hop off to buy the next router, check if your internet service provider provides free upgrades to your routers first!
Get WiFi extender
What if you’ve tried all the above methods but it still doesn’t seem effective enough? The next best option is to get additional devices that can boost your WiFi signals better. This is particularly useful for bigger homes.
For a start, you can make use of WiFi extenders to extend the coverage of your WiFi network so even the secluded corners that are farther away from your router can receive the WiFi signals. To do so, place your WiFi extender in between your router and your secluded corner. This way, your extender can receive your existing WiFi signals, and rebroadcast your signal to your weak-signal zones.
Finally, how to tell if your WiFi signals are finally stronger?
So, you’ve gone through the above recommendations. But, how do you know if these methods have really worked for you? It’s easy to find out with these steps!
- Before fixing anything, simply run a broadband speed test at each of your rooms. To do so, simply go to Google, and search for ‘speed test’, there will be an in-browser speed test for you. See below image for more details.
- Note down the download and upload speeds in each of your rooms.
- Now, make changes to your router, or follow any of the recommended solutions listed above.
- Run the broadband speed test again.
- Check if the download and upload speeds are now faster. If they are, your fixes have worked, and you are now enjoying stronger WiFi signals!