Internet: can’t live without it, but in some cases, you can’t live with it either. There are few things more frustrating than a spotty WiFi connection when you’re trying to get something done. If you’re struggling to connect your computer or mobile device to the signal, or experiencing lag, it can seriously delay your work or impede your relaxation. Here are a few tips to ensure your WiFi signal is strong and reliable.
Change The Channel
One common cause of poor WiFi signal strength has to do with broadcasting channels. Routers can access 11 channels to broadcast on, but typically use 1,6, or 11 because those are spaced out enough to avoid interference from the others. But if you’re in an area with lots of wireless routers all broadcasting on one channel, the routers will interfere with each others’ speed and capacity.
Here’s an easy way to tell; if you can see the other wireless networks when you go to access your own, it means they’re probably on your channel. When troubleshooting or even originally setting up your WiFi system, access the router’s settings (usually using its IP address) to see which channel the router will broadcast on.
While it might be tempting to head for a channel like three or seven, there must be a space of at least five channels between signals to avoid interference, which is why 1,6, and 11 are the most commonly used. For many Web users, changing from the default channel in their area to one that is less populated solves speed and connectivity issues.
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Utilize Both Frequencies
Most WiFi routers contain radios to broadcast Internet signal that can operate on two different frequencies: the standard 2.4GHz and the more recently available 5GHz (5G). 5G frequencies enable devices to perform at faster speeds, but only if the devices themselves are 5G compatible too. 5G connections are great for companies or individuals who need to do lots of video streaming or conferencing, handle lots of calls through VoIP, or download large files regularly.
If you have a 5G router, consider only connecting certain devices to the 5G connection and keeping some on the traditional lower-speed frequency. You can essentially look at it as two separate networks—one will not affect the other’s performance, but that way the devices that are 5G compatible can reap the full benefit of the faster service.
Beef Up Dead Zones
Dead zones are areas that should under any normal circumstances receive a WiFi signal from your router, but don’t. There can be many contributing factors to what seems like an infuriating mystery when you’re in the heat of a moment of lost connectivity. Believe it or not, physical barriers like concrete can disrupt signal strength. Just like the frequency between two walkie-talkies can be interrupted by distance and other environmental factors, so can what is basically the radio signal between your router and the computer’s wireless card. This is where adding a few WiFi extenders can save the day. (If you’re part of our group purchasing program, you can even get some from ITsavvy at a discount!) By strategically placing these little signal boosters, you can broadcast the wireless connection around barriers or other obstacles.
Internet connectivity is one of the critical needs of today’s business world and even just normal citizens. Without WiFi we wouldn’t be able to stay connected, entertained, informed, productive, and okay, sometimes even distracted. We hope these tips strengthen your signal enough that a slow connection never interrupts any of those states again…though we also know that’s impossible.
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