5 ways to boost your home Wi-Fi network
Wi-Fi is a home necessity, but it can be infuriatingly slow sometimes. Find out how to get more oomph from your router with our quick fixes…
Do you struggle to get on online banking from your bed? Or find Netflix crashing right at that pivotal plot moment? Temperamental Wi-Fi is not ideal, especially when you’ve got a house full of demanding devices.
We’ve got some easy Wi-Fi hacks to help you boost your signal and stay online for as long as you like.
1. Reposition your router
Where you put your router is actually very strategic, so moving it can be a super quick and easy fix for poor Wi-Fi. If you haven’t gone wireless yet, you may be slightly hindered by the power cable, but the best place for router is in the middle of your house. Try to:
- Give it space, away from thick walls
- Put it on a shelf or on top of a cupboard
- Keep it away from your TV and windows
- Make sure you can see it
Basically, you want to give your router as much space as possible so it can send out strong signals in all directions.
You could also try a Whole Home Wi-Fi system which uses a network of several connected ‘discs’ or ‘points’ to cover all corners of your home. See how you can beat Wi-Fi blackspots and get BT Whole Home Wi-Fi.
2. Cut down on interference
Lots of things can affect your Wi-Fi signal, from fairy lights to fish tanks. We’re not joking! Water can absorb your Wi-Fi signal so it won’t travel as far. Walls and furniture can also block your signal, so hiding your router in a cupboard or behind the sofa isn’t doing you any favours.
Apart from circling back to our first point about moving your router into as much space as possible, the next fix to cut down on Wi-Fi interference is to change your router’s frequency.
This is a bit more involved but basically, Wi-Fi routers have dual band widths – this means you can switch it from 2.4GHz frequency, which most other appliances use, to 5GHz frequency, which should be a bit quieter.
3. Expand your limits
You might have noticed Netflix taking longer to stream when there are a couple of laptops, tablets and phones using the Wi-Fi too. That’s because your router can only handle a certain number of connections at once.
The easiest fix for this is a Wi-Fi range extender. These boost your signal by repeating it through an amplifier. If you’re brand loyal, go for one that will slot right into your home network. If you’re still using the router from your Wi-Fi provider, you’re probably better off going with a universal one to give you more oomph.
4. Get rid of hitchhikers
Everyone needs Wi-Fi but not everybody likes to pay for it. If your home Wi-Fi network isn’t secured, your neighbours can easily search for available networks and connect to yours.
As we said above, the more devices using your home Wi-Fi, the slower it will be – and you’ve probably got enough demand without other people sneakily piggybacking.
Make sure you change your router’s admin name and password to beef up security. If you want to go even further, you can encrypt your signal so that only your devices can use it.
5. Update or upgrade
Like all devices, the software for routers is constantly improving so you can connect and download quicker.
But this won’t help at all if your router is still working on an old version – you can check online for any updates if you’re well overdue one.
The other option is to ditch your outdated router altogether and go for a nice shiny new one. As well making sure you’re totally up to date with the latest tech, you can get handy additions, like automatic updates and smartphone apps.
You don’t have to stay with your broadband provider. The Google WiFi Whole Home System is compatible with all providers and you can add additional Google WiFi ‘points' to extend your Wi-Fi coverage to every room of your house.