Boost your Wi-Fi for the Christmas onslaught
Your home Wi-Fi network takes some hammering at Christmas – boost it to make sure it’s up to the job.
If the possibility of extra strain on your Wi-Fi over Christmas fills you with dread, then now’s the time to get your home network sorted.
Then you, the kids, and your guests can play those new PS4 and Xbox One games, wish Auntie Jean and Uncle Peter in New Zealand Happy Christmas on Skype, or stream films in 4K on your new Blu-Ray player – all at the same time.
Upgrade your router
You may have been given a free router from your broadband provider, but is it up to the job for the Xmas onslaught? If your router isn’t an AC speed-router then your new shiny Xmas presents will experience slow Wi-Fi. Upgrade to a faster AC-router which has Beamforming and even MIMO technology, which improves the Wi-Fi speed and range.
Take care that you choose the right type of router – a cable router will work with all Virgin Media packages as well as with the latest Fibre Broadband from all leading service providers like BT, PlusNet, TalkTalk and EE. If you are on a standard package (non-fibre) then choose a Modem Router. The Netgear Nighthawk R8000 is best for cable and fibre broadband (via phone line) and the Netgear D7000 is best for standard broadband via a phone line.
Top tip for a router
Look for 2 USB ports so you can connect a printer for everyone to share and even an external hard drive for more storage and sharing Xmas photos.
Get rid of the internet black holes with whole home Wi-Fi
It isn’t just the number of people using your Wi-Fi that can slow it down, but blackspots within your home can cause chaos, too. So, how do you get rid of the black holes that suck the life out of your internet and cause blind spots in your coverage?
There’s one simple solution that improves the Wi-Fi for all the family – whole home Wi-Fi. Working with all broadband providers, whole home Wi-Fi blankets your home in fast and reliable connectivity.
How does it work?
Wi-Fi blackspots make it hard to get online in rooms that are far away from your router, or are challenged by chunky walls or thickset staircases. Whole home Wi-Fi is a way of spreading your internet ‘signal’ over the entire building, giving an even coverage. Points or discs are spread out over your home, acting as a router wherever they are, connecting with the network and giving seamless connectivity.
If you struggle to tell one end of a USB from the other, then this system is the one for you. It isn’t techy to set up – you can manage everything via an app, where you’ll have access to parental controls and which devices to prioritise – letting you benefit from a strong wireless connection wherever you are.
Cut through thick walls or a big house with Powerline adapters
If you live in a large house, or your walls are quite thick, you might want to consider powerline adapters.
Powerlines are a more cost-effective solution to unstable Wi-Fi, achieving wired quality connectivity without the in-wall ethernet cables.
How does it work?
A Powerline kit turns any plug socket in your home into an internet access point and it’s super easy to set up.
It has 2 adapters, which can be plugged into mains sockets, one in any room in the house where you need a better connection, and the other next to your router.
Using an ethernet cable, you can then connect up both your router and any devices to the adapters as a way of wiring internet through the whole house.
This may sound old school, but it’s great for connecting up devices which stay in the same place such as a smart TV, desktop PC or games consoles. You’ll create a super-robust internet connection - great for an avid online gamer or those with a home office that need reliable internet to make sure they don’t miss out on important emails.
If you’re running many devices at the same time that require a high-speed connection then you can always plug in more adapters in other rooms.
Some powerline adapters even come with Wi-Fi connectivity, which creates a new Wi-Fi hotspot in the room of your choice.
Give your Wi-Fi a boost
The simplest solution to your Wi-Fi woes is to get an AC Wi-Fi booster.
How does it work?
Easy to set up with no extra software, a Wi-Fi booster extends the range of your existing Wi-Fi just a little bit further. Simply plug the little guy into a spare mains socket, and stream Spotify on your Sonos without it dropping out or stream Netflix with no complaints about speed.
It also has a dual band extender, allowing you to select the frequency you use – depending on whether you’re surfing the web close to your router, or wanting the signal to stretch out a couple of floors.