Stronger Wi-Fi: How a beamforming router can beat internet slowdown
Improve your Wi-Fi connection and combat slow internet speeds for good with these easy ways to boost your signal.
Is your download speed slowing you down? Or do you get stuck buffering tracks when you’re streaming music?
These days, we connect a lot of devices to the internet at one time – from computers, tablets and smartphones, to TVs and Smart home devices. So it’s no surprise that this can all have an impact on the speed of your wireless connection.
The good news is you don't have to live with slow internet speeds, as there are several easy ways you can improve your signal.
Connecting the important devices directly: Powerlines
Do you mostly use devices like a desktop computer, games console or Smart TV that rely on a strong internet connection, but stay in one place? A wired connection via a Powerline may be ideal here
How does it work?
Powerlines use your home's electrical plug sockets to transfer your internet signal around your house. You plug one in near the router and another near the device you are connecting, then simply connect a network cable from the Powerline adapter to your device.
Because the connection is wired, it should be more consistent and stable than a wireless signal.
Find out more about Powerlines here.
Stronger and more direct Wi-Fi: AC routers and beamforming technology
If you’re planning to use your laptop around the house or stream Netflix shows to your tablet in bed, an AC router with beamforming technology is a good option to give your Wi-Fi signal a boost. AC routers provide the fastest and strongest wireless networks currently available.
You can find more information on AC routers here.
How does it work?
Regular routers send data out in all directions – so the overall strength of the signal is weaker. Instead, beamforming directly targets it to the devices that need it for a much stronger connection.
A good way to visualise this is to imagine you’re shouting to someone a distance away. If you just use your voice they'll hear you, but if you point a megaphone at them your voice will carry further and sound louder.
The router works out the best way to send the signal to your device, so you get the strongest and fastest connection possible. This still works even if you move your device around the house – it’ll let the router know where it is and work out a new best signal path.
One AC router that uses beamforming technology is the Netgear Nighthawk. If you’re using multiple devices such as a phone, laptop and tablet, this router will assign each one its own Wi-Fi band for a smoother, more reliable browsing experience – wherever you are in the home.
Download large files or play online games without any impact on your regular Wi-Fi thanks to the tri-band signal. It uses 3 separate wireless signals – one standard, and two high-powered (5ghz) so you have that extra oomph when needed.
Another router that delivers a Wi-Fi signal directly to whichever device you’re using at the time is the Asus DSL-AC68U. This is a dual-band router running two wireless signals: one standard and one high-powered (5ghz).
Either way, you can connect more than 20 devices to both the Asus and Netgear routers.