Do you struggle to get a signal in bed? Or find Netflix crashing right at the most crucial plot moment? Here are five ways you can speed up your internet and make your Wi-Fi more reliable...
1. Upgrade your router
Have you ever looked for your router’s IEEE number? It’s usually included somewhere on the box. Why do we ask? Because there are letters at the end of this number that tell you what type of router you’ve got.
And, if you’ve got a type ‘N’ router, you may want to think about upgrading to a newer ‘AC’ model.
Choosing an AC model with Beamforming and MIMO technology will not only improve Wi-Fi speed but the range it covers too.
But take care to pick the right type of router for your network – a cable router works with all VirginMedia packages plus Fibre Broadband packages from BT, PlusNet, TalkTalk and EE.
Thinking about shopping for a new AC router? Try the Netgear Nighthawk X6 R8000
Got a standard, non-fibre package? Choose a Modem Router like the Netgear Nighthawk D7000
Top tip: Opt for a router with 2 USB ports. Then you can connect a printer for everyone to share and an external hard drive for storage and photo sharing.
2. Reposition your router or use a Wi-Fi booster to banish dead spots
Moving your router can be one of the easiest fixes because where you put it can make all the difference to poor quality Wi-Fi. You’ll want to put it somewhere central to your house, and 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.
Try adding a range extender
If you can’t avoid thick walls in your house, you could try a Wi-Fi range extender to give the signal a boost. The TP-LINK RE200 Wi-Fi Range Extender is a great choice because it’s easy to plug in wherever you want, and is compact but powerful enough to give you more coverage around the home.
Use a whole home Wi-Fi system
Another option is to add a whole home Wi-Fi system which blankets your home in fast and reliable connectivity.
All you need to do is plug these handy hubs into rooms where you have weak or no Wi-Fi signal and they’ll connect to your network to spread the signal seamlessly across your home.
3. Cut down on interference
Lots of things can get in the way of your Wi-Fi signal, even fairy lights and fish tanks. We’re not joking! Water can absorb your Wi-Fi signal, so it won’t travel as far as it should.
Walls and furniture can also block things up, so hiding your router in a cupboard or behind the sofa might look tidier, but it isn’t doing your signal any favours.
Apart from going back to our first point about moving your router to give it as much space as you can, the next fix to cut down on Wi-Fi interference is to change your router’s frequency.
This is a bit more technical, but basically, Wi-Fi routers have ‘dual bandwidths’ – and this means you can switch it from the 2.4GHz frequency (which most other appliances use) to 5GHz frequency, which should help you out.
4. Improve your wifi signal with a Powerline adapter
Don’t you just hate it when your Wi-Fi signals can’t get through thick walls? Or when they don’t quite reach the other side of your home?
If you’re feeling forever let down by your connection, Powerlines offer a cost-effective solution. They can help you achieve high-quality connectivity without having to use in-wall ethernet cables.
A Powerline kit turns any plug socket in your home into an internet access point. What’s more, it’s super easy to set up. The kit comes with two adapters – one plugs in next to your router while the other goes in a mains socket in the room where you need flawless Wi-Fi. Then, using an ethernet cable, you can connect your router (or other devices) to the adapters and wire internet through your whole house.
It may sound old school but it’s ideal for connecting devices you hardly ever move, like smart TVs, desktop PCs or games consoles. They’re perfect for avid online gamers or those with a home office who need reliable internet.
Need to run multiple devices at the same time? Just plug in more adapters in other rooms.
5. Get rid of hitchhikers
Everyone needs Wi-Fi, but not everybody likes to pay for it. An unsecured Wi-Fi network is like an invitation to use your internet for free, with your neighbours easily being able to connect to your network and use your precious bandwidth.
As we said, the more devices using your Wi-Fi, the slower it will be – and you’ve probably got enough demand without other people sneaking on.
Make sure you change your router’s default admin name and password to beef up security. If you want to go even further, you could even encrypt your signal so that only your devices can use it.
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