Forget about trying to get toilet paper, we’re all dealing with a need for more wifi! We’ve figured out how to get groceries, but to keep entertaining ourselves (and do work, remember that?) we’re going to need to do whatever we can to get more internet speed and boost our home wifi signals.
Here’s five ways to get more speed from your home wifi.
Upgrade your Plan
Check your internet speed at speedtest.net to see if you’ve got adequate bandwidth. 25 mbps is fine when your whole family is together, watching just one device. But get everyone on a different device, doing different things? That download rate isn’t going to be sufficient.
Maybe you just need to upgrade for a short time to ride out “stay at home” … or maybe you’ll want to keep it for when you expand your home entertainment options. I once installed a system for a client who had a dozen televisions! That needed some serious bandwidth.
There are a number of internet service providers who are offering free or low-cost access for households, especially those with school-age children, so call and ask them what they can do for you.
Upgrade Your Hardware
Your router takes in the internet signal from your modem (sometimes these are in one device) and “routes” it to all the devices on your network, much of it by wifi.
If your router is more than a few years old, it’s worth getting a new one. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, although that gets you a better device.
But even a moderately-priced, new router can boost your wifi signal because of improvements in the wifi tech allows for better transmission through the same pipeline. Look for WiFi 6 to make sure you’re getting the latest generation of wifi.
You especially want to upgrade if you’re using the same router you got two years ago when you signed up with your ISP. They add all kinds of unneeded software and they don’t really great hardware in the first place. Buy your own tech and stop renting their junk!
Expand Your WiFi Network
If all you were doing was watching TV or using your laptop in the living room, your one router was fine. But now, everyone in the house is trying to get as far away from each other as possible and stream video.
Maybe you don’t need faster wifi, you just need it to have a stronger hime wifi signal with faster speeds and a bigger range.
I’m a big fan of the new(ish) mesh network systems. The technology has been around for a long time, but it’s now become very home-user friendly with inexpensive systems from companies like Netgear and Lynksys.
These replace the old “extenders” which were hard to set up and transitioning from one extender to another was a pain, if you moved around your house you had to unconnect from one to the next. They’re especially great if you have a big house, like a lot of my clients. I had one with a 6000 square foot house and we got them onto mesh as soon as possible.
Nodes in a mesh network talk to each other, so they create a seamless experience. Plus, they’re really easy to install because you just plug them into wall outlets and connect them to your network.
Position Your Router
If new hardware or upgrades aren’t an option right now, try finding a better spot for your current router. I can’t say it will make a huge difference, but it will help a little.
A wifi signal is sent out as a big sphere. It just radiates out in all directions from the antenna, so if it’s sitting on the floor, you’re sending a lot of signal into the ground. Raise your device up to a higher shelf so you get the full diameter of the signal going as far as possible.
Check where it’s located too. Most interior walls are pretty thin, but if your router is sitting behind a reinforced wall or is back in a room behind a wall of plumbing, all that metal could be interfering.
Refresh Your WiFi Connection
Routers come with channels. Some devices will automatically find the best channel (i.e. the least loaded) in your wifi environment, but if your connection seems sluggish and you know you’ve got a good home wifi signal, try turning the wifi setting on your device off and on again. It should search to find the clearest channel for a stronger signal.
I hope this helps you enjoy your home entertainment (or work options) a little more right now and in the future.
If you’re in Fresno or Clovis, California and you need help with your business sound system, home surveillance or internet wiring installation or you want to start planning your home theater or entertainment system upgrades now, feel free to give us a call here at Central Valley Entertainment Systems at (559) 432-8600.
Wifi Connection Test icon icon by Icons8 Old computer junk photo, Stu-Spivak CC BY-SA 2.0