In today’s world, there are few things more frustrating than an unreliable Wi-Fi connection. As much as we might not want to admit it, Wi-Fi is a critical part of most of our lives. We need it to work, shop, and communicate with other people.
A poor Wi-Fi connection can not only make your life harder, but it can make many daily tasks next to impossible. Thankfully, there are ways to help boost your connection so it’s strong and reliable. Check out these seven tips for establishing secure, rock-solid Wi-Fi connectivity:
1. Centralize Your Router
First of all, what exactly is a router? Essentially, it’s a piece of hardware that connects a local network to the internet. It emits the radio waves Wi-Fi travels on, giving you a Wi-Fi connection. If your router is in a bad location, that could be the reason your Wi-Fi is spotty.
Keep your router in a central location in your home, not in a back bedroom or by the front door. Make sure the signal isn’t being blocked by any large furniture, such as a cabinet or credenza. You also want to ensure the router is not on the floor, as most of the Wi-Fi signals radiate downward. Consider positioning the router so it’s high up and able to provide as much coverage as possible.
2. Remove Unused Devices
Having too many devices connected to your Wi-Fi will inevitably slow down your connection and reduce your speed. If your Wi-Fi isn’t reliable, consider disconnecting the devices you aren’t using. This is especially true for those devices that use significant bandwidth, such as the television.
For example, are you streaming a movie in your bedroom while a Netflix show is playing in your living room? That could be causing digital congestion and weakening your connection.
Prioritize the devices you need during the day, like your laptop. The good news is, some routers let you manage your devices in real time. This way, you can connect and disconnect devices without having to do it manually.
3. Maximize Your Connectivity
If you want reliable Wi-Fi, you need to maximize your Wi-Fi connectivity. The first step is performing a speed test to see exactly what’s going on. There are several free tests you can run to determine how well your network is working. Once you know your baseline, consider integrating tools to give your connection a little boost.
For example, you could buy a wireless range extender, like a Wi-Fi booster or amplifier. All of these gadgets work in much the same fashion. They carry your Wi-Fi signal further so you avoid experiencing a poor connection or dead spot. Once you’ve installed the new device, run another speed test to ensure your network is actually performing better with the extender.
4. Consider Adaptive Wi-Fi
Adaptive Wi-Fi kicks the capabilities of traditional Wi-Fi up several notches. It uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine where and when you need the strongest coverage.
Let’s say you work at home in your office from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Maybe your kids come home from school and do their online homework around 3:30 p.m. Then, maybe your partner plays video games from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Adaptive Wi-Fi learns your family’s behavior. It then adjusts Wi-Fi strength automatically to provide the appropriate amount of coverage to each device when it needs it most.
5. Check Other Networks
Do you live in an apartment or condo where you’re close to other people? Your neighbor’s Wi-Fi connection could be messing with your own. If that’s the case, consider switching channels to one with fewer people.
To do so, open up your browser and type in your router’s IP address. A screen will come up asking for your router’s username and password. Once you enter that information and sign in, open a wireless connection and click “channels.” Then, change your channel to one with less activity. You can check the activity of channels with Netspot, free software that lets you analyze Wi-Fi coverage.
Think of changing your channel like taking a different route to work to avoid traffic. You’ll still get there; you’re just taking a road less traveled.
6. Change Your Password Frequently
Chances are, your Wi-Fi network came with a strong password. If it came with an easily guessed default, however, you’ll need to create a robust password to keep hackers at bay. Even if you already have a strong password, it’s a good idea to change it occasionally to ensure it remains secure.
When choosing a password, make certain it’s not something a hacker can easily figure out. You’ll want it to be at least eight characters long, as shorter passwords are less secure. You should also make sure your password includes upper- and lowercase letters, as well as symbols and/or numerals.
According to research, you should aim to change your password every three months. Consider setting a reminder on your phone or digital calendar for every three months so you don’t forget.
7. Change Your Plan
If your Wi-Fi doesn’t improve after implementing all of these changes, you might want to change your internet plan. The truth is, there’s only so much you can do with a poor provider or plan.
Review your internet plan and note the speed promised by your package. Then run a speed test to see whether you’re getting that speed. If your current speed is less than what you’re paying for, you should contact your internet service provider ASAP. Hopefully, they can resolve the issue; if not, it might be time to jump ship and find a different provider.
If the problem is simply that you need higher speed than your current package provides, your ISP likely offers a package that will suffice. There are numerous plans available from a similarly numerous cohort of providers. To get the best plan for you, thoroughly consider your household’s needs (i.e., download speeds and connected devices) when deciding among them.
Wi-Fi isn’t what it used to be. With more people working from home, the amount of available bandwidth is reduced. To ensure a solid connection, you’ll need to take the right steps, whether that’s moving your router, installing extenders, or getting another provider.