8 Ways to Improve Your Wi-Fi

8 Ways to Improve Your Wi-Fi superheroyou

Sometimes your wireless Internet connection is amazing! Other days not so much. But you don’t have to spend hours on hold with Time Warner. There are several simpler ways you can improve your wifi – and you don’t have to be a tech superhero to do it.

1. Buy a new router.

This can be an expensive option – but it’s also probably the simplest one, if you have a router that’s at least 3 years old. The newest router speed, 802.11ac, is three times faster than the previous new standard, 802.11n. And even if your devices are optimized for 802.11n, they’ll still be faster on the new network! Of course, there are some caveats. If you use a slower service provider like DSL, you won’t get much juice out of a new router. And if you have older devices that run versions before 802.11n, they also won’t be much faster – so be sure to check compatibility. Generally, experts recommend upgrading your router as often as you upgrade your devices, so every 3 to 4 years.

2. Upgrade firmware and softare.

Don’t want to pay for or ask your Internet Service Provider for a new router? Or perhaps your connectivity issue is a recent problem – an indication that perhaps there’s a bug somewhere in your system. So be sure to keep your firmware up-to-date! Modern routers will often notify you when there’s an update available, but you’ll have to check online if you have an older one. It’s also best to keep the software on your devices updated so they’re as compatible as can be. Finally, be sure to check your router’s eco settings. Many are often automatically set to “power saving mode” – change it to “transmission power” instead for faster speeds.

3. Fix the interference.

Did you know that your micorwave or baby monitor could be messing with your Wi-Fi signal? Essentially, your Wi-Fi connection runs on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Newer devices run on 5 GHz, and new routers are dual-band so they split the network onto both frequnecies and ensure you always have Internet. But older devices run on 2.4 GHz – where the signal can get mucked up by things like microwaves, cordless phones and baby monitors. Your best bet here is to buy a new router or to look for appliances that don’t affect 2.4 GHz, which you can find by asking your sales representative. Or just move your router away from any interfering appliances.

4. Disconnect your devices.

Obvious but true: the more devices you have on your Wi-Fi network, the slower your connection will be. This is especially true if you’re using bandwith-hogging applications on one or more of those devices, like Netflix or FaceTime. If you’re not using the Internet on a wireless device, disconnect it! Try to avoid doing lots of heavy-bandwidth activities at the same time. And consider using a cable for devices that don’t move – a wired connection is always faster than a wireless one.

5. Move the router.

Did you know that moving your router just a few feet can dramatically alter your Wi-Fi signal? Download a tool like Heatmapper to find the best home for your router. Put it somewhere central in your home, away from barriers like water, metal or cement. Point the antenna perpendicularly and move it as high off the floor as you can.

6. Juice it up.

If you don’t want to buy a whole new router but want to juice up your existing one, there are a couple of investments you can make. Consider getting an omnidirectional antenna, which scatters your internet signal in all directions and can triple it. You might also consider getting a wireless repeater – this is best if you live in a home that’s too big for your router.

7. Change the channel.

Do you live in a densely populated area like an apartment? Change the channel! Not on your TV – routers can operate on several different channels, and when a bunch of routers are on the same one, your Wi-Fi slows down. To find the least congested channel, use a service like iStumbler or Wi-Fi Analyzer.

8. Get better security.

Unfortunately, it’s incredibly easy to hack someone’s Wi-Fi – and if someone’s hacking yours, your Internet will slow way way down. Luckily, there are several things you can do to protect yourself, like having a secure password. Learn the other tips from Lifehacker here.

Liked this? Check out 8 Cool Startups Geared Toward Companies!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

Sometimes your wireless Internet connection is amazing! Other days not so much. But you don’t have to spend hours on hold with Time Warner. There are several simpler ways you can improve your wifi – and you don’t have to be a tech superhero to do it.

1. Buy a new router.

This can be an expensive option – but it’s also probably the simplest one, if you have a router that’s at least 3 years old. The newest router speed, 802.11ac, is three times faster than the previous new standard, 802.11n. And even if your devices are optimized for 802.11n, they’ll still be faster on the new network! Of course, there are some caveats. If you use a slower service provider like DSL, you won’t get much juice out of a new router. And if you have older devices that run versions before 802.11n, they also won’t be much faster – so be sure to check compatibility. Generally, experts recommend upgrading your router as often as you upgrade your devices, so every 3 to 4 years.

2. Upgrade firmware and softare.

Don’t want to pay for or ask your Internet Service Provider for a new router? Or perhaps your connectivity issue is a recent problem – an indication that perhaps there’s a bug somewhere in your system. So be sure to keep your firmware up-to-date! Modern routers will often notify you when there’s an update available, but you’ll have to check online if you have an older one. It’s also best to keep the software on your devices updated so they’re as compatible as can be. Finally, be sure to check your router’s eco settings. Many are often automatically set to “power saving mode” – change it to “transmission power” instead for faster speeds.

3. Fix the interference.

Did you know that your micorwave or baby monitor could be messing with your Wi-Fi signal? Essentially, your Wi-Fi connection runs on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Newer devices run on 5 GHz, and new routers are dual-band so they split the network onto both frequnecies and ensure you always have Internet. But older devices run on 2.4 GHz – where the signal can get mucked up by things like microwaves, cordless phones and baby monitors. Your best bet here is to buy a new router or to look for appliances that don’t affect 2.4 GHz, which you can find by asking your sales representative. Or just move your router away from any interfering appliances.

4. Disconnect your devices.

Obvious but true: the more devices you have on your Wi-Fi network, the slower your connection will be. This is especially true if you’re using bandwith-hogging applications on one or more of those devices, like Netflix or FaceTime. If you’re not using the Internet on a wireless device, disconnect it! Try to avoid doing lots of heavy-bandwidth activities at the same time. And consider using a cable for devices that don’t move – a wired connection is always faster than a wireless one.

5. Move the router.

Did you know that moving your router just a few feet can dramatically alter your Wi-Fi signal? Download a tool like Heatmapper to find the best home for your router. Put it somewhere central in your home, away from barriers like water, metal or cement. Point the antenna perpendicularly and move it as high off the floor as you can.

6. Juice it up.

If you don’t want to buy a whole new router but want to juice up your existing one, there are a couple of investments you can make. Consider getting an omnidirectional antenna, which scatters your internet signal in all directions and can triple it. You might also consider getting a wireless repeater – this is best if you live in a home that’s too big for your router.

7. Change the channel.

Do you live in a densely populated area like an apartment? Change the channel! Not on your TV – routers can operate on several different channels, and when a bunch of routers are on the same one, your Wi-Fi slows down. To find the least congested channel, use a service like iStumbler or Wi-Fi Analyzer.

8. Get better security.

Unfortunately, it’s incredibly easy to hack someone’s Wi-Fi – and if someone’s hacking yours, your Internet will slow way way down. Luckily, there are several things you can do to protect yourself, like having a secure password. Learn the other tips from Lifehacker here.

Liked this? Check out 8 Cool Startups Geared Toward Companies!

Written by Sasha Graffagna

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