WiFi is without doubt one of the most vital developments within the evolution of the web—nobody desires to be chained to a desktop—however it’s additionally probably the most irritating. In case you’re affected by gradual speeds, unhealthy reception, and different WiFi points, listed below are 10 methods you may energy up the WiFi in your house.
*This story initially ran in August, 2012, and was up to date in August, 2017 with further reporting by Patrick Austin.*
10. Use the Newest Wi-Fi Applied sciences
The most effective methods to ensure your community is as quick and dependable as potential is to use up-to-date . We’ve gone by way of the fundamentals of router earlier than, so try the first lesson of our networking Night School for the total lowdown. The principle factor you want to know: Wi-fi A, B, G, and N are older wi-fi requirements, with wi-fi AC being probably the most present providing.
In case you’re streaming an increasing number of HD video to units like Chromecasts or smartphones, having a wi-fi AC connection will alleviate video stuttering or buffering thanks to its skill to transfer extra knowledge at a sooner charge than the older N commonplace. Its successor, AX, isn’t due out till 2019, so that you received’t have to fear about updating your wi-fi tech for some time for those who’re already caught up. Notice that you just’ll want each a wi-fi AC router and a tool, networking card, or USB dongle with wi-fi AC help in your pc if you’d like the total velocity enhance. With extra good units like gentle bulbs and switches scattered all through the home, a robust WiFi sign that may propagate all through your private home is crucial. However for those who’ve solely bought one crappy router, and don’t really feel like studying how to convert your second one right into a repeater, consider purchasing a wireless mesh network system.
Corporations like Luma, Eero, and even Google have launched mesh community routers, smaller routers you place all through your private home to blanket it in WiFi. They often function with one functioning as the bottom station whereas the others are plugged in at varied factors all through the house. All of them function a straightforward setup course of by way of a smartphone utility that allow you to monitor practically every little thing happening inside your community, together with websites visited and units linked to your setup.
9. Discover the Excellent Spot for Your Router
Routers could also be ugly, however that doesn’t imply you need to cover them behind the TV cupboard. If you’d like the very best sign, you’ll want it out in the open, freed from any partitions and obstructions. In case your router’s optimum location is an area with out a desk or flat floor, check to see if you can wall mount it both utilizing its pre-installed mounting holes or a third-party mounting bracket. Point the antennas perpendicularly, and elevate the router for those who can (one reader discovered that his attic was the perfect spot). Lastly, ensure it’s within the heart of your home, so you have got the very best protection potential all through your private home.
Routers are sometimes confined to specific areas based mostly on the place your Web connection enters your private home and connects to your modem. You’ll be able to alleviate the difficulty with some longer Ethernet cables and a few cable clips to maintain your cable in opposition to the wall and out of the way in which.
eight. Discover the Proper Wi-fi Channel
When you’ve got neighbors, their routers could also be interfering with yours and inflicting the sign to degrade. Wi-fi routers can function on a variety of totally different channels, and also you need yours on a channel with as little interference as potential. Use a software like Network Analyzer Lite or WiFi Analyzer to discover the right channel in your home. We’ve extra detailed directions on how to try this here.
7. Get Rid of Interference from Different Home equipment
Different routers aren’t the one factor that may trigger interference. Cordless telephones, microwaves, and different home equipment can muck along with your sign as effectively. Buying a dual band router may help with this, however you may as well buy cordless phones on other bands too. In case you don’t need to purchase new , you may all the time strive shifting your router additional away from interfering home equipment, too.
6. Thwart Wi-Fi Thieves with Higher Safety
There’s a couple of means to defend your WiFi connection from prying neighbors or malicious attackers. A mix of easy trickery and the correct password safety will preserve many of the rabble out.
Cloaking is an efficient measure to preserve your data-mooching neighbor off your web connection (although extra tech-savvy customers can use free community scanners to discover it with relative ease).
If they will’t see your WiFi community, they in all probability can’t join to it. You’ll be able to preserve prying eyes away out of your router by hiding its SSID (the identify of the WiFi community) and forcing everybody who desires in to sort it manually. You’ll be able to toggle the SSID broadcast possibility within the firmware settings of your router. Whereas your SSID is hidden, it received’t present up for those who’re organising new units or scanning for a connection in your smartphone; you’ll have to enter it your self.
When it comes to password safety, your router’s default administrator username and password must be modified instantly, and saved wherever you retain the remainder of your passwords. As well as, you need to allow WPA2 password safety in your WiFi community. It’s encrypted, making it safer than the older WPA or WEP security protocols.
5. Management Bandwidth-Hogging Purposes
If somebody in your home commonly video chats, performs on-line video games, torrents information, or makes use of providers like Netflix, they could be hogging bandwidth and making the web slower for everybody else. Fortunately, you should use one thing known as High quality of Service—or QoS for brief—to reign in these bandwidth hogs. With QoS, you may prioritize sure functions (say, video chat) over others (like video video games) so crucial functions get the bandwidth they deserve. For more information, check out our full guide to setting up QoS on your router.
four. Improve Your Wi-Fi Vary with DIY Methods
In case your router nonetheless received’t attain far sufficient, you may prolong its vary with easy DIY tips. Our favourite is the Windsurfer tin foil hack, although you may as well use an old beer can or a cooking strainer to prolong your router’s vary. The outcomes received’t essentially be thoughts blowing, however you have to be in a position to eke a bit extra distance out of your WiFi community with minimal effort.
You’ll be able to spend a little bit cash to enhance your community vary with out breaking the financial institution. Almost all routers and PC community playing cards, often these with adjustable antennae, use twist-off antennae with RP-SMA connectors. You should buy RP-SMA antenna extension cables, or even a directional antenna to enhance your WiFi’s efficiency.
three. Boost Your Router’s Sign with a Little bit of Hacking
One other smart way to prolong your vary is to hack your router and install the DD-WRT firmware. Not solely will it provide you with a ton of nice security measures and different enhancements, however it provides you the choice to enhance your transmitting energy. This may be harmful in your router, however most routers can deal with a rise up to 70 mW with out inflicting any points, and also you’ll have the opportunity to entry your community from a lot additional away!
2. Flip an Outdated Router Right into a Wi-Fi Repeater
If that also doesn’t assist, you’ll want to get a variety extender in your house. They aren’t tremendous costly, however for those who don’t need to pay for one more piece of , you may really turn an old wireless router into an extender with the aforementioned DD-WRT firmware. Notice that you could be not have the opportunity to get as quick of a connection by way of your extender, however for those who simply can’t appear to get WiFi on the sting of your home, this’ll get the job finished on a budget.
You would additionally join one router to one other by way of Ethernet cable and create one other entry level in your house.
1. Set Your Router to Reboot on a Schedule
In case you’re one of many many of us that has to reboot their router every now and then so it doesn’t drop out, there’s a resolution. You’ll be able to run a number of checks to ensure the issue isn’t attributable to warmth, previous firmware, or extra downloading, however a straightforward means to clear up the issue is simply automatically reboot it once a day or so. You are able to do this with DD-WRT or only a regular old outlet timer. If you’re finished, you shouldn’t have to reboot your router so usually (which is nice in case your router’s all the way in which up within the attic).
After going by way of these tweaks, you need to discover that your private home WiFi is quicker, extra dependable, and safer than ever. If you’re finished, ensure you check out our favorite clever uses for WiFi, too—in any case, it isn’t only for connecting to the web.
Lifehacker’s Top 10 gathers our greatest guides, explainers, and different posts on a sure topic so you may sort out huge tasks with ease. For extra, try our Top 10 tagpage.