You’re streaming your favourite TV show and your broadband suddenly slows down. This really annoys not just you but millions of internet users suffering from the same dilemma. Fortunately, there are many ways to boost your WiFi signal and most of them simply involves a bit of tweaking to your wireless network. Here are some useful fixes for your connectivity woes.
1. Update your browser
Browsers have updates all the time, so check that you have the latest version as it will reduce surfing time and increase web page download speeds. If your current browser is consistently sluggish, you would want to consider switching software altogether. For example, Internet Explorers users might get an instant boost switching over to Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
2. Reposition your router
Move your router if you have inconsistent quality of your WiFi connection. Place your router away from appliances that emit wireless signals, for example, cordless phones, smartphones, baby monitors, and also avoid barriers such as large furniture, walls or doors between your router and your computer. The best place for your router would be a central location with high position like the top of your bookshelf or cupboard.
3. Check your WiFi settings
When you set up a typical router, it usually chooses a channel by default. Some routers choose the least-crowded channel but yours may not have. You should check for yourself which WiFi channel is least used and tweak it to boost the router’s performance which may also help boost signal range.
4. Update router firmware
Updating router firmware is often overlooked by home users. Business networking devices usually display some sort of notification when newer software for the device is available for download. Check often for firmware updates for your router through the manufacturer’s website and search for the firmware and then upload it through the router’s interface. There are often accompanying release notes that tell you what the firmware helps to fix. These fixes often help solve connectivity problems.
5. Check network security
The first and foremost thing that you should do is to secure your Wi-Fi network to avoid sharing your connection with unauthorised users. This practice, also known as piggybacking, will decrease your connection speed and it creates a security hazard as hackers may access your personal files.
6. Use less bandwidth
Whenever you log into your computer, there are many applications such as Windows Update or Skype that may run discreetly and these may slow down your connection without you even realizing it. Set these applications so that they don’t run automatically and you’ll see a noticeable difference to your connection speed. Always find out what’s running on your PC by pressing Alt+Ctrl+Delete to bring up your task manager.
7. Control bandwidth
Another way to control bandwidth when someone in your house regularly video chats, plays online games, torrents files or Netflix, making the internet slow for everyone else; you can use an application called Quality of Service (QoS) to reign in those bandwidth hogs. With QoS, you can prioritize certain applications (say, video chat) over others (like video games) so the most important applications get the bandwidth they deserve. For more info, check out our full guide to setting up QoS on your router.
8. Increase WiFi range with DIY tricks
You may try to extend your router’s range with simple DIY tricks. Many prefer the Windsurfer tin foil hack, though you can also try the old soft drink can or a cooking strainer to extend your router’s range. The results won’t necessarily be mind-blowing but you should be able to eke a bit more distance out of your WiFi network with minimal effort.
9. Expand your WiFi network
If you’re having trouble with wireless, you could invest in a wireless repeater or extender as these will improve your wireless range, bouncing the signal over a larger area. These hardware can be purchased from major WiFi vendors and although this is a significantly more expensive option but it’s the most effective.
10. Check on your virus software
A virus will significantly slow down your connection so run a virus scan periodically and also make sure the virus software itself isn’t slowing down the operating system too much. Many common anti-virus programs can decrease your PC’s operating speed so try going for a faster anti-virus program like Avast!
After all these measures, if your current package still isn’t giving you the speed that you want, it may be time for you to consider switching provider. Start comparing broadband deals and find a more suitable package for yourself. You may want to consider P1’s latest plans that may accommodate your needs.