You’ve probably had those days when your Wi-Fi at home or the office just doesn’t cut it. You’ll try just about anything, restarting your router, restarting your devices… You might even try all manner of life hacks just to get your wi-fi signal strength to where you want it to be.
Some of these hacks range from “might work” to “awfully inconvenient”, and while shelling out some money to cobble a LAN cable long enough to go from your router to your device could solve it, it also takes away from the whole “wireless” portion of your connectivity.
There are a few ways you could be improving your Wi-Fi signal output. Here’s a look at just how that could work out.
A CENTRALIZED ROUTER
It might sound less like something your internet service provider might say and more like a new-age concentration technique, but the fact is that because your Wi-Fi router emits radio signals. These signals don’t go through walls, doors – basically, any solid object is a block for those delicious Wi-Fi signals.
It’ll be advantageous to place your Wi-Fi router in a location that allows it to beam those signals uninterrupted, even by your body. A centralized location for your router allows it to spread these signals evenly throughout your home.
Your broadband internet provider may supply you with a router that has antennae. In which case it will spread signals laterally and downward, and given that it might be obstructed, placing your router on a high enough space, like a tall shelf or something similar – barring creating an actual perch for it on your ceiling.
ELECTRONICS ARE NOT FRIENDLY
It won’t be friendly to your router at least. Electronics emit a magnetic wave of their own that will interfere with your Wi-Fi signals, so the best move to make is to ensure that there are at least no electronics scattered about the area where your Wi-Fi router has been placed.
It’s tricky, but ensuring that there aren’t any nearby electronics can help boost your signal needs.
SPLIT IT UP
Pointing the router antennae in different directions will nudge the signals in those directions, so in the case that you happen to live in a home with more than one floor, this, in conjunction with your router being in a high enough place ensures even distribution of your Wi-Fi signal.
These tips are a little more on the less technical aspect. While science does play a bit of a part here, the more technical aspects of improving your Wi-Fi with science start now.
A TIN CAN BOOSTER
The term “parabolic antenna” might send you frantically googling, which is okay – you might find instructions on how to make a quick and easy one for your router – that already has an antenna attachment. The simplest telling is that you’ll need an empty soda can that’s been opened up so that it curves around the antennae of your Wi-Fi router.
This booster will concentrate the signals given off by your router and increase signal strength. You can find a template for a Windsurfer antenna online and make it out of empty cans, giving you a better signal around the home.
Like most electronic devices, your Wi-Fi router comes out of the box with pre-set configurations. You can download a DD-WRT firmware onto Wi-Fi’s home device to change these settings, and the best part is that it’s absolutely free.
If you have an old router lying around, don’t throw it away – you can use it to amplify signals even further as a wi-fi repeater. Repeaters take the current signal from your router and extend it to other parts of the location.
Like most signals, the concentration of multiple devices will cause some interference. If you want to minimize this, switch wireless channels within your router using Analyzer/Stumbler apps or software. Most of these are free or don’t cost that much, considering the reward: uninterrupted streaming.
A little science and know-how are definitely key to making sure that your internet connection is maximized. If you’re still a little worried about your connection speeds, why not compare broadband providers to really make sure that you’re getting the most for the money you spend?
Always make sure to check the fine print on your internet service, just in case you might end up limiting your connection due to a fair use policy.
This is a guest contribution by Kyle Kam who works for MoneyMax.ph, a financial comparison website aiming to help Filipinos save money through diligent comparisons of financial products. Follow him on Twitter @undisputedkyle