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Improving the Speed and Range of Your Wireless Network

Improving the Speed and Range of Your Wireless Network

The Internet has become an essential part of our lives. You can shop, read the news, play games, send email, update social media, find directions-you get the idea. And, with a reliable wireless connection, you can do all these things from anywhere in your home.

Although you can access content on the Internet easily, you want the speed and coverage of your connection to be as strong as possible. You don't have time for poor coverage or dreaded dead zones.

If you are frustrated with the limitations of your wireless network, read on to learn what's causing the issue and how to fix it.

Why Am I Getting Poor Coverage?

If you aren't getting sufficient coverage from your network, one of these situations is likely causing the issue:

  • Interference. Your network operates on a frequency band shared by other devices, such as game controllers, baby monitors, and competing wireless networks.
  • Physical factors, like the construction material of your home.
  • Distance. Your devices stop connecting the farther they are from the router.

It's more difficult to identify what is making your network slow. Run a test on your connection speed to determine if there is a wireless problem.

What Can I Do to Fix It?

If you are not getting the range you want from your wireless network, implement some of these tips.

Switch the Channel

Wi-Fi routers operate on specific stations. The system defaults to a certain channel when you set it up. To boost performance, check the settings and find a frequency that isn't overcrowded. If needed, you can change the channel by going into the router's interface. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for the best way to access the interface.

Change Locations

You can improve your Wi-Fi signal by moving your router. If you have it tucked away now, put the router up high and towards a central location. If you need more flexibility, buy an Ethernet cable to support optimal location.

Update Firmware

Software updates can help a router perform more efficiently. Business networking devices will notify you when new software is available for download. However, consumer wireless routers don't always let you know about updates. Search the manufacturer's website for the latest software.

Buy an Antenna

Most Wi-Fi routers have internal antennas to support coverage. Upgrade to a higher-gain antenna and increase your Wi-Fi range. You can place the router at one end and aim the antenna to provide a signal to any direction you want. If your router has an external antenna, trying moving it in different direction to see if that makes a difference.

Add a Wireless Extender

Another way to increase your Wi-Fi coverage is to add a wireless repeater or ranger extender. These devices take an existing signal and broadcast that signal to create another network. Place the wireless extenders at the outer range of your existing coverage. The signals need to overlap for the extension to be effective.

Replace Your Router

If you have an older router, you may need to replace it to provide longer range and faster connection speeds.

Upgrade Adapters

If you decide to buy a new wireless router, all your devices should easily connect. However, you won't receive the maximum range, performance and speed unless your router and adapters are up to the same standard. Not sure whether you need an upgrade? Search online or refer to the network adapter to determine Wi-Fi standard recommendations.

Turn Outlets into Wireless Access Points

If you want to increase your network range, add wireless access points to your network. You can use existing cable and electrical outlets around your office or home. Plug an adapter into the outlet and connect it to the router.

Test these suggestions for yourself, and watch your speed and coverage improve.