7 ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal and improve your internet speed

teenager checking wifi internet router signal with phone

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Wi-Fi is a utility that’s as essential as water and electricity, but it can be far more unpredictable. Your Wi-Fi speed may vary dramatically from one day to the next, or simply never deliver the speeds promised by your internet service provider (ISP). There are so many confounding factors that it’s often hard to know how to boost your signal.

How to boost your Wi-Fi signal and internet speed

Before you switch ISPs or buy a new router, here are the most important tips for improving your Wi-Fi.

Run a speed test

There are a lot of reasons why you might have slow Wi-Fi, so it’s good to start with the basics. Run an internet speed test to see what kind of internet speeds the router is seeing before it gets converted to a wireless signal. You can try speedtest.net or fast.com, and if you’re not seeing 5 Mbps at the very least, you might have a problem with your ISP. 20 Mbps is much more common, but your exact speed will depend on your ISP and internet plan. For more information, read our article on how to test your internet speed.

Make sure you’re connected to the 5Ghz band

If you have a dual-band or tri-band Wi-Fi router, you should be using the 5GHz band rather than the 2.4GHz band whenever possible. Many smart home devices (like video doorbells and smart speakers) can only use the slower 2.4GHz band, but your phone, laptop, tablet, and TV should all be connected via 5GHz to take advantage of the significantly higher speeds it offers. Use the Wi-Fi settings on each of your devices to see what Wi-Fi band you’re using. Incidentally, if your router doesn’t have a 5GHz band, then you should definitely upgrade. 

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Reposition your router

If your router passed the speed test but your Wi-Fi is sluggish or drops out a lot, it might just be positioned poorly. Wi-Fi signals have trouble penetrating solid materials, and certain things stop the signal cold – like brick walls, metal appliances (like a refrigerator) and large volumes of water, like fish tanks. In general, the best place to put your Wi-Fi router is in a central location, so it has the best chance of reaching the extremities of your home. But if you mostly need it in one part of the house and you’re having Wi-Fi trouble, consider moving it closer to where the internet action is. You might also need a mesh router or a Wi-Fi repeater, which we’ll talk about later.  

Update your Wi-Fi router’s firmware

Is your router up to date? If its firmware hasn’t been updated in a long time – or ever – its performance might be seriously hobbled. Few routers can update their firmware automatically, so use the router’s mobile app (if it has one) or log into its control panel and see if the firmware can be updated. The process might be especially arduous if you have an …read more

Source:: Businessinsider – Tech

      

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