What’s the most painful thing about using your phone or computer at home? When there’s only one or two bars of your WiFi signal, the web page can’t be opened frequently, and the video is buffering all the time, what would you do to enhance the poor signal and improve the WiFi speed?
In fact, these frustrating situations can happen even if your router is brand new and the broadband has enough bandwidth. To get you out of this trouble, it’s the simplest way to call a maintenance man. But if you want to handle it by yourself, there are also some tips for you to find out the problem.
What are the Signs of Poor WiFi Signal
While surfing the Internet at home, you may encounter the following annoying situations:
- The broadband is fine, but the phone shows only a bar or two of signal
- Even if the signal is full, you may also suffer from poor Internet speed, lost connection in online games, etc.
- The signal is fine near the router, but it gets worse when you go further places
- The router is in the living room, and once you go to the bedroom, there’s almost no signal
Possible Reasons for Weak Signal
There are many possible reasons for you poor Internet experience, I’d like to list some of them here:
- The WIFI signal is interfered by the magnetic field of household appliances
- You are too far away from the router
- The network card is damaged or aging
- The router is of poor quality or low memory
- Someone is stealing your WiFi
- The signal is congested, or speed-limited
- There are obstacles like walls and other large furnitures
Although the range of the latest wireless routers is always expanding, there are many limitations and obstacles that could limit the range and strength of a wireless network. Here are some simple solutions, many of which are free. Before splashing out on a new router, try these tips to improve your WiFi signal strength.
How to Improve Your WIFI Signal at Home
1. Buy a Router of Good Quality
High-performance computers, phones and tablets also require high-quality routers to provide high-speed Internet access.
Before buying a router, you can go checking the information on some review websites, and then select the appropriate router according to your own using habit and budget.
Many routers on the market today are dual-band, or even three-band. You’d better try to buy a router that supports the latest wireless signals, leaving room for future network upgrades.
If a home router is unable to meet your requirements, you can also consider an enterprise-class router.
Some small brands or second-hand wireless routers have their own technical defects, and easily lead to the poor WiFi signal.
To determine whether your home wireless router has a good Wifi signal, you can place your phone close to the wireless router and test the speed by some apps. If the attenuation of the network speed overs 10% even when you are very close to the router (within 1 meter), it’s time to consider replacing it.
2. Place the Router in an Appropriate Position
In normal environment, the indoor coverage distance of a wireless router is about 50-100 meters, but the WiFi signal will become weak when it comes to distribution box, refrigerator, microwave oven, induction cooker, wall, etc., and therefore leading to poor signal at a location far away from the router.
In a word, the router should be placed as far as possible in the middle of your home to extend the coverage of the signal.
3. Find Electronic Devices that May Cause Signal Interference
Wireless signals may be weakened by the interference from other electrical equipment, such as refrigerator, TV, microwave oven, power cord, remote control, wireless audio equipment (stereo, microphone), monitor, wireless camera, mobile phone Bluetooth, satellite TV receiver pot, etc. If any device transmits at the same frequency as your wireless router, the signal interference will occur.
You can infer whether your wireless signal is interfered by the following phenomena:
- Even when you stay put, the signal of your wireless device is up and down
- When connected to WiFi, the Internet access speed is rather slow, and the file transfer rates is also affected
- Bluetooth devices are hard to match with each other
- Frequently lost connection
If you think there may be interference problems in your home, turn off some devices that may be causing interference one by one, and then check for any changes in signal strength or range.
If you see significant changes after shutting down a device, this could be the main interference.
But first of all, you should try keeping your router as far away from other appliances as possible, and limit the number of wireless devices in your home.
4. Change to Appropriate WiFi Signal Channel
If you live in an apartment or a densely packed building, wireless interference may be coming from your neighbor’s WiFi router. The exact source of the interference is difficult to determine, but you can use some apps to detect how much wireless signal is in a specific range. The more devices detected, the more likely you are to encounter channel conflicts.
Choosing a signal channel that is not too crowded can help you to solve the interference problem, but the detailed steps are different for different brands and products. You can check the device manual or the official website for specific tutorial, or search for related information on google.
5. Controls the Number of Applications and Devices that Take up Bandwidth
Some applications are just like broadband vampire that would take up a lot of bandwidth and affect the WiFi signal strength. They can also cause other devices to have slower Internet speed and worse signals. That’s why you can’t watch high-quality video or download large files on multiple devices at once.
If your router has QoS function, it can automatically manage the division of bandwidth, automatically set the priority of the operation of some applications, so that the bandwidth won’t be completely occupied by videos or other programs.
You can check the product specifications to see if the router has this capability.
6. Adjust Antenna Position
In general, the WiFi signal coverage is wider when the router’s antenna is placed vertically. But that’s not always true – if you’re using a 2.4 GHz, 2-antenna router, you can adjust the 2 antennas to be perpendicular to each other, because the internal antenna works best when it’s parallel to the router’s antenna, for example, when one antenna is pointed vertically upwards and the other is pointed horizontally in an L-shape. And for 5 GHz routers, you can get the best results by laying them flat or at a 45-degree angle.
Different routers have different conditions, so you should adjust the antenna on a case-by-case basis
7. Prevent WiFi Squatters
Since many routers have simple factory passwords that can be easily cracked, it is important to set up complex passwords to reduce the chance that others log on to your Internet. One simple trick is using complex alphanumeric passwords, which are strong enough to prevent most violent hacks.
And there’s a simple fact: if others can’t see the name of your WiFi network, it’s hard to connect to it. You can hide your router’s SSID (the name of the WiFi network) by canceling the “SSID broadcast” option in the background settings. When the SSID is hidden, your WiFi name will not be displayed and you will have to manually enter it yourself.
In addition, you should enable WPA2 password protection. This way of encryption is more secure than the old WPA or WEP security protocols.
8. Restart the Router Regularly
You must have tried rebooting your router to solve some WiFi glitches such as poor Internet speed and bad reception. Most routers have limited memory and information-processing capabilities, and reboots can clean up the router’s cache and prevent some of the problems that can easily occur after prolonged use.
9. WiFi Extender
WiFi Extender is an electronic device that can retransmit a WiFi signal after receiving one to extend its coverage. Normally, this device should be placed on the edge of the area with full WiFi signal, otherwise the effect will be attenuated.
The disadvantage of WiFi extender is that it can sometimes cause signal delays, which is not suitable for users watching live broadcast or playing online games.
10. Update the Wireless LAN Driver
In addition to updating the firmware of your router, it is also important to update the wireless LAN driver. After that, the computer’s WiFi signal search ability will sometimes be improved.
In addition to these mentioned above, there are a lot more methods circulating on the Internet, such as the homemade wifi signal reflector made by pop can.
However, given the different hardware and network environment in each home, the results will also vary from person to person. To effectively improve your WiFi signal, it’s best to learn more about it or consult a professional at first.