If your internet connection is slow, the problem could lie with your router and its signal. If this is the case, you can often boost your WiFi signal with just a few tweaks and changes to your set-up. So, before you decide to upgrade your internet plan or change networks completely, it’s worth giving these quick fixes a try.
How to boost your WiFi signal easily
You don’t have to be an internet technician to improve your home internet signal. There are a few “tricks of the trade” that anyone can try out. Boosting your signal may be easier than you ever imagined!
Try the following hacks for an enhanced home internet experience:
1. Position your router at a central point in your home
WiFi routers don’t always come cheap and because of this, we tend to position them somewhere safe and hidden – usually away from children and pets who knock things over or tug at cables. However, placing your router in an inconspicuous space can reduce its signal, especially if it’s enclosed in a cupboard or drawer. Instead, position your router in a central location where the signal can reach all devices without obstruction.
2. Make sure your router is elevated
A good way to keep your router safe and out of harm’s way is to elevate it. By mounting your router on a high wall or by placing it on a top shelf, you can also reduce the number of obstructions that may block the signal. The fewer obstacles there are between the router and your device, the stronger it will be.
3. Remember to restart your router (at least once a month)
Just like we need a holiday to refresh and “reset” ourselves; our routers also need a chance to “start again”. This especially applies when troubleshooting occurs. Troubleshooting will hinder a router’s performance and a simple monthly reboot will clear most issues for a freshly boosted signal.
4. Change channels and frequency
One of the simplest ways to boost WiFi signal is to adjust the settings on your router by accessing its configuration page. Some routers (even the best ones) don’t always automatically detect the optimal channels available and you may find that testing channels manually will get you to the bottom of your connectivity issues.
For example, some routers have 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. If your device supports it, you ultimately want to connect to the 5GHz band. This channel is usually less congested and has a higher bandwidth capacity.
Talking about congestion - you may also want to see if you can change the WiFi channel for each SSID (network name) on your router to further enhance your signal.
5. Eliminate interference from other electronic devices
It’s not uncommon for some appliances to emit wireless signals on a similar or the same frequency band as your router. For instance, devices such as baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, and even your microwave, can generate radio frequency noise that may interfere with your WiFi network - making it slower and less stable.
This means that, once again, the positioning of your router is key. Instead of placing this device in your kitchen (where there are generally many electronic appliances), mount it or put it on a shelf in your dining room. And – if you can – make sure other interfering devices are switched off or removed from your home.
6. Upgrade old routers
If you’re really struggling to maintain a signal that doesn’t frustrate you, then upgrading your router is always an option. This especially applies if you are sitting with a dinosaur of a router that’s been designed using older technology. This older technology may not pair well with your modern devices, hindering its performance as a result.
Newer routers also overheat less often than older hardware, and they are usually far more capable of delivering stable Wi-Fi connectivity throughout an entire household.
When purchasing a new router, we encourage you to consider the following features before selecting a device:
- Port speed limitations (are there any and if so, what are they?);
- The efficiency of the Dynamic DNS functionality, and;
- The overall WiFi standards.
Consider investing in a WiFi signal booster
If you’d like to ultimately boost your WiFi signal in your home without having to buy a new router or search for new internet deals, then a WiFi signal booster or an extender is an option. WiFi boosters are typically more affordable than buying a new router altogether and they have been designed to cleverly strengthen internet connectivity.
What is a WiFi booster?
A WiFi signal booster is a device that connects to your router to ultimately extend your current network coverage so that it can reach all areas of your home and sometimes even out into your yard. Essentially, it’s a unique solution that works by amplifying an existing weak signal from a router.
Where can I get a WiFi booster?
WiFi boosters can be purchased from most tech stores in South Africa, including Incredible Connection and HiFi Corp chain stores. Some internet service providers will also sell boosters or extenders.
Upgrade or change internet plans
If you’ve tried and tested all the above but you’re still not 100% happy with your WiFi connection and its performance, then changing your internet plan or upgrading to a faster line speed may be the only way to end your frustration. If you search thoroughly enough, you’ll find a cheap internet deal that’s worth switching to.