There is no doubt your WiFi has been put through the paces over the last few months. Due to COVID-19 you’re likely working from home, maybe your partner or spouse is, as well. You have kids trying to complete eLearning courses, play video games, and chat with friends. With all this extra strain, your internet may be slower than you’d like, leading to frustrating losses in productivity. Boosting your WiFi speed on your laptop and making sure your WiFi is reaching all parts of your house can be easier than you think, and does not involve upgrading your internet service.
We have a few tips to help you boost your WiFi below.
Move your router
If your router is in a far corner of your house, blocked by something big and dense, like your fridge, or otherwise locked away, you may want to move the router itself. Your router works off of radio signals. Keeping your router centrally located and in the open air can help tremendously with your WiFi signal.
Hot tip: some access points like Google allow you multiple access points and to seamlessly connect to them as you move about your house
Adjust the antenna
This is a simple and effective way to boost your WiFi signal. The antenna on your router could need some adjusting. In most cases, the best signal will come when your antenna is pointed directly up. Some have had luck with pointing one antenna straight up (vertically) and the other antenna pointing horizontally to maximize the reception.
Find open channels
Your router automatically scans for the radio channel that has the least amount of traffic to send the WiFi signal through. This scan happens periodically throughout the day without any interruptions. This scan for the best channel ensures your WiFi can run smoothly. Your router is usually pretty good at this job, but there are things you can do if your WiFi isn’t working properly.
If you need to, you can increase how often your router scans for the best channel. You can also manually get your router to perform a scan. You can achieve either through a WiFi channel analyzer or a WiFi channel scanner app. This is one of the more involved ways to increase your WiFi signal, but you can easily find instructions online.
Upgrade your router
If your router is older, it may be time for an upgrade. Not all routers support the latest and greatest 5GHz communication. A new router will. The benefits of the 5GHz channel are that this channel of communication is wider, allowing more devices to work simultaneously. This should also give you better range across your home.
You don’t need to contact your internet provider to upgrade your router. You can order one from Amazon and install yourself. The interfaces are very user friendly.
Build a mesh
Ready-made mesh-networking kits are available and easy to install. These allow you to set the parameters of your WiFi signal. A mesh network works through your wireless router and access points piggybacking the signal off one another.
These kits have a central router and several additional access points. You set up the central router, then arrange the access points throughout your home. This allows you to make the coverage area as big as you’d like. The more access points installed, the larger your mesh area can be.
Wire back up
Connecting your laptop with a cable may not boost the WiFi on your laptop, but if all else fails, you can rely on a stronger connection through a cable. Use an ethernet cable to wire your laptop directly to the internet. You won’t have to rely on your WiFi and should get an uninterrupted connection.
If you’re unable to wire your laptop, you can use the same methodology for other devices in your home. If a gaming device like an Xbox or PlayStation is currently using WiFi, that would be taking a significate amount of your signal. You can wire your smart TV, as well. Wiring any device will free up network signal throughout your home, allowing all WiFi-connected devices more signal, in essence boosting the WiFi for the rest of your connected devices.
Check Your Speed
Use speedtest.net to check your speeds to see it matches your ISP or give them a quick call to check into your performance. If there is a discrepancy, you might be able to take it up with your provider. Note that your guaranteed speeds are based on a wired connection, not a wireless one.
Upgrade to Fiber
If you have lots of kids streaming Netflix or multiple people on the internet, fiber might be right for you. Consider upgrading to fiber if it is available in your area. We recommend no less than a 100MB connection for working at home, greater speeds are needed for many connections!
One More Thing
Disconnect from your VPN in order to print to your home printer – if you are connected to VPN, you are on your office network!