Did you know you can tune your router to get the best Wi-Fi signal? Turns out wireless is very much like a radio station, and sometimes you have to adjust the frequency to get the clearest sound. If you think your Wi-Fi could do with some fine tuning take a look at our guide to how to boost your signal.
How can I boost my Wi-Fi, for free?
Wireless works very much like a radio station. When you listen to the radio, it’s possible to listen to one station on a range of frequencies (or channels).
When listening to the radio, you can sometimes get interference, such as static or hearing other stations at the same time. When this happens it’s usually due to environmental factors, rather than the radio station itself. To solve it you’d change the frequency until you found a clearer one.
This is how you can improve your Wi-Fi signal too. Like the radio station, the router can broadcast wirelessly on multiple channels, some of which can experience interference. Like the radio station, it’s usually caused by environmental factors rather than the router itself. To improve your Wi-Fi signal you can do the same as for radio stations; change the frequency until you find a stronger one.
How do I know which channel to pick?
There are 13 different channels to choose from. We've done most of the work for you and have determined the best channels are usually 1, 6 and 11, and so your router will usually already be broadcasting through one of those frequencies. To change the frequency (channel) you can follow these steps:
1. Go to your hub manager. Do this by typing your IP address, which will be 192.168.1.254 (unless you’ve changed it) into your web address bar. 2. Log in with the admin details that are provided with the router (either on the Wi-Fi card or printed on the router). 3. Head to Advanced settings. Here you can change the channels until you find the best one for your house.
It's either a case of trial and error, or you can use a pre-built program in both Windows and Mac computers that can help you determine which channels are most used.
Why do I need to do this?
Wi-Fi can get overcrowded, especially in cities with lots of networks and hotspots around. If changing the channels doesn’t improve your performance, then you could purchase a third party wireless extender, which would boost the signal over the other networks nearby. Sort of like hogging the road in a massive truck.
You can also try a few other options:
* Move your router to a more central location in the house * Move your router to a higher position in the room * Purchase a powerline adapter * Purchase a Wi-Fi extender * Use a wired connection if possible