Today’s wireless routers are generally quite good.
During the early days of wireless internet, our ancestors had to deal with dropped connections, inexplicably slow wireless speeds, and other annoying issues. Today, many of these issues have disappeared. Unfortunately, many remain.
Whether you’re using a $200 wireless router or a $20 cheap option, the following tips will help boost your Wi-Fi network’s speed, range, and power:
4) Change your router’s channel
This tip is going to make you feel like a hacker. Seriously, it’s really cool. You don’t need to know anything about tech to do it.
First, download a free tool called insider from here: http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider/
Run that program. You’re going to see a screen like this:
Don’t be scared. I know it looks intimidating, but it’s not. Look at the ‘Channel’ column and scroll through the list. In North America, routers typically use Channels 1, 6, and 11.
Having too many routers on a single Channel can negatively affect Wi-Fi speed and range. If you see lots of 6s and 1s, but not a lot of 11s, then you may want to change your own router to the ‘11’ channel.
To do this, login to your router at 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 (type that into your browser’s address bar) and look through the settings until you see ‘Channel’. This changes from router to router, so check your instruction manual if you need further assistance.
3) Update firmware on your router
Your router, like other parts of your PC, needs to be updated regularly. Routers receive firmware updates that optimize performance and speed.
In many cases, firmware updates fix problems you’ve been having with your router. Check your router manufacturer’s website for firmware updates. Once you’ve found a firmware update – if any – upload that update to your browser using the same 192.168.0.1 address you used in tip 6.
Most routers make updating firmware as easy as possible, and you may even see firmware update links on your router’s menu system.
2) Buy an antenna or repeater
If you have a large home, then your router may simply be too weak to provide 5 bars everywhere you go. You’re going to need to buy an antenna or use another router as a repeater.
Search Google for your router’s name + antenna. A typical antenna costs $40 to $100, so you may be better off buying a new router altogether. However, if range is really an issue, then an antenna could be a lifesaver.
You could use another router as a repeater, although this can be relatively complicated to set up and provide minimal benefits. Alternatively, you can buy a repeater. Like antennas, this solution isn’t cheap, and a good repeater will set you back about $150 to $200.
1) Buy a new router
If your router is a few years old, broken, or cheap, then your best solution is to buy a new router.
Good routers can be found for $60 to $100 and they’re worth the price. Your router provides an extra wall of security between you and the wilds of the internet.
And, since router technology is expanding every year, many are surprised to discover just how much of a difference a new router can make.
Oh, and if you’re looking for the laziest, easiest possible way to improve router performance, try moving it around your house. Each time you move your router, run 3 speed tests and note the improvement. Walls, microwaves, tech devices, and other stuff can all affect wireless router signals.