Have you ever had a WiFi crisis? Not a crisis like your pirated signal going out (mmm hmm, we see you). We mean a real crisis like not being able to stream anything on Netflix without all the bumpy buffering. It’s slow. It’s annoying. It’s frustrating. It halts life. And sometimes all we know to do about it is to recheck our connection or make sure the power hasn’t gone out. Our reliability on WiFi can make us codependent on our provider to fix any problems with it, but little did we know there are some things we can do to try and amp up the signal.
First, we should understand that unlike radio waves whose signals stretch into the meter range, WiFi signals are about 12 centimeters. Because the signal’s reach can be limited by distance or barriers, router positioning is everything when it comes to speed. The kind people at Vox have provided us with tips to give us new possibilities for better WiFi signals for all. Check out the tips below!
Center the Router
Keeping the router in a position where it’s centrally located can help maximize the signal as routers have a range of 360 degrees. If it’s closed up in a small space then try putting it in a spot that’s close to the center of your home. Unable to center it? Trying moving it just a little bit closer to where most of your devices are located.
Lifting your router off the floor will prevent the signal from being blocked by flooring materials like wood, concrete, or metal. Giving it height will expose it to a larger and clearer broadcasting range. Find a place where the router won’t be sitting below or behind any objects or pieces of furniture.
Remove the Interference
We’re surrounded by invisible interference from electronics, cell towers, and other wireless networks. Keeping your router away from devices such as microwaves, Bluetooth, or TVs can help eliminate the problem of slower speeds, dropped signals, or fluctuations in signal strength. If you live in close proximity to someone else with a router (e.g. apartment, townhouse), then broadcast signals could be affecting each other. If possible, check to see if there’s channel overlap.
Adjust the Antennas
For routers that have adjustable antennas, flip one in one direction the other in the opposite. This means that one should rest horizontally while the other is standing vertically. According to Vox, the internal antennas on your devices will sync up with the direction of your router’s antenna. Setting up one antenna in each direction will allow you to cover all bases no matter which direction your device configured for.
Check Your Signal Strength
To find out how strong your Wi-Fi signal is, you can use mobile phone apps that will help you measure it from different parts of your house. The app should tell you where the strongest and fastest signal is located, giving you an idea of where to place your router. Some apps will even help you locate a better channel.