Services Rik Feijen 19 januari 2022

Increase the Wi-Fi speed at home

It's frustrating to run a speed test and discover that you're only getting half the internet speeds advertised for the subscription you took out after using internet compare. Fortunately, optimising your Wi-Fi network for faster speeds is not rocket science. All it takes is a basic understanding of how your network works. In most cases, you can significantly increase your speeds for little or no extra money. The tips below, for example, can make this happen!

Update the firmware

Firmware is the software that runs on your router, it's like an operating system. Just like OS updates, firmware updates make small fixes to improve security and performance. Each update may not result in noticeable changes, but keeping your firmware up to date maximises data security. Newer, more advanced routers should have information on how to update your firmware through the network administrator panel so you can check for updates and upgrade with just a few clicks. Older routers may require you to install updates manually by checking the website or downloading a ZIP file.

Move the router

The physical location of the Wi-Fi router plays a big role in Wi-Fi speed. Because the Wi-Fi signal radiates spherically from your router's antenna, it is best to place the device in the centre of your home. Even if placing the router centrally is not an option, it is important that it is not on the floor, in a cupboard, in a corner or directly next to thick solid barriers. Concrete, brick and stone are all very difficult for Wi-Fi signals to penetrate. The ideal placement for a router is often in the middle of the ceiling, but elevated on a desk or shelf should work well.

Upgrade the router

If you are using an old router, sometimes the simplest solution is to replace it with a new model. High-end routers with beamforming, the ability to direct the signal to specific devices, can automatically focus the signal to circumvent problems that may require hours of tinkering in older routers. Although not yet widely required, investing in a more advanced router may save you later from having to buy a new laptop or smartphone that supports WiFi 6, the latest standard for wireless connectivity.

Boost the router antenna

Routers vary greatly in appearance from brand to brand, but the concept is always the same: a box containing one or more antennas. The antenna is the transmission point of your Wi-Fi network and sends out the signal in a spherical shape in all directions. Most modern routers are compatible with external antennas that are designed to increase the range of your Wi-Fi network. External antennas come in two flavours: omnidirectional and directional. Their signals are measured by dBi (decibel isotropic), with higher dBi corresponding to greater range enhancement. Buy one of these antennas to increase your Wi-Fi speed at home.

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