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With more and more people abandoning cable television in favor of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, having a reliable internet connection is more important than ever. However, as much as technology has improved in recent years, many people across the nation still have poor WiFi reception in their homes.
There are ways to improve your home WiFi reception that you may not be aware of. There are also many common mistakes that homeowners make in setting up their routers that might cause them connectivity and reception issues.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the reasons your home WiFi might not be performing as well as you’d like, and how to address those problems so you can stream and download at higher rates with better quality.
Testing your internet speed
Before we start diagnosing your internet problems, it’s a good idea to find out how your reception compares to others in your area. While there are a few good online resources to do this, one of the most respected tools is the free Speedtest by Ookla.
You can take this speed test on your laptop, desktop, cell phone, and any other decides that you connect to your router. You can also move your devices to different parts of the home to determine if your issue is a matter of reach.
If all of your devices perform poorly, try plugging your computer directly into your cable modem and taking the speed test. This will help you determine if your router is possibly malfunctioning.
Update firmware and devices
If you have an older router, it may need to be updated. To do this, you’ll need to login to your router’s administrator interface. Find out how to do this by visiting the router manufacturer’s website.
Once you’ve ensured that your device is updated, it’s a good idea to diagnose your devices. If you have one device that is performing worse than others, you may have to do software updates or maintenance to that device.
Change the placement of your router
Sometimes poor WiFi reception is simply a matter of the location of your router. Wireless routers should be elevated off of the ground and away from any large appliances that may interfere with reception.
Change your router channel
Just like radios, routers work on wireless frequencies or “channels.” This means that they can sometimes interfere with one another. If possible, switching your router to the 5GHz band can improve your connection and limit the amount of interference from other routers. Then, experiment with different channels to determine which one gives you the best reception.
Upgrade your hardware
If none of those quick fixes did the job, you might need to consider upgrading your wireless hardware. This includes purchasing a newer router, a range extender, or a mesh router system. Since newer homes tend to be larger, a mesh router system is a way to ensure coverage throughout your home via multiple access points.