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Tech & Science Ten Tricks For Faster, Better Home Wi-Fi

00:55  06 december  2019
00:55  06 december  2019 Source:   lifehacker.com.au

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  Ten Tricks For Faster, Better Home Wi-Fi

WiFi is one of the most important developments in the evolution of the internet -- no one wants to be chained to a desktop -- but it's also one of the most frustrating. If you're plagued by slow speeds, bad reception, and other WiFi issues, here are 10 ways you can power up the WiFi in your home.

#10 Use the Latest Wi-Fi Technologies

a close up of a laptop computer

One of the best ways to make sure your network is as fast and reliable as possible is to use up-to-date hardware. We've gone through the basics of router hardware before, so check out the first lesson of our networking Night School for the full lowdown. The main thing you need to know: Wireless A, B, G, and N are older wireless standards, with wireless AC being the most current offering.

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Fast Wi - Fi is like good air-conditioning or clean tap water: You don’t notice it until it’s gone. Thankfully, unlike the days of the dial-up doldrums, there are things you can do to make your WiFi faster in your home . Before we begin our tutorial on how to get faster internet, let’s get a few basics out of the way.

How to Make Your Laptop's Wifi Signal Faster On Windows 10 8 7 Tutorial Issues addressed in this tutorial: make wifi faster , make wifi fast , make wifi

If you're streaming more and more HD video to devices like Chromecasts or smartphones, having a wireless AC connection will alleviate video stuttering or buffering thanks to its ability to move more data at a faster rate than the older N standard. Its successor, AX, isn't due out until 2019, so you won't have to worry about updating your wireless tech for a while if you're already caught up. Note that you'll need both a wireless AC router and a device, networking card, or USB dongle with wireless AC support in your computer if you want the full speed boost. With more smart devices like light bulbs and switches scattered throughout the house, a strong WiFi signal that can propagate throughout your home is essential. But if you've only got one crappy router, and don't feel like learning how to convert your second one into a repeater, consider purchasing a wireless mesh network system.

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Wifi is one of the most important developments in the evolution of the internet—no one wants to be chained to a desktop—but it’s also one of the most frustrating. If you’re plagued by slow speeds, bad reception, and other wifi issues, here are 10 ways you can power up the wifi in your home .

Wi - Fi extenders can also be really helpful if you're a seasoned gamer who wants to move their setup to another part of the house. First, speed, indicated in Mbps: the faster the better of course, though these are theoretical limits – the speed of the broadband coming into your home and the position of

Companies like Luma, Eero, and even Google have released mesh network routers, smaller routers you place throughout your home to blanket it in WiFi. They usually operate with one functioning as the base station while the others are plugged in at various points throughout the home. They all feature an easy setup process through a smartphone application that let you monitor nearly everything going on inside your network, including sites visited and devices connected to your setup.

#9 Find the Perfect Spot for Your Router

  Ten Tricks For Faster, Better Home Wi-Fi

Routers may be ugly, but that doesn't mean you should hide them behind the TV cabinet. If you want the best signal, you'll need it out in the open, free of any walls and obstructions. If your router's optimal location is a space without a table or flat surface, check to see if you can wall mount it either using its pre-installed mounting holes or a third-party mounting bracket. Point the antennas perpendicularly, and elevate the router if you can (one reader found that his attic was the perfect spot). Lastly, make sure it's in the center of your house, so you have the best coverage possible throughout your home.

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Routers are often confined to particular locations based on where your Internet connection enters your home and connects to your modem. You can alleviate the issue with some longer Ethernet cables and a few cable clips to hold your cable against the wall and out of the way.

#8 Find the Right Wireless Channel

a screenshot of a cell phone

If you have neighbours, their routers may be interfering with yours and causing the signal to degrade. Wireless routers can operate on a number of different channels, and you want yours on a channel with as little interference as possible. Use a tool like Network Analyser Lite or WiFi Analyser to find the perfect channel in your house. We have more detailed instructions on how to do that here.

#7 Get Rid of Interference from Other Appliances

a close up of electronicsPhoto by looseid.

Other routers aren't the only thing that can cause interference. Cordless phones, microwaves, and other appliances can muck with your signal as well. Buying a dual band router can help with this, but you can also buy cordless phones on other bands too. If you don't want to buy new hardware, you can always try moving your router further away from interfering appliances, too.

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You can do better . And so can your Wi - Fi . Luckily, getting faster internet requires nothing more than some light interior decorating and a few strings of numbers that we swear we're not Buy an Eero, or Google Wifi , or maybe a Plume, and in five minutes you'll have a dramatically better home setup.

With the countless of devices we have nowadays all wanting a piece of our internet connection, who doesn't want better Wi - Fi ? This also lets you decide if you need to blanket the entire property in Wi - Fi , or whether you can get away with less then total coverage.

#6 Thwart Wi-Fi Thieves with Better Security

a red stop light on a city street

There's more than one way to protect your WiFi connection from prying neighbours or malicious attackers. A combination of simple trickery and the proper password protection will keep most of the rabble out.

Cloaking is an effective measure to keep your data-mooching neighbour off your internet connection (though more tech-savvy users can use free network scanners to find it with relative ease).

If they can't see your WiFi network, they probably can't connect to it. You can keep prying eyes away from your router by hiding its SSID (the name of the WiFi network) and forcing everyone who wants in to type it manually. You can toggle the SSID broadcast option in the firmware settings of your router. While your SSID is hidden, it won't show up if you're setting up new devices or scanning for a connection on your smartphone; you'll have to enter it yourself.

In terms of password protection, your router's default administrator username and password should be changed immediately, and stored wherever you keep the rest of your passwords. In addition, you should enable WPA2 password protection on your WiFi network. It's encrypted, making it more secure than the older WPA or WEP security protocols.

#5 Control Bandwidth-Hogging Applications

  Ten Tricks For Faster, Better Home Wi-Fi

If someone in your house regularly video chats, plays online games, torrents files, or uses services like Netflix, they may be hogging bandwidth and making the internet slower for everyone else. Luckily, you can use something called Quality of Service -- or QoS for short -- to reign in those bandwidth hogs. With QoS, you can prioritise certain applications (say, video chat) over others (like video games) so the most important applications get the bandwidth they deserve. For more info, check out our full guide to setting up QoS on your router.

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Getting access to faster and more secure Wi - Fi is one issue that frustrates all Internet users. Upgrade your firmware: You can also get a faster and more secure Wi - Fi connection with better They are placing your router in an open space in the middle of your home with minimal obstructions

Wi - Fi systems are designed to blanket your home with wireless coverage and are made up of several networking components, including a main Wi - Fi systems are ideal for users with little or no technical knowledge. They can be installed in minutes and typically come with a user-friendly mobile app that

#4 Increase Your Wi-Fi Range with DIY Tricks

  Ten Tricks For Faster, Better Home Wi-Fi

If your router still won't reach far enough, you can extend its range with simple DIY tricks. Our favourite is the Windsurfer tin foil hack, though you can also use an old beer can or a cooking strainer to extend your router's range. The results won't necessarily be mind blowing, but you should be able to eke a bit more distance out of your WiFi network with minimal effort.

You can spend a little money to boost your network range without breaking the bank. Nearly all routers and PC network cards, usually those with adjustable antennae, use twist-off antennae with RP-SMA connectors. You can buy RP-SMA antenna extension cables, or even a directional antenna to boost your WiFi's performance.

#3 Boost Your Router's Signal with a Bit of Hacking

a screenshot of a computer

Another great way to extend your range is to hack your router and install the DD-WRT firmware. Not only will it give you a ton of great security features and other enhancements, but it gives you the option to boost your transmitting power. This can be dangerous for your router, but most routers can handle an increase up to 70 mW without causing any issues, and you'll be able to access your network from much further away!

#2 Turn an Old Router Into a Wi-Fi Repeater

a close up of a map

If that still doesn't help, you'll need to get a range extender for your home. They aren't super expensive, but if you don't want to pay for another piece of hardware, you can actually turn an old wireless router into an extender with the aforementioned DD-WRT firmware. Note that you may not be able to get as fast of a connection through your extender, but if you just can't seem to get WiFi on the edge of your house, this'll get the job done on the cheap.

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New mesh routers from Eero, Luma, Ubiquiti and Linksys use teams of access points to bathe large or hard-to-network homes in Wi - Fi . WSJ personal tech

Read more: The best Wi - Fi routers in 2019. To that end, here's a rundown of how the three stack up, along with our test data and a look at the A few years ago, Google Wifi became a breakout hit thanks to its simple setup and its ability to spread a fast , reliable Wi - Fi connection throughout your home .

You could also connect one router to another via Ethernet cable and create another access point in your home.

#1 Set Your Router to Reboot on a Schedule

  Ten Tricks For Faster, Better Home Wi-Fi

If you're one of the many folks that has to reboot their router every so often so it doesn't drop out, there is a solution. You can run a few tests to make sure the problem isn't caused by heat, old firmware, or excess downloading, but an easy way to solve the problem is just automatically reboot it once a day or so. You can do this with DD-WRT or just a regular old outlet timer. When you're done, you shouldn't have to reboot your router so often (which is great if your router's all the way up in the attic).

After going through these tweaks, you should find that your home WiFi is faster, more reliable, and more secure than ever. When you're done, make sure you check out our favourite clever uses for WiFi, too -- after all, it isn't just for connecting to the internet.

Additional reporting by Patrick Austin.

This story has been updated since its previous publication.

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