Wi-Fi strength is important to ensure that your business is always connected to the internet. Cumbersome Ethernet wires snaking around your office merely get in the way and with wireless speeds becoming much quicker the advantages to a wired connection are dwindling.
It can however be infuriating to have a Wi-Fi network set up but be unable to connect at the speeds that you expect and require. If your wireless network is struggling to meet the demands of your network then there are some options to boost your wireless connectivity, without changing routers and providers.
Wireless networking technology is pushing more and more users away from wired options due to its convenience. Users however are also aware that a Wi-Fi connection can be frustrating and fickle. If you’re unfortunate enough to be a victim of a poorly functioning network, there’s no need to suffer in silence. Here are a number of tips to boost your wireless range, connectivity, and browsing speed.
Upgrade your network
Wireless-G (802.11g) is currently the most common Wi-Fi network but it’s not the fastest or even the most up to date. Wireless-N is the next step and for users that are able and willing, upgrading to this option is recommended.
Wireless-N is twice as fast as its wireless-G counterpart and it offers better signal range and better connectivity. It’s a more costly alternative but if it’s speed that you’re after it’s a worthwhile investment. Older laptops are likely running a wireless-G card and so an upgraded card is needed to take advantage of wireless-N speeds. If you don’t want to upgrade your laptop, simply purchase a wireless dongle.
Move the Router
This one’s simple and it seems almost redundant to mention; however, in many cases the reason that the Wi-Fi signal is so weak is because something is interfering with the router. So if you’re not able to invest in higher end technology, try moving the router elsewhere to improve its overall performance. Objects such as walls and metal objects can negatively affect a routers performance substantially. Make sure that your router is in an unobstructed environment; place it as high as possible, and you might manage to get optimal performance.
Perhaps all that’s needed for your router to perform better is a simple upgrade of the antenna. This will increase the power and range of your router and grant you better connectivity. A router comes with an antenna that is omnidirectional, which means that the Wi-Fi signal is beamed in every direction. You can opt to upgrade your antenna for a more specific and focused signal that works in one direction. This isn’t a hack that increases your routers overall signal strength, but it does mean that you’re making the best use of it.
This is perhaps not the best option for those working in a large office, but for those that need the best possible signal and are happy with it being more directed, then this is a valid alternative.
Reboot your Router
Often when a router is underperforming a simple reboot can galvanise it back to its full potential. Sometimes the phone line can get over saturated, so it’s advisable to not only press the reset button but to also unplug all the connected wires. You can schedule your router to regularly reboot itself and it effectively means that your router will be reset to work to its best specifications. Users can use an outlet timer to schedule the reboot for when the Wi-Fi network isn’t in use.
The router can also be rebooted from inside the router software itself, which is usually accessed via an IP address such as 184.108.40.206 – these do vary and you will need the admin username and password, which should have been changed when the router was first purchased.
There is the option for increasing wireless signal distance and strength that involves the use of a repeater. A repeater is a device that captures the wireless signal and then rebroadcasts it. This technology can be used to beam Wi-Fi connectivity to areas that are normally Wi-Fi dead-spots. The device can be placed anywhere and plugged into an outlet to catch any Wi-Fi signal and extend it further.
Routers are a piece of technology like any other and over time the software onboard ages. It’s important to keep any device up-to-date to reap the best and most current benefits and applications. Firmware is designed to be upgraded and a router is no exception. As improvements become available it’s important to keep up with the new software. Doing so can improve a routers performance and also its security, meaning that your network can be up-to-date, safe, and connected with the latest software. The updates for a router are normally free and users can get them by visiting the device manufacturer’s website.
There are a number of options when it comes to upgrading your wireless signal, but the most important consideration is to firstly troubleshoot. Once you know why your network is underperforming it becomes much easier to search for and find solutions.
Internet connectivity is increasingly important and when it’s coupled with the freedom to move around, it becomes clear that your Wi-Fi signal needs to be consistent and have a wide range.
Follow the above steps when you run into problems and keep your employees connected. If all else fails, adopt a new service and a new router, but until those steps are necessary try some of the above. Hopefully it’ll help you to provide a better service and negate some of the headaches of a wireless network that won’t do what it should.