When you consider how much we rely on the internet and our connected devices in the home these days, you'll quickly realise how vital a strong Wi-Fi connection is. As the Wi-Fi installation professionals, Kenner Electric has all of the tips and tricks you need to know to get a better Wi-Fi signal to keep your home running as it should.
To ensure this isn't all in your head, we strongly recommend you test your internet speed first. Depending on your internet plan, speeds that you should expect around Melbourne, Australia are at minimum 25Mbps download with Ping of 15 or lower. Most people should be able to achieve download speeds of over 50Mbps.
If your rate is indeed less than it should be, optimise your network with the helpful tips below.
First, check your wired internet connection
Sometimes the issue isn't the Wi-Fi! Locate an Ethernet cable and plug your computer into your modem then run a speed test. If there is still an issue, you'll need to call your internet provider and they'll run some tests with you over the phone to see if there is something wrong.
If your speed test reveals that you are getting the speed you pay for; your home may require a plan with better speeds to handle all of your devices. If you get good speed by standing closer to the router, Wi-Fi coverage may be the issue, meaning it's time for an upgrade.
Updating router firmware
The next thing to check before deciding there is a bigger issue is the firmware on your router. Have you updated it lately? Router manufacturers continually improve the software to improve security and to ensure you're getting the best speeds possible. The process of how to do this depends on your device’s manufacturer and model.
If you have a newer router, the update process is likely built into the administration interface accessible by an easy firmware upgrade button. Simply type your router's IP address into the search bar of your web browser, enter your username and password, locate the firmware or update section and then follow the prompts.
Older models will need a quick trip to the manufacturer's website to download a firmware file. This may seem like a hassle, but this is a simple fix compared to some other potential issues, so it’s definitely worth a shot.
Pro tip: Update your firmware on a regular basis regardless of an issue. This can provide performance improvements and security updates. There is also some third-party firmware available online that can improve the performance of your router.
Finding the best placement for your router
It is important to give your Wi-Fi signal the best chances of being distributed equally, and where you place the router in your home can affect the coverage.
Place the router in the centre of your house if possible, so the signal reaches each corner of the home. Wireless routers need open spaces, so try to let it have open air as opposed to trying to hide it away in a cupboard. It is also a good idea to keep it away from heavy-duty appliances and other electronics, impeding its performance.
You may need to have an electrician like Kenner Electrics relocate your NBN point or install an additional network point for you to allow you to move your router.
Pro tip: Placing a Wi-Fi router behind a TV will reduce the performance of your Wi-Fi network.
Understanding your frequency
Your network's administrator interface should let you know how to configure your router for optimum performance. Dual-band routers offer the fastest speeds operating on the 5GHz band are close to your Wi-Fi router. However, you might find that you achieve the best overall coverage in your house when operating on the 2.4GHz band because the signal goes further than a 5GHz signal.
In a similar vein, modern routers can switch across different channels in both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands. You want to ensure that any neighbouring wireless networks aren't using the same channel as you to avoid signal congestion. Setting your router to automatic will search for the least congested channel, but older routers do not have this setting and instead choose a predefined channel.
If you have an older router or the auto setting isn't working well, try selecting a new channel manually. Channel congestion can change over time, so it can be a good idea to repeat your routers specific manual channel surfing process every now and then.
Clear away any unwanted Wi-Fi guests
Finally, if you have an open network or a weak password, there could be some unwanted users piggybacking on your Wi-Fi. This can seriously slow things down, especially if they are doing some serious downloading or using streaming services like Netflix. Find a list of the devices that are currently on your Wi-Fi and kick those you don't know off!
Changing your Wi-Fi password once a year will improve your security and help keep unwanted guests off your network. Whenever you choose a new password, make sure it is a strong, safe password using letters, numbers and symbols.
Pro tip: We recommend our customers use a password storage system like 1Password to help them manage their passwords. This way you only need to remember one strong master password and then you can let the system remember the dozens of other passwords you have so that you don't have to.
Still need a little help boosting your signal? Talk to the W-Fi installation professionals
If you are still having trouble with your connection, contact the friendly team at Kenner Electrics. We service the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, providing the local community with reliable and trusted electrical services to improve homes and businesses' safety and connectivity.
We provide a range of electrical service work, helping you with everything from power points to TV antennas. Our experts are highly trained in all things Wi-Fi so if you are a home or business owner that is experiencing an issue, give us a call. We work hard to keep you connected!