Today, with the entire world being online and with the COVID-19 WFH (work from home) scenario, we have become highly dependent on the internet for all our jobs, be it office work, online shopping, streaming shows, playing video games, or even communicating with our loved ones.
And, a sluggish Wi-Fi with dropped signals, slow browsing and choppy videos can be frustrating and a modern-day nightmare.
Thankfully, there are many things that you can do to strengthen your Wi-Fi signal and in this article, we’ll discuss proven methods of how you can make your Wi-Fi signal stronger.
Ways to Make Your Wi-Fi Signal Stronger
Check the Internet Connection
If you find that the Wi-Fi is very weak, before you do anything about it, first, check the internet connection that is coming into your home.
To do this, plug your computer or laptop into the modem directly and run a speed test to check the speed of the internet connection.
If this is lower than your internet plan, then you may have to either change your modem or call your internet service provider to resolve the problem.
If there is no problem with your modem, run the internet speed test once again wirelessly, while sitting next to the router. If the speeds are good next to the router but weak in other parts of the house, then the problem may be with the Wi-Fi coverage.
If the internet is still very slow even next to the router, then you may have to update your hardware.
Check the Wi-Fi Range
One of the most important things is to check the coverage range of your Wi-Fi network. If you are outside the network range, the signal will be very weak or you may not get any signal and you will not be able to connect your device to the Wi-Fi. Apart from the distance, also consider the obstructions in the area such as corners, walls, etc., all of which can affect your Wi-Fi network range and hence the performance of your Wi-Fi signal.
Keep in mind that sometimes your router just does not have the strength to handle your Internet package or being able to cover a much larger area in your house, which can all be solved by looking into Routers for Long Range.
Install an External Antenna
Another very important component of the wireless network is the antenna and if the built-in antenna of the wireless router is not sufficient, then you may need to install an external antenna.
This can help to boost the Wi-Fi signal significantly. When purchasing an external antenna, make sure to choose a “high gain” option, which helps to access the signal in multiple directions.
Install a Cable Signal Booster
If you’re using a cable internet connection, there may be many reasons as to why the signal strength coming into your home is very weak.
For instance, if you live in a neighborhood, where many homes are also using a cable internet connection, then the power your home is receiving may not be optimal. Also, if you have splitters installed in every room, this will weaken the cable signal. In fact, the more the number of splitters, the weaker the signal.
You can install a cable signal booster, which can help to amplify the signal and ensure that you get the best Wi-Fi network signal. Cable signal boosters look similar to coaxial splitters, but they work by distributing the cable signals efficiently and improving the signal strength.
Install a Dual Band Router
It may be worthwhile to purchase a dual-band router. A dual-band router essentially supports 2 network bands i.e., 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The 5 GHz network offers faster speeds compared to 2.4 GHz; however, this is only over a shorter distance.
The benefit of having a dual-band router is that, when you’re closer to the router, you can switch to the 5 GHz network, which is faster and when you’re farther away, you can use the 2.4 GHz. The only limitation of this method is that you need to switch between the networks manually, which can be cumbersome.
Update Your Router’s Firmware
With advancements in technology, router manufacturers are constantly releasing new router models, as well as firmware updates, to enhance performance and speed.
So, if you’re using an older router model, it is important to ensure that the firmware of your router is updated to ensure that your router is running in peak condition. Also, adjust the settings of your router to ensure that the output is maximized.
Change the Placement of the Router
The distance, as well as range, are important factors that affect the performance of your Wi-Fi and it is very important to ensure that the router is placed in the best position in your home. In fact, the position of the Wi-Fi router can affect the wireless coverage.
If you have a wired router, then you can place it in a secure area.
However, if the model is a wireless one, this requires open space, without any walls or obstructions in the way. Don’t place it inside a cabinet, by the window, or in some obscure corner of your home.
Ideally, to get the best coverage, you should place the router in a central area in your home.
This ensures that the signals are dispersed to every corner of your home properly and also prevents the router from getting overheated.
As the Wi-Fi signals travel laterally, you should position the router in the center and not too close to the ceiling or the floor. Also, keep the router away from electronic or heavy-duty appliances as these can impact its performance. If your router is equipped with external antennae, then ensure that they are positioned vertically, to boost the coverage.
Install a Wi-Fi System
A Wi-Fi system is essentially a wireless mesh network, which consists of multiple routers that you can install in various areas in your home.
The advantage of this kind of system is that they get configured and network with each other automatically, which makes the setup of the Wi-Fi system very easy.
Also, you can add multiple devices to extend the wireless network. Some models allow you to configure and control everything via an app; however, these systems are quite expensive.
Install an Add-On Wi-Fi Signal Booster
You can install a Wi-Fi signal booster antenna or a wireless repeater that is compatible with your Wi-Fi router. These are commonly available devices and work by amplifying the wireless signal received from the router. These boosters help to improve your network signals by expanding the range by 2x at least.
Use a Powerline Adapter
In your home, some areas may not get a Wi-Fi signal because the walls may be made of materials that block the wireless signal. In such cases, using a powerline adapter can help.
You need to simply fix it on the wall close to the router and place another unit where you require an Ethernet connection. While the speeds may not be great, it still may be an option to consider.
Eliminate Sources of Wi-Fi Interference
Apart from physical barriers, there may be other wireless networks and electronic devices that may be interfering with your Wi-Fi signal. If you use several electronic gadgets and devices such as phones, monitors, microwaves, cameras, IoT devices, etc., then it may be a good idea to turn all the devices off to check if there is some sort of interference.
Change the Channel
If you live in a densely populated area, then interference can be a big issue and signals from other Wi-Fi networks around can impact the speed. As mentioned earlier, the Wi-Fi speed can also be affected by microwaves, electronic devices, cordless phones, etc.
A modern router can access different channels while communicating with your devices.
And, while the router automatically chooses the channel, if the neighboring Wi-Fi networks are using the same channel and there is a lot of congestion, the more modern routers will choose a channel that is least congested automatically.
However, a cheaper router may be able to choose a preset channel, even if it is congested, which can be a problem.
If the auto setting doesn’t work properly, then you can log in to the admin interface of your router and select the channel manually. Check if the signal is better and faster by running a speed test.
However, it is important to remember that over time, the channel congestion can change so you must keep checking periodically to ensure that the channel you are using is the best.
Eliminate Wi-Fi Intruders
If the password of your network is weak or you have an open network, any person with a Wi-Fi-enabled device can access your network if they are within the range.
If you notice that your Wi-Fi signal is very slow or lagging, it could be because other people are piggybacking on your network.
You can make use of a network analyzer tool to check for devices that may be connecting to your network, which can slow your Wi-Fi down. You could also use the admin interface of your router to analyze the traffic to locate the devices using a lot of data.
If you find an invalid user using your network, you can resolve the issue by adding a strong password (a WPA2) to protect your network and share it with very limited users.
Stop Using Applications that Hog the Bandwidth
If there are many users connected to your home network and using the Wi-Fi, then it is natural that the performance will reduce and your Wi-Fi will be slower.
Also, playing online games, streaming videos and other applications consume your bandwidth and when you notice that your Wi-Fi speed is dropping, reduce the number of devices that are connected to the Wi-Fi and also close all the apps that consume the network.
Reboot Your Router Frequently
If you notice that the speed of your Wi-Fi signal is lagging, then a simple way to resolve the problem is to turn off the router for a while and allow it to refresh itself.
Leave the router off for a few minutes and turn it on after a while. When you turn on the router again, you’re sure to see a Wi-Fi signal boost. Some router models also have the option that allows you to schedule an automatic reboot.
Upgrade Your Internet Plan
Right from our computers, appliances, smart home devices, and phones, all are connected to your internet via Wi-Fi and consume a huge amount of bandwidth.
And, if you have the same internet plan that you had 10 years ago, it may not be able to support this huge bandwidth use and you may need to upgrade your plan.
In conclusion, we hope with these simple methods, you can boost your Wi-Fi signal and if one method does not work, you could try a combination of tips and techniques.
And, if this too fails, then you can contact your internet service provider who can either diagnose and resolve your issue remotely or send a technician to look into your Wi-Fi connectivity and boost it.
Simply put and to conclude this article, sometimes you are using the wrong or an older Router or Modem that is never going to be able to give you the speed we want so we recommend reading our Best WiFi Routers for Long Range – Buyer’s Guide & Review.
This article will guide you in the right direction to support the Internet speed you are actually paying for, It’s not for everyone as it can be costly but if you want the speed it’s a really good investment.
Lorenzo has been using the internet for as long as he can remember. He was there for the early days of message boards, he watched social media take over, and he’s excited to see what comes next.