836 Views

How to Improve the Wi-Fi Strength in Your Home or Office

 

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as a weak Wi-Fi signal in your home or office. I live and work in a 1000-square-foot industrial loft that has a four-foot-thick dividing wall made of solid concrete and steel. It’s great for noise insulation, not so great for wireless penetration — so trust me when I say, I know what it’s like to deal with a frustrating Wi-Fi deadzone.

My router is in my home office, which is attached to my bedroom. The unnecessarily thick concrete-and-steel wall separates my office from my living room, which is where my beautiful 40-inch HDTV, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One live. I have tried just about everything to improve my signal — after all, a girl’s gotta be able to stream Tokyo Jungle on PlayStation Now — and there are only a few things that have worked. Here are some tips on how to improve the Wi-Fi strength in your home or office, from a desperate fan of the PlayStation Plus network:

Tweak Your Settings

Most modern routers can run on two different frequencies: 2.4GHz, which is an older standard, and 5GHz. If you’ve never messed with your router’s settings before, it’s probably operating on the older 2.4GHz frequency. Because most routers run on this frequency by default, your Wi-Fi could be slower than it needs to be. If you live or work in an area that’s crowded with Wi-Fi networks, you may be able to boost your Wi-Fi speed by switching your router’s frequency and channel.

To change your router’s frequency, you’ll need to access your router’s settings page. To do this, you will need to plug your router’s IP address into the address bar of any browser. You can find your router’s IP address by opening the Control Panel (in Windows 10, do this by right-clicking the Start button and choosing Control Panel) and going to Network and Sharing Center.

You do not need to be on a wireless connection to access your router's IP address, though you do need to be wired into your router.

You do not need to be on a wireless connection to access your router’s IP address, though you do need to be wired into your router. (Image: Sarah Jacobsson Purewal)

Next to Connections, click the name of your local network to open its properties window.

Click Details… to open the Network Connection Details, and find the number next toIPv4 Default Gateway. This is your router’s IP address. Type this number into the URL bar of any web browser and hit the Enter key to open your router’s settings page.

If you don't remember your username or password, try the default username and password for your router.

If you don’t remember your username or password, try the default username and password for your router. (Image: Sarah Jacobsson Purewal)

You will need to log in to this page using your username and password. If you don’t know your username and password, the router is probably using the default username and password. You can find your router’s default username and password by selecting your model on this website.

Once you’re inside your router’s settings page, look for the wireless settings. Here, you should see the option to change your 802.11 band from 2.4GHz to 5GHz.

Changing your frequency is not the only thing you want to do, though — you also want to make sure your router is operating on a control channel with as little traffic as possible. There are 11 channels on the 2.4GHz frequency, only three of which are non-overlapping (1, 6, and 11). There are 23 channels on the 5GHz frequency, all of which are non-overlapping. To find the channel that has the least traffic, you’ll need to use a utility that can scan the networks in your area.

WifiInfoView shows you detailed information about the networks in your area.

I like WifiInfoView, which is free. Simply download WifiInfoView, unzip the file, and run it, and you will be able to see all the networks in your area, what frequency they’re using, and what channel they’re on. Find the channel that has the least networks on it, and change your control channel to that one.

The frequency and channel you end up using will depend on the networks in your area and what you’re looking to accomplish. The higher 5GHz frequency is not necessarily the best, it’s just (often) the least used. However, it’s important to note that while your signal may be stronger on the 5GHz frequency, it will not reach as far as it will on the 2.4GHz frequency. So if distance is your priority, you’re better off sticking to the 2.4GHz frequency and one of the non-overlapping control channels with less traffic (usually 6 or 11).

ALSO READ  Nigerian Internet Users Still Stand At 91 Million

Move Your Router

Your router’s physical location is more important than you imagine when it comes to dispensing a strong, even signal. Ideally, your router will be positioned as close to the middle of your target coverage area. Realistically, the cable guy who installed your Internet probably hid your router away in a corner somewhere.

Well, good news: Routers are pretty portable! If you’re having trouble getting a strong Wi-Fi signal in parts of your home or office, here are some things to consider as you move your router around:

  • Height: You want your router to be centrally located, both horizontally and vertically. If you’re trying to cover multiple floors, your router should not be on the bottom floor. Even if you’re only covering one floor, height can definitely help your router get better coverage — consider placing it on a high shelf.
  • Surrounding material: Some building materials, including concrete, brick, and metal, will absorb and weaken your router’s signal. If you can avoid placing your router near a lot of metal objects, or next to a four-foot-thick concrete-and-steel factory wall, that would be best.
  • Appliances: Microwaves operate on a frequency that is very close to the 2.4GHz band your router may be operating on. Thus, microwaves (and other household appliances, such as cordless phones and baby monitors) can disrupt your Wi-Fi signal — yet another reason to switch over to the 5GHz band.
  • Antenna position: This one is easy — you know how your router has an antenna? That antenna actually does something. If you need more vertical coverage, make sure the antenna is pointing up. If you need more horizontal coverage, make sure the antenna is pointing sideways.

Setup a Wireless Access Point

No amount of settings tweaks and re-positioning can help my unfortunate Wi-Fi situation — that’s what I get for living in a repurposed textile factory. Luckily, there’s still another option for people in tricky Wi-Fi situations: Wireless access points.

Now, if your problem is that you simply need more signal — you have a particularly large house, but no solid concrete walls — you may not need to set up a wireless access point and you can simply make do with a Wi-Fi extender, like the Netgear EX6200, which is a dual-band extender. A Wi-Fi extender connects to your existing Wi-Fi network and repeats the signal to other parts of your home/office. The main issue with Wi-Fi extenders is the potential speed drop — a dual-band extender can avoid this by running on a different frequency as your main router, but you’ll still have a weaker signal from an extender than you will from the actual router.

For a Wi-Fi extender to work, however, you need to at least be able to get a Wi-Fi signal in the part of your home/office that you want to extend the signal to. I can’t use a Wi-Fi extender in my situation, because my Wi-Fi signal drops off as soon as I cross the wall. Placing a Wi-Fi extender on the same side of the wall as my router would be pointless, because the Wi-Fi extender’s signal can’t cross the wall either.

So, for the truly desperate, this is what you’ll need: A wireless access point and a very, very long Ethernet cable.

The D-Link DAP-1650 is a Wi-Fi extender that can also be set up as a wired wireless access point.

I’m using the D-Link DAP-1650, which is a dual-band Wi-Fi range extender that can also be set up as a wired access point. To set up a wired access point, you will need to plug one end of your extra-long Ethernet cable into your router, and the other end into your wired access point. You can then place the access point wherever you want, but you will need to keep it connected to the router. In my case, that means running an Ethernet cable out of my office, through my hallway, and well into my living room. As difficult as this is to set up, the payout is worth it — I now get a strong Wi-Fi signal on both sides of the wall.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Posts

Why Nigeria Cannot Win The World Cup – Former Arsenal Coach, Arsene Wenger
Sports
41 views
Sports
41 views

Why Nigeria Cannot Win The World Cup – Former Arsenal Coach, Arsene Wenger

MT - June 23, 2018

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has given two reasons why Nigeria will find it difficult winning the 2018 World Cup and this has nothing to do with…

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Agreeing to Marry Him
Romance and Love
48 views
Romance and Love
48 views

7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Agreeing to Marry Him

PH - June 23, 2018

Before saying the words “I do”, which would plunge you into a lifelong commitment, there are a lot of things you should already know about your partner.…

7 Signs Delivery Day Is Around The Corner
Food and Health
47 views
Food and Health
47 views

7 Signs Delivery Day Is Around The Corner

PH - June 23, 2018

Towards the end of pregnancy, anticipation is at its peak and expectant mothers are on the lookout for any sign of the delivery day. For the first-timers,…

Nigerian Writer, Anietie Isong Shortlisted For UK’s Biggest Literary Prize Fund
Art, History and Culture
48 views
Art, History and Culture
48 views

Nigerian Writer, Anietie Isong Shortlisted For UK’s Biggest Literary Prize Fund

PH - June 23, 2018

Anietie Isong, a Nigerian writer, is among those in the running to benefit from the UK’s biggest literary fund of more than £98,000. The Society of Authors…

Corps Member Wins $2,500 Afriture Painting Competition
Art, History and Culture
39 views
Art, History and Culture
39 views

Corps Member Wins $2,500 Afriture Painting Competition

PH - June 23, 2018

Julius Agbaje, a 26-year-old National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, has won the 2018 Afriture Painting Competition. Our correspondent reports that Agbaje, who is serving with Silverbird…

Aremu Afolayan: It Is Impossible To Own A House In Lekki Through Acting Only
Entertainment
53 views
Entertainment
53 views

Aremu Afolayan: It Is Impossible To Own A House In Lekki Through Acting Only

PH - June 23, 2018

Is Aremu Afolayan trying to convey something? He has just stated that it is almost impossible for actors and actresses who has their only income from making…

Nobel laureate Soyinka Reproaches Obasanjo, As He Calls Him An Hypocrite
Politics
62 views
Politics
62 views

Nobel laureate Soyinka Reproaches Obasanjo, As He Calls Him An Hypocrite

PH - June 23, 2018

Soyinka reproaches Nigeria's former president as he calls him an hypocritical leader whose only ambition is to pleas himself. He has also  threatened to release a book…

Victor Osuagwu Gives Reason For Using A Truck As Wedding Vehicle
Entertainment
61 views
Entertainment
61 views

Victor Osuagwu Gives Reason For Using A Truck As Wedding Vehicle

PH - June 23, 2018

Guess life is not really about caring about what others might say or do, but about achieving your goals in the way you can without hurting anyone.…

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe Arrested In Stead Of Nnamdi Kanu Over Bail Bond Issues
Politics
72 views
Politics
72 views

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe Arrested In Stead Of Nnamdi Kanu Over Bail Bond Issues

PH - June 23, 2018

The senator representing Abia South Senatorial District, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was apprehended by the Department of State Services (DSS), on Friday. Operatives of the DSS accosted the…

The Race Of Christianity In Nigeria Said To Go Extinct In Next 25 Years
Religion
80 views
Religion
80 views

The Race Of Christianity In Nigeria Said To Go Extinct In Next 25 Years

PH - June 23, 2018

Can the race of Christianity really ceases in this world? not to talk of ceasing in Nigeria, a nation well known for its religious beliefs. But there…

4 Non-Executives Appointed By Buhari For Central Bank Of Nigeria
Politics
114 views
Politics
114 views

4 Non-Executives Appointed By Buhari For Central Bank Of Nigeria

PH - June 22, 2018

On Friday, the appointments of four non-executive directors approved by President Muhammadu Buhari were for the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Permanent Secretary (General Services Office), Office of…

Oyo Female Gov. Aspirant, Bolanle Aliyu, Seeks Alaafin’s Blessing For 2019 Election
Politics
98 views
Politics
98 views

Oyo Female Gov. Aspirant, Bolanle Aliyu, Seeks Alaafin’s Blessing For 2019 Election

PH - June 22, 2018

Oyo State gets female aspirant running for governorship in 2019 as she seeks the Alaafin's blessing for her intention. The Oyo State female governorship aspirant, Bolanle Aliyu,…

Dayo Amusa Shows Discontent On Disrespect From Newbies In The Industry
Entertainment
82 views
Entertainment
82 views

Dayo Amusa Shows Discontent On Disrespect From Newbies In The Industry

PH - June 22, 2018

Nollywood actress Dayo Amusa has shown her discontent with where the movie industry is heading The actress took to her Instagram page to address the way newbies…

Mikel Obi Assured, Says Nigeria Will Push Through Even With The Poor Start
Sports
119 views
Sports
119 views

Mikel Obi Assured, Says Nigeria Will Push Through Even With The Poor Start

PH - June 22, 2018

Team captain John Obi Mikel assures Nigeria will reach the knockout phase of the World Cup despite their unimpressive start. Even after being defeated in the last match,…

Kwara State Government Grants N125m To Tertiary Institution After Going On Strike
Education
112 views
Education
112 views

Kwara State Government Grants N125m To Tertiary Institution After Going On Strike

PH - June 22, 2018

Mr. Abdullahi Alkinla, the State Commissioner for Tertiary Education, disclosed in a statement released on Thursday in Ilorin that the Kwara state government has released a sum of…

Agricultural Export Rises 24% In 3 Months
Agriculture and Farming
86 views
Agriculture and Farming
86 views

Agricultural Export Rises 24% In 3 Months

PH - June 22, 2018

Nigeria has seen its 2018 first quarter agricultural export risen by 24 percent as the country explore opportunities to earn substantial dollars through the non-oil export. The…

See Reasons Why Ministers Say Buhari Deserves To Be Re-elected
Politics
82 views
Politics
82 views

See Reasons Why Ministers Say Buhari Deserves To Be Re-elected

PH - June 22, 2018

On Thursday in Abuja, some of the cabinet ministers gathered to say, "President Muhammadu Buhari deserves to be re-elected to build on the development foundation he laid…

Free Deworming Drugs Distributed To Inmates In Nasarawa
Food and Health
105 views
Food and Health
105 views

Free Deworming Drugs Distributed To Inmates In Nasarawa

PH - June 22, 2018

Deworming drugs were offered for free to 567 inmates and 40 officers of Keffi Medium Prisons in order to improve their health by the Association of Community Pharmacists…

Loading...