1. Router Placement
Where you place your router will make a drastic difference in your wi-fi reception. You will want to put in a central area of the house, with as little obstructions around it as possible in order to minimize interference.
If you were to place the router against an exterior wall, then the signal will be poor on the other side of the home. For two story homes, if you have devices that need signal upstairs and your router is downstairs, elevate it. This can be done by placing it on a shelf.
Wi-fi functions on a particular frequency. The most common is 2.4 gigahertz. Other common household items such as anything from your cordless phone to baby monitors use a similar frequency and can cause interference. The interference might even be due to your neighbors’ devices. Use a household phone and other items that function on a different frequency to reduce interference.
Using a dual-band router may also help, as they can broadcast on both the 2.4 GHz as well as a 5 GHz frequency (the latter being a frequency far fewer appliances use). The downside to this is not all devices may support a 5 GHz frequency, and a higher frequency also cannot penetrate through walls as effectively. A simultaneous dual-band router is ideal, which emits both frequencies at the same time.
3. Router Configuration
Similar to a radio, routers broadcast their frequency on differing channels. You can switch through different channels to find if one is more favorable for your wi-fi enabled device(s) than another. This can be done by accessing your router’s configuration page. If you see a lot of wi-fi networks available other than your own, changing your channel might make more of a difference than you think.
Free online applications such as wifi stumbler can provide you with the information you need to switch to less occupied channels in your area.
Large pieces of furniture such put against the walls of your home will help reception throughout your home. Keep the router away from the walls, metallic objects, mirrors, and off the floor. All of these will cause interference with your signal.
5. Wireless Repeaters
Repeaters can as much double the range of your wireless. They are especially helpful in instances where adjustments to the house aren’t helping. They serve as a relay station for wi-fi. So instead of connecting to the router, you connect to the same network through the repeater. You don’t even need to go buy one, an old router can function as a wi-fi repeater.
Many people have to reboot their router every now and then because of a signal problem. With anything from as simple as outlet timer to changing your firmware, you can set your router to follow a regular reboot schedule that can help stop you from having to do it during the work day or when you need wi-fi. Instead, you can have it reboot when you’re sleeping or out of the house.
Jon Bibb is the owner of Steamer’s Carpet Care in San Antonio, Texas.