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How to improve your home Wi-Fi signal in just a few easy steps

Updated 4 years ago
Published Dec 18th, 2015 2:20PM EST

So you’re just about ready to have people over for Christmas and you’re looking to make sure everything’s just right. To make sure your guests have proper access to Wi-Fi in your house, you’ll want to make sure your Wi-Fi signal is as strong as possible. Below we’ve posted some tips and tricks for ensuring your Wi-Fi network is in good shape to handle Christmas dinner guests.

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The most important thing you should consider when setting up your Wi-Fi network is placing the router in a central position, CNET explainscheck out this detailed guide on how to correctly set up your home Wi-Fi.

In addition to a central position, your router should be placed as high as possible and shouldn’t be near Christmas light decorations that some have claimed will interfere with the signal.

While you’re at it, make sure you reposition the external antennas, if any are available, so that they’re perpendicular to one another. That’s because Wi-Fi devices operate best when the receiver and transmitter operate on the same plane.

In case you live in a multistory house, you should consider upgrading your house’s Wi-Fi setup using either repeaters, or – better yet – powerline adapters. What that does is to transform the electrical wires in your house into an Internet delivery system. Just plug in the Wi-Fi adapters from the powerline network kit at different stories, and you’ll soon improve your home Wi-Fi reception.

Using heatmapping software will help you better understand the kind of Wi-Fi coverage you’re getting in your home (image above), and you should probably do it as soon as you think you’re done with setting up the wireless network as previously described. The software will tell you what kind of coverage you’re getting and what areas of your home are best to be in when surfing the web.

If these steps do not fix your slow Internet, you should consider switching to 5GHz frequency. The 2.4GHz might be too crowded, and if you have a lot of electronics around the house – especially with all the guests – that spectrum might not be suitable, so a move to 5GHz is advised.

On top of that, using a different channel might also fix your problems. Choosing the right channel might remove some of the noise and interference, and improve your overall speed. Channels 1, 6 and 11 are usually used with the 2.4GHz spectrum band while on 5GHz you’ve got even more choices. Make sure you analyze the Wi-Fi surrounding of your home to determine which channels to hop on next. Oh, and CNET points out that it’ll pay off to have a new router, as these automatically choose the less crowded channels on reboot, so you won’t have to do a lot of manual and mental labor yourself.

With that last thought in mind, don’t expect amazing Wi-Fi performance from an aging router. Sure, it may have been the best thing you could have purchased a few years ago, but now and then you should consider upgrading to something a little more expensive.

If these tips and tricks can’t help you improve your home Wi-Fi, then you may have bigger problems to deal with, and they might be related to your ISP.

Be sure to see CNET’s full guide for even more details on the handy tips above by following the source link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.