One problem that some users encounter is a reduction in connection speeds when using Wi-Fi. In an age where we are accessing more and more data-intensive content, such as online media, this is not ideal.
Connection speeds are also dependent on many factors, but starting with your own hardware, namely your router can see speed gains just by making a few changes.
Almost all of us connect to the internet through a Wi-Fi connection these days. But Wi-Fi is not always the most efficient way to be connected.
Of course, we are not advocating a return to fixed-line connections (although these often are faster) so instead, there are a number of steps you can take to boost your Wi-Fi signal and improve your connection speeds.
Below we're taking a look at the 5 best ways to boost your Wi-Fi signal.
1. Update Your Router’s Firmware
The first thing everyone should try is updating their router's firmware. Firmware, if you are not aware, is the software which controls a piece of hardware such as a router, and makes it function.
Updating this crucial firmware can be straightforward or complex depending on the make and model of the router you are using. If you open your routers web interface, there may well be an option to search for the latest update there.
For example on the ASUS DSL-AC68U this is located under Administration -> Firmware Upgrade.
If there isn’t, you might be able to perform the update manually through your operating system.
Some manufacturers will push updates onto their devices automatically. Check on their website or through their customer service facilities if you are not sure whether yours does.
The last option is to install custom firmware, but that is really only for the most advanced and computer-literate of users.
2. Change the Frequency
Another good way to speed up your Wi-Fi connection is by changing the frequency. Sometimes a different frequency can be quicker. For example, if you live in an apartment block and everyone in the apartments around you is using the same frequency, this can be enough to slow your signal down.
If your router is a dual-band router, be sure to change from the 2.4GHz frequency to the 5GHz one. Changing this should be a fairly simple process. Most routers will have instructions in their user manual or otherwise on the manufacturer's website.
Alternatively, open your web browser, and type the following into the URL bar: 192.168.1.1 which is a standard for many router admin panels.
3. Use a Wi-Fi VPN extender
Another option to boost your Wi-Fi signal is to invest in a Wi-FI VPN extender. These are sometimes also referred to as repeaters. They receive your original Wi-Fi signal, amplify it and then transmit this enhanced signal.
If you live in a large house, or a particularly well-built one, you may find your Wi-Fi signal only reaches so far. An extender will help the signal to reach all around the house.
Lots of router manufacturers also offer extenders, but it is important to remember that you don’t need to use an extender from the same manufacturer as your router.
Here at VPNCompare.co.uk, our recommendation is the Invizbox Go which works as both a Wi-Fi extender and VPN router. This means that as well as amplifying and spreading your Wi-Fi signal, it will also serve as a VPN router and so protect your privacy and security while using your Wi-Fi connection.
As an added bonus, if you order your Invizbox Go through VPNCompare.co.uk, you can also enjoy an exclusive 10% discount. Follow the link to find out more.
4. Most Efficient Router Location
The location of your router can negatively affect the strength of the signal it emits. If you live in a home which is constructed using materials which can have an effect on the signal, such as metal or reinforced concrete, it is important to keep the router in an open place, at a good height to allow the signal to spread out as much as possible.
Equally, if you have a wireless router, this also needs to be kept in an open area so that it can receive and relay the signal clearly.
A hardwired router, on the other hand, should be OK hidden away anywhere as long as it is clear of any materials that could impact on the signal.
If you are using the type of router which has built-in antennae, try to ensure that these are pointing upwards as best you can. This usually helps to strengthen the signal and extend your Wi-Fi range a bit.
If you are not sure about the range of your Wi-Fi signal just by using your connected devices, there are a few online tools which can help you.
5. Quality Control
Last, but by no means least, most routers will come equipped with their own tools, known as Quality of Service (QoS) tools. These enable you to choose which apps get the fastest connection speeds, or specify the times of days when you want downloads to go the fastest.
This is great if you are doing things like downloading or streaming movies or TV shows as you can ensure they have the highest connection speeds available, whilst less important activities receive a lower priority.
Take a look in your user manual or on your manufactures website to learn more about the QoS facilities available to you and how to operate them.