Like most Australian homes, you probably have a WiFi network setup that allows you to have all of your computers, tablets and phones connect when you’re at home. But with this can always come some downsides such as decreased signal in different parts of the home.
To counter this, we’ve compiled a simple checklist that will help you not only get the strongest signal in your home, but allow everyone to have a quality connection wherever they are within the house.
The home WiFi checklist
1) Is your router placed in the centre of your home?
Wi-Fi signals degrade as they travel, so the larger the distance between your device and the router, the more opportunity the signal has to dissipate. Getting your router as central to your home as possible will ensure the shortest distance to all living spaces.
Plus, the closer your router is to an external wall or window, the more of your signal you are just sending out to the street or yard. Alternatively, if all your devices are on one side of your house, it might be better to place your router there.
2) Is your router elevated?
For the best results, your router should generally be placed around two metres off the ground. In the ideal scenario, your devices will have line-of-sight with the router to ensure the radio waves don’t have to travel through any objects. It’s hard to achieve that down on ground level in a busy family home.
3) Are there any Wi-Fi dampeners between your router and your devices?
Radio waves can travel through solid objects, but the constitution of that object changes the effort required for it to do so effectively. In addition, other devices that send out radio waves can add interference that disrupts the efficiency of the receivers. Both of these situations can impact the signal strength, and thus your Wi-Fi signal. Some common Wi-Fi dampeners include:
- bodies of water, such as a fish tank or water tank.
- electronic devices that use radio wave signals to function, like phone base stations, wireless video game controllers, radios, DVD players.
- appliances like microwaves, TVs, ovens, fridges, washing machines and dish washers.
- thick walls, such as brick, stone, ceramic, concrete, metal and mirrors. Also floors, if you live in a multi-storey building.
4) Do you have too many devices connected?
The more devices you have connected to your Wi-Fi network, the more communication lines your router is trying to juggle at once. If you have a device that is typically used for activities that consume a lot of broadband capacity, look to use a wired connection. For example, the main TV you want to stream high-definition Netflix through is a good candidate to wire directly to your router, rather than run off the Wi-Fi network, if possible.
5) Do your neighbours have Wi-Fi?
If so, their Wi-Fi may be adding interference to yours. To prevent this from happening, there are 13 channels through which your Wi-Fi can be blasted out from your router. Make sure you and your nearby neighbours are on different channels if you suspect this is an issue.
6) Does your router match your needs?
Over the last two decades the quality of Wi-Fi has improved greatly, so old equipment may not be up to the standards your lifestyle requires or that your newer devices advertise.