Not all internet is created equal. Internet providers, modems, wireless writers and range extenders all play a part in your quest for maximized WiFi. However, these aren’t the only variables that can bog down your internet speed and productivity. Here’s a look at how you can get the most out of your wireless internet whether at home or in the office.
Identify If There Is An Issue
There are many reasons that the website you just clicked on won’t load. Just because it sent you an error message or took longer than usual doesn’t mean it’s your internet provider or your internet hardware. Before you fiddle with your modem or call your internet provider, check your internet rate with a tester. Speedtest.net provides free tests that measure your download and upload speed. If your internet has a slower megabyte per second (Mbps) than what you pay for, there might be an issue with your provider. Contact them for more information. If your internet is performing as it should on the speed test, but not in practice, i.e. slow load of websites and video streams, then the problem may be more nuanced.
WiFi is commonly thought of as pervasive once your router is plugged in. However, WiFi, just like sound, is weakened by physical barriers. If your internet is slow despite your speed test, check your router position. Did you hide the eyesore behind a shelf, cupboard, or desk? Is your internet use often a couple of rooms away from where your router is located? If so, this might be the reason for your slow WiFi. Move your router somewhere that is more direct. Line of sight isn’t necessary, per se, but it doesn’t hurt either. Remember, the material your WiFi must penetrate also matters. Concrete blocks signal far more than a standard sheetrock wall.
Like all else, distance is always a factor. If you have, say, a detached garage or office, there are a host of ways you can extend the range of your WiFi. The most obvious solution is a WiFi extender, which can boost your signal a few hundred feet at best. A lesser-known trick is DD-WRT software. This depends on the router you have, but some are compatible with this software that maximizes the router’s power to extend the range. While this takes some tech know-how, Cox offers services and advice on how you can improve your household internet, and with the company’s services, you can rest assured you’re getting the most from your router.
Don’t take action before you know there is a problem. Test your internet with a speed test before you tinker with your router or buy a WiFi range booster. If your test comes back negative, check the placement of your router. Make sure it isn’t hidden behind a desk or several rooms away from where you typically use the internet. If all else fails, explore your options with additional software that optimizes your router, or purchase a WiFi range booster. Place the booster within your WiFi range, but in between the router and the location at which you want WiFi. The booster will then relay the signal from your router, and you’ll be all set.