How to improve your WiFi while you're stuck at home

March 19, 2020 16:25

With orders to stay home due to the coronavirus, quality internet service is more important than ever. Whether you're using your WiFi to work or just to stay sane with streaming and gaming, you need to get the most out of your wireless internet.

Unfortunately, life doesn't always work that way. If your home WiFi is crapping out on a regular basis or isn't any good, it can feel like there's nothing you can do. This isn't true. Depending on how much money you want to spend, you can improve your WiFi situation in pretty short order.

Even if you don't want to spend money, there are some steps you can take to fix your busted WiFi right now. 

As you probably know, WiFi only works if you have a functional router. But you can't just put a router anywhere and expect peak performance. It would be nice if things worked that way, but we live in a world where wireless signals can only do so much on their own, so we need to help them as much as we can.

Is your router in your basement, or in a cupboard, or generally far away from the devices you use? If so, consider fixing that. Your router needs to be in as central a location as possible. I realize that isn't always easy; my modem is at the far end of a long apartment because that's where the cable is. That said, if you have a lengthy ethernet cable lying around, you can make it work.

Even if you can't, you can still improve your signal by putting the router in an elevated position and making sure there's open air between it and any device you're using. Don't put it on the floor if you can help it. Walls, especially thick ones, can also be hell for wireless signals. It's possible for other electronic devices in close proximity to the router to disrupt the signal, too. 

In general, keep the router away from other devices, don't make the signal pass through too many walls, and keep it up as high as you can. Of course, you could always try limiting the number of devices you have connected to WiFi, too. All of those things should help.

By Alex Perry - Mashable (3/19/20)
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