So, all your staff that can be are now at home and you want them to use the laptop you provided for them to do some work but all they do is complain about the terrible Wi-Fi they have?
This guide lists some things you can ask them to do to get most out of the router they have without it costing you a penny!
In simple terms it is the paperback book sized plastic box that converts computer datafrom inside your house and passes data to and from to the internet. There are lots of makes and models but one of the key things most do is provide a Wi-Fi single so that all your TV’s Tablets, Phones and PC’s can operate from anywhere in your house without being connected directly to it.
Some routers are better than others, but all have things you can do to get the best coverage (so its signal can reach as far as possible) plus the most bandwidth (carry more data quickly)
Routers are not pretty so you might be tempted to hide it away but optimally the router should be in the centre of your house, away from heavy duty appliances. If the router has external aerials point them skyward.
WiFi frequency comes in two flavours 2.4 older and slower and 5 newer and faster.Good news is most modern dual-band routers should offer you the option to use the same network name, or SSID, on both bands so, your devices will automatically choose the best signal whenever they can.
If you have anold dual-band router, you’ll likely get better throughput by switching to the 5GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz band. Often you will know which is which as the name (SSID) when you connect will have 5G in it for the faster connection(this is NOT the mobile phone 5G by the way).
Most home routers have some ports on the back that let you plug your laptops and PC’s into. If you really want to make sure your laptop of PC gets the best bandwidthplug it in! You are going straight in the back of the router – no interference, no messing. Obviously you won’t be able walk around but if you want the fastest speeds it is a great solution.
If you don’t live in the sticks but in a densely populated area signals from other wireless networks can impact speeds. Not to mention some cordless phone systems, microwaves, and other electronic devices.
All modern routers can switch across different channels when communicating with your devices. Most routers will choose the channel for you, but if neighbouring wireless networks are also using the same channel, then you are going to encounter signal congestion. A good router set to Automatic will try to choose the least congested channel, but many cheaper routers will just choose a predefined channel, even if it isn’t the best one.
It’s also possible the problem isn’t interference or other networks. There is a chance you have unwanted guests on your network. If you do not have or a defaultWi-Fi password anyone can steel your bandwidth. Set up a strong password both to logon to the router and for your Wi-Fipreferably WPA2, as WEP is notoriously easy to crack.
If you have a large property or the walls are thick getting a reliable and fast Wi-Fi signal from a single router can be a pain. Range extenders help bring connectivity to dead zones, but wireless range extenders usually provide about half the bandwidth you’ll get from your primary router (not so good). Plus, they often require separate management and can even force you to use two different SSIDs, which is a huge pain.
If you want seamless connectivity everywhere in your home, manageable from a simple smartphone app, consider upgrading your whole network a mesh Wi-Fi system instead.
Mesh Wi-FI systems look to replace your current router Wi-Fi with a number of satellites round your house so you get great reception and speeds everywhere. The only catch is they are not cheap!
If you share your Wi-Fi bandwidth with others in the house of even if you want to priorities some services over others than another visit to your router setup will let you often define which services get priority. This is called Quality of Service (QoS). QoS lets you limit the amount of bandwidth games, streaming and well just about anything can have so you can stop the latest movie streaming making you wait before sending that important customer invoice. Some routers even let you prioritise different apps by time of day. QoS is often to be found in the routers advanced settings and some routers even offer an easy one click solution for setting QoS for multimedia (streaming) or gaming.
This is not for the faint hearted so unless you have instructions on how to do it or it is as easy as clicking on an auto update button leave it to the experts. However, updating firmware can increase speed, reliability AND security all in one go.
I know that if your router is working then why change it but think it is one piece of equipment that governs the responsiveness of ALL your internet connected stuff. New routers tend be more sophisticated at handling more stuff and therefore if you can justify the cost a new one can transform your experience.
If you have any questions please get in touch with our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0333 3209 900.
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