In this guide, we’ve included all you need to know to successfully boost your WiFi signal strength at home. From router placement to installing a range extender, discover five of the top ways to improve the signal and speed of your home WiFi.
Your No-Nonsense Guide To Getting a Good WiFi Signal
Today, no matter where we are in the world, having access to WiFi is an essential part of our everyday lives. Even at home, whether you’re using the internet for pleasure or work, a good WiFi signal makes all the difference.
To avoid a slow and unstable WiFi connection that makes web browsing unnecessarily difficult, it’s important to learn what you can do to boost your WiFi signal before you find yourself staring at load screens and frustration begins to set in.
Follow the advice below to make sure you and your family have an internet browsing experience that’s always trouble-free.
First Things First: What’s The Difference Between Broadband And WiFi?
It’s important to note that broadband and WiFi are two separate things.
Broadband provides internet access through multiple different networking technologies including fibre optics, wireless, cable and satellite.
WiFi is the wireless networking technology that allows your computer, mobile device and other equipment (like printers or cameras) to use the internet. Basically, WiFi is the means by which you’re able to access the internet without the need for a physical connection.
Only recently has WiFi managed to truly match the capabilities of what broadband can do.
Does WiFi Signal Affect Speed?
WiFi signal strength is one of many factors that affect the speed of your internet connection.
Any obstructions or significant distances from the wireless access point (WAP) could cause slower network speeds. Physical barriers like walls, doors, floors, partitions, or large TVs that obstruct the path of the WiFi signal can reduce signal strength or create interference.
How Fast Should WiFi Speed Be?
In a home with an average of 4 people, a good WiFi signal speed is around 11Mbps (megabits per second) with standard broadband. A quick broadband speed would be between 11Mbps and 50Mbps, and a WiFi speed of up to 100Mbps or higher is considered very fast.
The higher your Mbps, the better experience you’ll have at home when downloading, uploading, browsing the internet or streaming movies. The more devices and people connected there are in your household, the higher we recommended your Mbps should be.
Why WiFi Signal Fluctuates
Since WiFi signals use a radio-based frequency, from time to time, you might find your internet connection is interrupted or sluggish.
Signal strength fluctuation may happen if you’re moving around your home with your mobile or electronic device. Not only can physical obstructions and sizable distances to the WAP (Wireless Access Point) weaken your internet connectivity, but WiFi speed may also falter depending on how much bandwidth everyone in your household is using at that specific time.
What Could Interfere With WiFi Signal?
Interference to your WiFi signal can come from a number of sources. If you’re suffering from slow load speeds or an unresponsive internet browser you should consider if your home’s electrical wiring, household appliances (like microwave ovens), other Bluetooth devices, or your mobile phone is causing your network speed to slow down.
Other Causes Of Poor WiFi Signal
Too Many Devices Being Used At Once. Any other device that transmits or receives a wireless signal is capable of interfering with the strength of your WiFi signal. When you find yourself with WiFi signal troubles, switch off electronics like unused devices, wireless speakers, baby monitors, or handheld radios.
Your WiFi Router May Need Rebooting. Almost all home WiFi issues can be fixed by switching off your router, waiting ten to fifteen seconds, then restarting it. Doing this reboots the device, and more often than not, helps to improve WiFi signal strength and speed.
Interference From Other Nearby WiFi Networks. If there are several sources of WiFi in close proximity (like in a block of flats or in an apartment building), you may find that your network is competing for signal in the same radio frequency band. If you’re experiencing weak WiFi in a crowded area, switching to a different channel may solve the issue.
How To Boost WiFi Signal At Home
Now that we’ve covered the potential causes of slow WiFi speeds or fluctuating internet connectivity, it’s a good time to talk about the steps you can take to give your home WiFi signal a healthy boost.
We’ve created a list of five of the top ways to strengthen your WiFi signal to keep your whole family happy while they surf the web.
Optimal Router Placement
Moving your router between spots in your home won’t make your internet connection faster, but the right location can make your WiFi signal more reliable and stable. In order to find the best place for your router, you should:
Place the router somewhere central and open. WiFi is transmitted from all directions in a circle, meaning the more centrally you can place your router, the better your home’s signal coverage is going to be.
Avoid the kitchen. Not only can other electronic appliances or metal surfaces disrupt WiFi signals, but there’s also the added risk of a food or liquid spillage too.
Put the router on a table or surface rather than on the floor. As your router sends out signals in all directions the floor absorbs more of your WiFi than if you place the modem somewhere elevated.
Feel free to experiment with the location of your router. There are no hard and fast rules about where to place your router. Try out other spots around your home to see if the signal strength improves.
Check Your Frequency
WiFi frequency bands are radio frequency ranges within the wireless spectrum that are specifically designated to carry WiFi signals. These signals are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
To find out which signal your home WiFi uses, use your device to check the network name. 2.4 GHz network may have “24G,” “2.4,” or “24” included on the end of the network name, while a 5 GHz may have “5G” or “5”.
As a rule of thumb, a 2.4 GHz WiFi band travels farther at slower speeds, while 5 GHz is faster over a smaller space. You should aim to use the 2.4 GHz band to connect devices for low bandwidth activities like browsing the Internet and use 5 GHz for high-bandwidth activities like online gaming and streaming movies.
Look Out For WiFi Leeches
Wi-Fi leeches scour their area for unsecured WiFi networks. To avoid the risk of unnecessary and potentially unsafe traffic on your home WiFi network, it’s important to never leave the network open. Make sure your WiFi network has a password that no one can guess to safeguard your network connection.
If you’re suspicious that you might already have a WiFi leech, take a look at your WiFi router’s administrator interface to work out the number of devices that are connected.
Install A Range Extender
If you find your WiFi isn’t quite strong enough to reach all areas of your home, you might consider installing a range extender to improve signal strength in certain areas of the home. A range extender works by boosting WiFi from your existing router, helping the signal to reach areas like upstairs bedrooms or out into the garden.
Range extender models vary in shape and size so you can choose from a compact model that plugs directly into a mains power socket, or a larger model that sits on a desk, shelf or table.
While a range extender can mean your WiFi travels further, you should be aware that a WiFi-enabled extender will usually see some signal speed loss because the tech is communicating with the router over your home WiFi.
Configure Your ‘Quality of Service’ Settings
The ‘Quality of Service’ is a feature on most WiFi routers that helps you to take control of how your bandwidth is divided between devices. When your home network is congested with excessive internet traffic, configuring your ‘Quality of Service’ allows you to prioritise the most important traffic over others.
To access ‘Quality of Service’ settings on your home router, you’ll need to log into your own router’s administration page to see the features available to you. We advise having a look through the online manufacturer documentation for your type of router to understand the ‘Quality of Service’ settings your network supports.
Put Your WiFi Signal Strength To The Test
Before testing the strength of your home WiFi signal, it’s important to be aware that the reliability of your home internet connection and speed is largely dependent on your Internet Service Provider (ISP). WiFi signal strength comes from the wireless router in your own home, not your ISP.
As we’ve already mentioned, a strong WiFi signal means you’ll have a more reliable internet connection in your home — which is what enables you to take full advantage of the internet speeds available to you.
To check the strength of your WiFi, the first thing to do is look at the device having connectivity issues. Pay attention to when the bars on the device’s WiFi symbol increases and decreases.
While looking at the bars will only tell you so much, there’s the option to dig a little bit deeper to understand the true strength of your WiFi, but you’ll need to use an external app or program to do so. A quick Google search will help you find a signal strength program that’s free, simple to use, and doesn’t require any installation or tech wizardry.
Still Having No Luck? What To Do If Your WiFi Is Slow
If you continue to encounter WiFi troubles after following the advice in this guide, it’s possible that the issue lies with your router hardware or with the type of broadband connection you have to your home.
If you’re sure that your WiFi router is centrally located in your home, you’ve double-checked your network security settings, and you’ve tried rebooting the hardware — but signal problems still persist — it might be time to update your WiFi package or change broadband provider.
Choosing the right broadband provider is guaranteed to make video calls, movie streaming, emailing, file sharing, and data storage a smoother, quicker and more efficient experience for everyone in your home.
Never settle for slow loading speeds and sluggish internet browsers again. Invest in reliable broadband today.
Invest In Reliable Broadband
If you live in the city or a suburban area, there’s a good chance you’ll have multiple different broadband internet options and providers to choose from. To help narrow down your search, remember to consider:
Broadband availability in your local area and your home.
The amount of bandwidth and Mbps you and your family needs.
Multiple plans, prices, and speeds of different internet service providers in your area.
If you’re looking to switch internet service providers, we can help you find out all the details about your current supplier so you can switch to cheaper rates smoothly and quickly.
How To Boost Your Internet Signal And Speed The Easy Way
Here at Free Price Compare, it’s our goal to make finding the best WiFi and broadband deals as easy as possible for you. With our service, you have access to free, independent and impartial advice that’s committed to finding you the best possible price.
Our team of experts have a wealth of industry knowledge and experience of helping customers get the best value for money. The Free Price Compare team are highly focused on providing a first-class service that allows you to compare and find the right products to meet you and your family’s needs.
If you didn’t find the answer to your question in this guide, browse our other WiFi and broadband guides. Alternatively, take a look through our Help & FAQs section to learn more about how we can help you save.
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