5 Simple Ways to Increase Wi-Fi Performance

Posted by: T. Lacoma on Sunday, March 10th, 2013

When it comes to Wi-Fi performance, a router needs to offer acceptable speed and reliability. Sometimes your environment, neighbors, and family can get in the way of that goal, slowing down speeds and making wireless activity a chore instead of a benefit. Here are five ways to increase the speed of the average wireless router.

1. Think About Location

Move your wireless router to a location where it has room to “breathe.” An open space, such as a coffee table or desk, will allow the router to broadcast its frequencies cleanly and with minimal distortion, resulting in a stronger link with fewer interruptions. Though placing a router in a corner or against a wall may have more aesthetic value, it can also block and slow down signals.

2. Use a Dual-Band Router

Many modern wireless routers are dual-band. This means that they can operate on more than one radio band, specifically on both the 2.4 Ghz and the 5 Ghz bands. The 5 Ghz band is newer in the world of wireless and relatively unused by competing routers, TV remotes, and any other devices that may be blocking or distorting signals. The dual-band option is an excellent choice for upgrading speed and performance.

3. Add an Antenna for Focus

Routers are designed to broadcast in all directions. If you only need Wi-Fi down one particular path or have a trapped-in-a-corner situation, consider purchasing a single-direction antenna. This addition will focus your Wi-Fi signal, both in direction and clarity. Of course, it’s only useful for constricted spaces where few mobile devices are used, so careful planning is needed.

4. Install a Wireless Repeater

A wireless repeater is a very simple device that picks up a wireless signal and amplifies it before re-broadcasting. If you have an area where wireless signals stutter or have to broadcast across a large area where signals are slowed or lost at the edges, a wireless repeater is an ideal solution. It’s best to buy a separate repeater rather than trying to use your wireless router to strengthen the signal (as some can be retooled to do). Your router should focus on Wi-Fi performance in order to enhance speed, while your repeater should strengthen the signal to make sure the speed is not lost.

5. Monitor Bandwidth

The more bandwidth-heavy activity that takes place in a home, the slower wireless Internet will be for multiple users. Streaming videos, online video games, and similar activities can create speed problems. You can use software to manage bandwidth more precisely and increase the speed of necessary activities. If bandwidth-hogging activities are common in a household, creating a schedule or self-imposed limitations could also give Internet speed a boost.

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