06 Apr Turbocharge Your Internet Connection
Is there anything worse than a slow internet connection whether at work or home? We’re constantly rushing to complete tasks so when the WiFi connection slows us down it can be infuriating. You may even find that your home connection is faster than the one at work. Most routers supply enough signal to fill a small house but may not be enough to serve a larger area. Also, the pressures on the office connection are much larger due to more people using it and the types of files being sent and downloaded. If you find yourself in this situation, here are some measures you can take to speed up your internet connectivity.
First of all, where your wireless router is located can make all the difference. Routers broadcast their signal in equal strength in all directions so really the best bet to give all users an equal chance of a good signal, is to place it in the middle of your office or at least closest to the people who most need it.
Wireless signals can be easily blocked by metal surfaces, wood, and concrete. Even furniture can have a negative impact on the signal. Obstructions tend to be found closer to floor level so placing the router near the ceiling can give the signal a better chance of reaching where it’s needed. It also makes sense not to locate your router in a closet or behind a closed door as the signal will find it hard to penetrate this.
You should avoid placing the router near reflective surfaces such as windows, mirrors, metal file cabinets and stainless steel countertops as all of these will lessen the range and performance of the signal.
Along the same lines, you should also avoid installing the router near other electronics which send wireless signals such as cordless telephones and microwaves.
Setting Up Your Router
Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your router you should look more closely at how its set up. You should adjust its antennas to improve performance. Try rotating them or re-pointing them to fine-tune the WiFi signaling.
You should also find and use a less congested wireless channel. If you’re in an office building the chances are lots of people are running wireless, and may be using the same channel as you which creates congestion. Many routers use the same channel by default so you need to choose one which isn’t being used by everyone else in the near vicinity.
Quality of Service
If someone is live streaming a baseball game while they should be working, you don’t want this to impact the WiFi performance for those who really need it. Quality of Service (QoS) is a feature of routers which prioritizes traffic so that more important traffic can pass first. The result is performance improvement for the critical network traffic.
The QoS tools limit the amount of bandwidth that apps use. You can specify which apps and services receive priority and even set priorities for different times of day. QoS settings are usually found in the advanced settings on your router unless your router has been around for a while.
If you have been using the same router for years, it might be time to upgrade it to a current generation model. Just installing a newer model router can have a tremendous impact on WiFi performance.
Adding Range Extender
A fairly cheap and effective way ensure that your WiFi signal reaches the farthest parts of your office is to add a Range Extender also known as a Repeater. You may lose a little speed but the signal will be boosted to help it reach those dead spots or areas with spotty coverage.
Unless you want to install ethernet cables in your office which could be both expensive and highly inconvenient, a good solution is to install a powerline adapter. A powerline adapter is an alternative to using an ethernet cable because it can send data and media files over your existing electrical wiring, just like it would over ethernet cables.
Password Protect Your Router
You should of course change the default password on your router when you install it, but you also need to ensure that the password you choose for your WiFi isn’t easy to guess. Apart from the fact that you want to protect your network from hackers, you also want to protect it from people who are looking for free internet access. If someone does manage to steal your WiFi from you, this is also going to impact performance, especially if they are using it to stream video or download other large files.