No signal? How to get better WiFi

You’ve finally finished another long, tiring week of work and plopped down in the couch to continue that series you’ve been binging on and off for the last two weeks. But there’s a problem. Your weekend binge is continuously interrupted by buffering. Your WiFi sucks. If this sounds familiar, then keep reading. Here are a few ways to improve your WiFi network.

Test your internet speed

The first step to faster WiFi is making sure your internet is fast enough, in the first place. You should also check to make sure your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is providing the correct internet speed. You can go to https://www.speedtest.net to test your network speed.

If your internet speed is as provided by your ISP, maybe it’s time to get a better internet plan (after you try the next few steps). If you have various internet-dependent devices on your home, 2 Mbps down is NOT going to cut it. Also, the upload speed is essential. If you send large files over the internet, consider getting a plan that has better upload speeds.

Netgear Orbi WiFi 6, mesh router system. (Photo: Netgear)

Get a better router

The reality is, some of the routers provided by ISPs are hot garbage. Many lack the range and functionality of more modern devices. A WiFi 6 router from Netgear or ASUS is vastly superior to the black boxes that adorn many tables.

For example, WiFi 6 routers can mitigate against other, interfering WiFi signals and connect to more devices at once, allocating bandwidth as needed.

Google Nest Mesh WiFi system. (Photo: Google)

Try a Mesh Network

Mesh networks consist of two or more devices that work in tandem to eliminate WiFi dead spots. One device functions as the master, with other connected nodes relaying the same signal. Brands like Google, Netgear and ASUS, have mesh offerings designed to cover large homes or office spaces.

Manage your Netgear network with the Nighthawk App. (Photo: Netgear)

Update your router firmware

Make sure your router has the latest firmware from the manufacturer. New firmware may include bug fixes and security updates that will safeguard your network and or provide a performance boost.

Some routers have auto-update features, so you don’t have to worry. Other devices may have apps that help you stay up to date. In any case, ensure you have the latest firmware available for your device.

Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC2900 gaming router. (Photo: ASUS)

Router Placement

Some routers are ugly, so many persons hide them away in deep, dark closets. Or, you may have neighbours, friends or other visitors who continuously ask for WiFi access, so you hide the router. However, the placement of your router directly impacts WiFi performance. For the best experience, place your router in an open area far away from walls or other devices that emit radio waves.

Additionally, if your router has manoeuvrable antennas, angle them in different directions, so the signal is spread to different areas. Also, elevate your router off the floor for better performance.

Get rid of WiFi parasites

Remember that neighbour who visited, and you gave them your WiFi password so they could contact their sick aunt? Well, they still have your password in their phone, and maybe, so does their TV, laptop and game console.

It may be even worse for those who don’t have passwords on their WiFi network. Be prepared for people to use your open system like an internet café. Put a password on it.

Person Holding Iphone Beside Black Portable Speaker

If someone lives relatively close to you and has access to your WiFi, they may be using your network. If they are using your WiFI at the same time, your devices will have to share the connection. Consider changing your WiFi password to something unique (Not your name and birthday or the one on the router box). If you change your password or add one and your WiFi is suddenly faster, you’ll know why your internet was moving at snail’s pace.

Additionally, you can choose to hide your network altogether.

You may only need some of the suggestions listed above. By following the recommendations, you’ll better enjoy your weekend Netflix binge-watching.