Everyone hates bad wifi. It’s just a simple truth, you’re sitting there browsing the web while streaming Netflix (let’s admit it, some of us have several TV’s streaming Netflix at the same time). But your facebook stream just won’t load fast enough, videos are timing out, Netflix quality is dropping. We can all agree that bad wifi sucks.

First of all, your wifi router is only as good as your Internet connection. If you have slow Internet, well, your wifi is going to be slow. But if you have good internet, there are a few things you can do to improve your network in your home. This also applies to business wifi, especially if your business is close to other businesses or homes.

Update / Upgrade

Believe it or not, new router releases are generally worth it! Wifi technology has had a ton of changes over the years. This means that if you have a wireless router over 2 years old, your tech is outdated… Wifi routers have become much more intelligent and can work better with neighboring access points.

If you don’t want to drop $$$ on a new router, you should at the very least upgrade the firmware on your current router. Software changes can improve the performance and security of your router (both performance and security are important). Consult with your manufacturer for more information on this.

Your neighbors are killing your wifi

The only 3 bands that 2.4Ghz wifi will use are channel 1, 6, and 11. If you have neighboring wifi access points, there just isn’t enough room for everyone. While the newer 5Ghz band has many more channels to utilize.

To put it in simple terms, wireless can only talk to one device at a time per channel. The newest generation can talk to multiple devices at the same time (this is called MU-MIMO). So if you have neighboring access points (some of us have a lot of them) they can slow down everything you’re doing. Here is a picture of the neighboring access points at my house. I have 53 access points conflicting with my home wireless… To answer questions some will have about the image below: yes, I have an access point in my garage, and yes I have two very high-quality access points in my small one story, three bedroom house.

You can help clear up your channel by utilizing the 5Ghz band and choosing channels that your neighbors aren’t using. If you are using a system that was mad within the last year (and it’s nice enough), it will automatically do this for you. If you have an older router, you can manually choose this in the system settings.

Placement Matters

Where you place your wireless access point matters! You want it in plain sight. Don’t hide it in a cupboard or behind other electronics. We know they’re not the prettiest devices but if you want better performance, don’t hide it. For those that are hungry for the lowest latency, place that thing on the ceiling for the best performance.

Overall

Overall there are many different things that you can do to make your wifi better in your home or business. Start with the simple things like placement, pull it out of the cabinet for starters. Another simple thing that you can do is prioritze traffic, don’t start big game downloads if you plan on watching Netflix. Start the game download before you go to bed so it can download over night.

JPtheGeek offers managed wifi solutions for home and business. For more information on our premium network solutions reach out on the contact page or give us a call at (317) 936-3300.