Has this happened to you? You pick up your laptop and go to sit on the couch, only to have your Internet connection start to lag — or drop out entirely.
Problems with your home wifi network can be frustrating. Luckily, there are several easy steps you can take to improve your wireless reception.
1. Position your wireless router near the center of your house. Your router’s signal radiates outward from the antenna, so if it’s positioned on one end of the house, it might be sending that signal out to your yard, but missing the other end of your home. Try putting the router as close to the middle of the house as possible to ensure the signal can reach every room.
2. Keep your router unobstructed. You might be tempted to keep electronic devices like your modem and router tucked away in a cabinet or a closet, but this actually obstructs your signal. You’ll get better results if your wireless router is out in the open.
3. Elevate the router if possible. Try setting it on a shelf or countertop instead of on the floor.
4. Make sure you have a password set up. If your wireless network isn’t secure, anyone within range can use your connection and hog your bandwidth. Securing your network is a good idea no matter what, so if you don’t have a password on your router, set one today!
5. Keep your router away from other devices. Many people store their routers in an entertainment center or near their cable boxes, but devices like TVs and speakers can generate interference that harms your router’s signal and slows down your connections. Try to keep your router away from other electronics.
6. Use a different frequency. If your router is broadcasting on the 2.4 GHz frequency, consult your user manual (you can find manuals for some common routers on our website) to find out how to switch it to 5 GHz. This bandwidth tends to have less interference, which allows for a clearer signal. However, some older computers might not be able to connect at 5 GHz, so once you make the switch, test all your devices to make sure they can still receive your wireless signal.
7. Experiment with antenna placement. If your router has an internal antenna, this won’t work for you. But if its antenna is on the outside, try pointing it straight up instead of lying flat — and if it has two exterior antennas, try pointing them in different directions.
8. Update your hardware. As we’ve written about before on this blog, equipment matters. Some older routers may not be able to keep up with modern Internet use. A D&P residential helpdesk operator can help you figure out if your current router is up to the task.
There’s a simple test to find out if your wireless router is limiting your speed. With your computer connected to your home wifi and sitting near the router, go to speedtest.net, hit the “Begin Test” button, and take note of the speed it registers. Then plug your computer directly into your modem and do it again. If your speeds are a lot faster when you’re plugged in directly, it may be time to upgrade.
If you need help with this or any other Internet connection issues, call our residential helpdesk at 888-221-2277 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also chat live with a helpdesk operator by going to our website and clicking on the red box at the bottom of your screen.