How to Achieve an Always-There Wi-Fi Connection
In the beginning, there was a hulking personal computer at home, connected to a hardwired telephone line. Fast-forward to a couple of decades or so later. Now even small households may have at least a dozen devices competing for a single wireless signal.
Everything literally came home to roost during the pandemic. Parents were working remotely. Kids were in virtual classrooms, and even the gym moved in, connected to virtual trainers.
For households accustomed to a handful of devices that were rarely in use simultaneously, the connection frustration is real. From the point the Wi-Fi signal enters the dwelling and hits the router, it’s the same, even with more devices. But what happens from the router, out, might be spotty and unpredictable.
The good news is that there are ways you can improve connectivity throughout your home and among your devices. Here are a few you can consider if you want to achieve an always-there Wi-Fi connection.
Understand the Anatomy of Your Signal
Your Wi-Fi signal comes from a service provider, either by satellite dish, overhead line or buried fiber-optic cable. For some people living in isolated rural areas, the source might be a hardwired telephone line. The extremely slow speed of dial-up internet may render any of these connectivity methods only a minor improvement.
The signal is captured in the router and dispersed wirelessly throughout the household from there. In that space, several factors will affect signal strength and speed. These include distance from the router, the physical content of the walls between, and the number of devices used simultaneously.
There are three ways to bounce that signal around. Traditional Wi-Fi is what you get from the router directly, and mesh Wi-Fi uses boosters that bounce the signal further. To further improve connectivity, you can use adaptive Wi-Fi.
Adaptive Wi-Fi does more than distribute the signal. It collects and records usage data that it then uses to intuitively boost the signal where it’s needed in real-time. For example, it stops the idle smart washing machine from using the same signal strength as your laptop needs for a Zoom meeting.
Upgrade Your Service
Data volume and speed capabilities begin with your service provider and your plan. The more data and higher speed you subscribe to, the better your Wi-Fi from the source. You’ll still need to adapt it once inside your house, but you’ll be starting with the greatest potential.
On the slower but more affordable end are cable internet and dial-up or “digital subscriber lines” (DSL). These are usually limited to maximum speeds of 100 megabits per second (Mbps). DSL packages often provide features such as faster uploading than downloading speeds to improve connectivity.
More service providers are now installing fiber-optic lines, which offer speeds from 300 Mbps to 1 gigabit. Although more expensive than cable or DSL, fiber is a great way to achieve frustration-free connectivity. And if you have gamers in the house, there’s nothing better.
If you have fiber, you may also be able to boost your router from the standard 2.4 gigahertz (GHz) to 5 GHz. Changing the Wi-Fi band is straightforward. Just remember to reboot it to establish the upgrade.
As the Wi-Fi demand increases in your household, you will need to invest in internet packages that can keep pace. Budgeting a little more money for your service will pay major dividends in connectivity. The contentment you will achieve among users is priceless.
Stop the Bloodletting
There could be some bloodshed in households where competition for high-performing Wi-Fi is fierce. There could also be blood-curdling screams when signals drop at critical moments. That’s especially likely if there are nearby “leeches” that are affecting your signal’s performance.
If you haven’t checked for outside devices sucking the life force from your bandwidth, do so. If you live in a high-density area, especially in an apartment building, you’re already sharing your wireless frequency. Make sure someone isn’t using your signal as well.
Checking for uninvited guests and locking them out is an easy process. You’ll need to log onto your router to see what devices are connected to it. Those that aren’t yours belong to others who have hacked into your system.
To keep those thirsty little bloodsuckers from attaching to your signal, change your router’s password. As soon as you do, they’ll lose the connection. You can add additional protection by encrypting your network.
Determining whether your router has been hacked and preventing it from happening again isn’t just vital to your connectivity performance. Once in, adroit leeches can also hack into your devices, accounts, and other digital information. Protecting your data is even more important than stopping a squabble between your kids competing for the signal.
Connect the Dots
To improve the consistent performance of your Wi-Fi system, you need to consider all the variables. Begin with the service provider, delivery technology, and speed options. Then, take a look inside your house.
Something as simple as moving the router to a more central and less obstructed spot may make a noticeable difference. Using adaptive technology to correlate with demand and eliminating any uninvited outsiders will also improve a not-always-there connection.
The 2020s is no time to be relying on a sketchy signal. Employment, education, entertainment, exercise, and energy efficiency at home are too important. Start connecting your system’s dots now, and you’ll enjoy the benefits of a swift and smooth operation.