How to boost your Wi-Fi signal strength at home

30 September 2023

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Picture this – you’re all set for an evening of seamless streaming or gaming, but alas, your home Wi-Fi signal refuses to cooperate, turning your digital experience into a buffering nightmare. It’s a scenario that’s all too familiar, particularly with large homes featuring multiple rooms or floors. But it’s not just about the annoyance. A weak Wi-Fi signal can hinder productivity, limit your entertainment options and even impact your smart home functionality.

So how do you ensure that you’re squeezing every last bit of speed out of your internet connection? Let’s delve into the solutions that will help you take control of your home network and put an end to any Wi-Fi woes once and for all.

What can hinder your Wi-Fi signal?

Before we jump into the solutions, it’s crucial to understand the factors that might be hindering the signal strength.

Distance matters: The placement of your Wi-Fi router plays a crucial role in signal strength. If it’s tucked away in a corner or hidden in a drawer, you’re likely to experience weaker signals in certain areas of your home.

Interference issues: Interference from other electronic devices, such as neighbouring Wi-Fi networks and even physical obstacles like walls can disrupt your signal. In fact, microwave ovens, cordless phones and baby monitors are common culprits.

Outdated router firmware: An outdated router with obsolete firmware may not perform optimally. This is why regular updates are essential not just for better performance, but also for security purposes.
Range limitations: Some homes are simply too large for a single router to cover effectively, which means that dead zones can appear in remote corners.

Family sitting on the sofa with tablets in hand

Clear-cut and actionable tips to improve your Wi-Fi signal

Location, location, location

The first step to boost Wi-Fi signal strength is to ensure your router is strategically placed. Wondering why it’s important? Imagine the signal radiating outwards like ripples in a pond. This is why it’s important to place your router centrally in your home, preferably elevated and away from obstructions. Also, keep it off the floor and away from thick walls, metal objects and other electronics that can interfere with the signal and of course, do not hide it in a cabinet.

Optimize your router’s settings

Every router comes with a myriad of settings that can impact its performance. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these and make any necessary adjustments. For instance, many routers allow you to select a channel and by selecting a less crowded one instead of leaving it to the auto-select setting, you can avoid interference and improve your Wi-Fi signal strength.

Another tip is to prioritize certain devices or applications to ensure bandwidth is allocated where it’s needed most. To do so, you need to configure what is known as the Quality of Service (QoS) settings. Prevent background applications and devices from using excessive bandwidth by closing unused apps and pausing automatic updates and don’t forget to regularly check for and install firmware updates from the router’s manufacturer to keep your device running at its best. Doing so is crucial since it can help fix bugs, improve security and enhance overall performance. At the same time, if your router is old or outdated, consider upgrading to a new model with improved performance and range. Lastly, power cycle your router occasionally to clear the cache and improve performance.

Update network hardware

From your laptop to your smartphone and everything in between that needs Wi-Fi to function to its fullest, you must make sure that all these devices have up-to-date Wi-Fi adapters that support the latest standards. New network hardware often comes with improved Wi-Fi technology that can support faster data transfer speeds and more devices simultaneously, which means that the latest devices can take full advantage of the available bandwidth and you can enjoy uninterrupted internet connectivity.

In contrast, older network hardware may not be compatible with the latest security protocols and firmware updates. This could leave your network at risk and make it easier for hackers to exploit any vulnerabilities in your network.

Set up a guest network

A guest network is a separate, isolated network from your primary one. When guests connect to it, they don’t have access to your main network’s devices or files and this isolation can help improve your Wi-Fi signal by reducing the load on your primary network, especially if you frequently have guests connecting to your Wi-Fi. In addition, by segregating guest traffic onto a separate network, you can minimize the impact of their devices on your network’s stability, so if they’re using bandwidth-intensive applications, these won’t interfere with your main network’s performance.

A Smart Wi-Fi pod being switched on

Use Wi-Fi analysis tools

There are several apps and tools out there which can help you identify and resolve connectivity issues. For instance, Wi-Fi analyzer apps can show you the signal strength throughout your home, so you can use them to find weak spots and plan your router and Smart Wi-Fi pods placements. On the other hand, some apps provide signal heatmaps, which visually display signal strength in different areas of your space. This can be particularly beneficial to pinpoint areas that need improvement. To identify and address common Wi-Fi issues, such as outdated firmware or unauthorized access, a built-in router diagnostic tool should do the job.

Bonus tips: To reduce any potential interference, consider switching off devices that aren’t in use and if you live in a densely populated area, using a dual-band router that can switch between frequencies will help to avoid any interference. Also, switch to the 5GHz band if your router supports it since it’s less prone to interference and offers faster speeds over shorter distances. And don’t forget to secure your Wi-Fi network with a strong password to prevent unauthorised users from hogging bandwidth.

Boost your Wi-Fi with Smart Wi-Fi pods

If your home or office has multiple floors or thick walls, you might face Wi-Fi dead zones. So say you’re working from home and you are sat at your home office situated at the far end of a long corridor and far from the living room where your router is placed, then your Wi-Fi signal will be weak. This is where the Smart Wi-Fi pods come in handy. Featuring intelligent handover technology, these intuitive mesh pods constantly adapt and maintain the signal, providing extended and uninterrupted Wi-Fi signal in your home’s every nook and cranny.

Read through this guide to discover the main difference between Wi-Fi extenders and our Smart Wi-Fi pods and why investing in a mesh Wi-Fi system can provide seamless coverage.

A robust home Wi-Fi network is essential in today’s digital age. By understanding the factors that hinder your Wi-Fi signal and employing the tips provided, you’ll be well on your way to a stronger, more reliable Wi-Fi connection.

Interested in finding out more about your home internet? Here is everything there is to know about fibre internet and the ideal internet speed for gaming. Moving home and in need of transferring your service? We’re here to help.