Struggling to stream the new Stranger Things season in Netflix? Frustrated with how it takes nearly forever to load a video on YouTube (download YouTube videos)? Want to watch the games of the NFL preseason schedule but it keeps buffering? If you answered yes to any of these questions, maybe it’s time you took a look at your WiFi connection.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’re familiar with WiFi. With the way some of us behave, you’d think that WiFi connectivity is as important as breathing. Jokes aside, a slow internet connection can be frustrating in the extreme.
So, before you consider signing up for higher internet bandwidth, take a look at these 5 easy ways for you to boost your WiFi connectivity for free.
1. Update your router’s firmware
Like any other piece of equipment, your router needs regular maintenance in order to keep working correctly. Updating your router’s firmware is one of the easiest ways to improve your WiFi connectivity. Also making sure your download and upload speed are fast enough to handle what you are trying to do is really important.
Hardware manufacturers usually release software updates and patches for their products on a regular basis. By ensuring that your router is up to date, you’ll be able to enjoy faster and smoother internet.
Newer routers have firmware update features built-in to the administration module, older systems may be slightly trickier to update. Fortunately, most of the time updating your router’s firmware is a fairly easy task and can be done by accessing your router directly.
2. Check your router’s location
Location and positioning aren’t just words used by real estate agents. In fact, your routers actually have a significant effect on your WiFi connectivity. While most folks prefer to locate their router in an out of the way location, this may in fact have a negative effect.
Ideally, your router should be located in a central part of the house. If the site of an ugly black box bothers you, you could always place the router on an elevated location such as a shelf. Besides keeping your router out of the way, it also ensures equal WiFi connectivity throughout the home.
Placing your router in a distant corner of the household i.e. new windows or in a confined area will cause your wireless coverage to suffer. This means that only certain parts of the home will be able to enjoy WiFi.
Alongside this, care should be taken to ensure that your router is does not encounter interference from other devices. For example, microwaves, cordless phones and even electronic devices could potentially interfere with your WiFi signal. Hence, you’ll want your router to be in an open area with as few obstructions as possible.
3. Change your WiFi password
Simply changing your WiFi password is a surprisingly easy way to enjoy faster internet. While we like to think that our neighbors are decent folk, sometimes people just can’t resist piggybacking of free WiFi.
These unwanted guests end up hogging your bandwidth and slowing your internet connection. Alongside this, they may use your internet connection to search for content that is less than savory and may even land you in trouble.
Put a stop to all of this by regularly changing your WiFi password. While some may deem this to be excessive, the WEP security used by most routers are notoriously easy to hack. Not only does this prevent others from leaching of your WiFi, but it also goes a long way towards protecting your security.
4. Perform a hardware upgrade
While getting the most out of your existing equipment is all well and good, sometimes you just need to make a change. Older routers use the slower 802.11n or 802.11g WLAN protocols which limit your bandwidth. Thus, regardless of all your tweaks, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to enjoy faster internet speeds.
Besides your router, your wireless adapter may be outdated and unable to cope with higher bandwidths unlike the new generation of wireless equipment. Hence, this makes investing in a new router and wireless adapter an attractive proposition if you’re looking to speed up your internet.