7 Easy Fixes for Slow Wi-Fi, how to improve Wi-Fi signal coverage!

Often time we come across situations where we struggle to either maintain that only one bar of the WiFi signal or change our device locations to catch the wireless signals. However, there are some practical easy fixes for your slow Wi-Fi connection which help you better connect to the wireless signals. So, get ready to improve your Wi-Fi signal coverage around your residence.

Improve Wi-Fi signal coverage

What determines your router’s performance? Performance depends on

  • number of connected clients,
  • your streaming or surfing habits,
  • placement or location of the router and
  • importantly size of your home.

Here are some practical tips and ticks to fix your slow Wi-Fi signal or say improve the coverage of your Wi-Fi signal.

1. Antenna of Wi-Fi Router

A single antenna TP-Link is one of the most used ADSL home modems or routers in Nepal and is notoriously known to have a bad wireless signal coverage – sometimes even the person sitting next door couldn’t catch up the signal.
Always get a router that meets your requirement – signal coverage being one of the major requirements. Dual antenna Wi-Fi router is the better than single and, triple antenna is even better.
You also have options for sectoral or omnidirectional antennas.

Cisco Linksys Wireless Router G
Cisco Linksys Wireless Router G

2. Placement of Wi-Fi Router

Where have you placed your Wi-Fi router matters when you want to get better signal. This placement of Wi-Fi router should be practically made near the areas where actual devices or clients are used.
Never place Wi-Fi routers in cupboard or closet far away from where you use Wi-Fi this will impair wireless speed and coverage. To ensure Wi-Fi signal is getting to most places around your home, place your router high up on a flat surface closest to where all the action is.
Minimize the number of walls, décor or bulky furniture that come in between your router and where you often consume that wireless signal. If you use wireless mostly on a top floor sitting room, then it’s not good to place router on the ground floor. Also read these tips from lifehacks at stackexchange.

3. Eco-friendly Wi-Fi routers

There are already varieties of wireless routers out in the market that have eco-friendly stickers on them. Some examples of the options to look in the router’s firmware are:

  • Routers with Eco-friendly or Green Technology let you schedule Wi-Fi for only the times you need it. Some call it wireless scheduler. Most Dlink, Linksys and Asus routers support this feature.
  • Let your router sleep when you don’t use it. Put your router to sleep or hibernate in night when you don’t use – just like the night mode in your smartphone. Keeping your router to sleep from mid-nite to 5am is possibly the best time to save both power and Wi-Fi signals – best if you are in volume based subscription.
  • The same applies when you are out of your home. You can schedule your router to sleep even during the day time – or if you have IoT or IFTTT or any other automation scheduling enabled Wi-Fi router then it’s better to put home router off during your office hours.
  • Where possible and available use PPoE options to make your home clutter free.
  • If you are a Wired nerd, then enable WoL (Wake on LAN) on your computer. Even though this is not something to do with Wireless, you keep on saving energy!

4. Adjusting the wireless signal strength (dBm)

Adjusting transmit power in Advanced wireless settings in Dlink and Asus routers
Adjusting transmit power in Advanced wireless settings in Dlink and Asus routers
Many of us just ignore to check all the features that our home routers have. Most of the routers even those basic single antenna TP-Link or Digicom models also feature an option to adjust the signal of your router’s wireless broadcast range.
On Advanced wireless settings of your router, you will see something like transmission power adjustment. Changing the values from 0 to 100% is directly proportional to the Wi-Fi coverage range that your router will make. So, want to make signal better for you, adjust accordingly.

5. Optimized settings in wireless routers

Depending on the model of your wireless router, it should already exhibit you the best optimized settings for your usage. However, you can double check where the wireless settings in your Wi-Fi routers are up to the best performance that you long for.

Common settings in Wireless Routers from Asus RT-AC66U router.
Common settings in Wireless Routers from Asus RT-AC66U router.
  • Wi-Fi band: Traditional 2.4 GHz mode or latest 5GHz mode, it’s upto your device’s to support the Wi-Fi distribution.
  • Hide that SSID if you need to!
  • Wireless Mode: This is about selecting wireless mode from IEEE 802.11 mode from legacy A, B, G to N and AC. AC being the latest and fastest wireless mode. Put this to auto if you have no idea about it.
  • Wi-Fi channel bandwidth: Wireless channel bandwidth 20, 40 or 80 MHz. If you are confused or you need to troubleshoot, then put this to Auto section mode. However, moving from 20 MHz to 40 or 80 MHz will not essentially increase your wireless speed. This bandwidth selection is not for speed factor but the performance factor of your router.
  • Never enable that WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) in your Wi-Fi router unless you really need to. This is the weak point for most TP-Link routers where dumpers get into.

6. Extending router’s range with extender or foild

When nothing works for you, you always have options to get Wi-Fi range extender as you can come across Wi-Fi dead zones that the router is struggling to reach. These compact electronics grab your router’s Wi-Fi connection and send it harder to reach areas of your home.
Optionally, wireless extenders can also be substituted by USB wireless adapters if you can find good gain antenna receptors.

Using aluminium foil to extend wifi range, taken from toleapakitara.wordpress.com
Using aluminium foil to extend wifi range, taken from toleapakitara.wordpress.com
There is also a good home based solution to extend coverage of your Wi-Fi router using aluminium foil to preserve those wireless signals and throw in unidirectional approach. Get idea here.

7. Update Wi-Fi router’s firmware

Not always the case but sometimes, there’s a remedy for slow Wi-Fi already waiting for you. Make sure to check your router’s firmware on a regular basis. When new updates are available, this could help speed things up, as well as bring other useful features.
Rest assured, you can always play around your Wi-Fi router for the optimized performance. In this article, we have not included things like MAC binding, limiting download-upload rates, blocking P2P and other websites, protocol and port wise bandwidth speeds; these are rather software solutions that help you preserve bandwidth. Choice is yours, go extend your Wi-Fi router’s coverage!

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