Five Ways to Improve Home Network Performance
Home networks connected to a central router are rapidly becoming the norm in today’s multi-device households. Home networks allow multiple devices to access the internet through wireless and wired connectivity, greatly improving your online experience—as long as they’re set up correctly. The difference between a network operating at full capacity and one experiencing issues often comes down to small, but important, differences in network set-up and physical configuration. While a wired connection will always provide superior signal strength and speed than a wireless connection, you can improve your Wi-Fi network performance by keeping the following tips in mind.
1. Wireless Router Placement
Wireless routers allow you to connect to the internet from anywhere in the home without cable connectors . . . except for that one bedroom at the opposite end of the house. That’s odd, because you can connect to your Wi-Fi from the front lawn even though you rarely need connectivity there.
The location of your router may be the cause. Routers have a circular range under ideal conditions, so you’re most likely to achieve full-house connectivity if you place the router in the center of the home away from walls and obstructions that can weaken signals. Elevating the router and positioning antenna perpendicularly can also improve home network range.
2. Changing Channels
If your home network suffers from speed or connectivity problems, the culprit might be lurking next door. We’re not talking about your neighbor—we’re talking about his router. If your router uses the same channel as a nearby router, the two network signals can interfere with each other.
You can improve network performance in this case by switching to another channel. If the issues resolve on the new channel, you’ve found and corrected the problem (and probably improved your neighbor’s connectivity as well). Different routers have different ways of switching channels. MetroCast subscribers can call our local tech support to be guided through the process.
3. Shut Out Bandwidth Bandits
Unless your router is password and encryption-protected, you might be providing other people with free Wi-Fi. This isn’t always intentional bandwidth theft; many mobile devices now connect to open signal automatically. Intentional or not, each time a device connects to your network you lose internet speed.
Improve home network performance by enabling encryption and setting up a strong password. We can help talk you through the necessary steps.
4. Update Hardware and Firmware
Router technology develops rapidly. If you prefer to use your own router and your router is more than a couple of years old, replacing it with a newer model often improves network performance.
Your router should, if possible, be set up to install firmware updates automatically. New updates address potential security and functionality issues, protecting your network while improving performance.
5. Turn Off Unused Devices
Leaving devices on when not in use drains your bandwidth. A number of automated features, including updates, can kick in when a device is left unused but still connected to your network. Turning unused devices off may improve network performance. Note this does not mean putting the device into sleep mode, which still leaves the device connected.