Wifi is such and integral part of our daily lives, can you imagine not being able to utilise the freedom it provides?
The convenience of being able to stream services like Netflix, Stan, Youtube, Hulu etc. all of which rely heavily on a good wifi connection. We show you how to get a better wifi connection so you can enjoy wireless freedom.
Unfortunately, wifi devices are low power and range is limited. You will notice when moving further away from your wifi router the signal drops off rapidly and with it speed. A better wifi connection will increase your speed and decrease streaming load/buffer times.
Modern day wifi routers, phones, tablets connect either on 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz, in some cases high end routers provide simultaneous band access.
What is the difference between the two bands you ask? In short, 2.4 Ghz provides better range and fair speed. 5 GHz on the other hand provides very good speed but at the expense of limited range. The reason for this is higher frequencies are more affected and attenuated by objects, walls, furniture, floors etc. Typically, the more dense the material is the more it will attenuate the signal.
Examples of signal attenuation through various mediums
To get a better signal, placement of your wifi router is important. The key to better wifi performance is to reduce distance from the wifi device to the wifi access point as well as reducing the amount of walls and obstacles in the way.
Lets look at the two easiest way to improve your wifi coverage:
As mentioned before, wifi router placement is crucial.
Mount the router as high as possible, this creates a clearer path to your wifi devices. Mounting the router high on a wall or ceiling is usually the best approach.
Make sure to keep the router away from electrical noisy appliances like air conditioners, microwave ovens, fans, baby monitors, DECT phones etc.
Mount the router as central as possible. Experiment with antenna placement, theory suggests that for best performance antennas should be perpendicular to each other, my findings were that this will be unique to every environment.
Do not mount the router or antennas close to conductive materials like electrical wires, aluminium or metal plates, this could mess with S.W.R (standing wave ratio) of the antennas, affecting performance.
Get better performance by minimising neighboring frequency interference.
Use a wifi analyzer to determine what channels your neighboring wifi access points are on.
A free tool for this purpose is Wifi analyzer, the analyze option shows all detected wireless activity, band selection is manual and dependent on your hardware support.
By analysing the wifi band a recommendation is made for a clearer wifi channel.
Do regular WiFi speed tests
Wifi environments are dynamic, devices are added, channels are updated etc. By doing regular wifi speed tests you will notice when your wifi channels need changing. Try copying a large file from a wifi enabled laptop or workstation to another computer connected to the network via network cable.
If you find that you have good signal strength but your speed is slow then consider changing the wifi channel.
On the other hand if all of this is too much to understand then talk to a wifi installation expert.