How to improve Internet speed
Did you know that more than half the homes in the U.S. don't have a solid Wi-Fi connection? The cause is simple: according to data-alliance, most routers which use the 2.4 GHz band have ranges of under 100 feet indoors and 200 feet outdoors. And things get much worse when various obstacles (walls, fish tanks, electronic appliances, etc.) get in the way.
When it comes to long-range Wi-Fi, the newer 5 GHz band is practically unusable, because radio waves tend to bounce much more at higher frequencies. Also, wireless signal strength depends on the power of the radio chips used for the transmitters, the number and quality of router antennas, wave polarization, and so on.
As you can see, there are lots of variables. However, if you are looking to extend Internet access to every corner of your home, I guarantee that at least some of the methods below will work fine.
1. Replace the antennas.
Some routers use built-in antennas. Sure, they have a nice aspect and can be integrated in the living room without looking out of place, but signal strength is going to be affected - a lot! The solution is to replace those tiny internal antennas with their external equivalents, which may not look that pretty, but can help extend Wi-Fi signal a lot.
2. Replace your router.
Technology evolves quite fast in this industry, and if you don't use a modern router, you are missing lots of opportunities. As a rule, newer devices have longer signal ranges and improved security features.
More than this, if your router is outdated, it will be an easy prey for hackers, especially when the manufacturers stop releasing firmware updates for it. So, do yourself a favor and buy a new router every three years (or so).
3. Add another router.
If you already have a decent router, it may be time to buy another one. This will allow you to get plenty of coverage, while giving you the flexibility to use the two separate networks for different sets of devices. If some of your family members are constantly streaming HD movies and/or playing demanding online games, you can put them all on the first wireless network and use the other one for work.
4. Install a Wi-Fi range extender.
These devices connect to an existing wireless network, extending its range. If you go this route, make sure to pick a fast device. Ideally, you want to get a Wi-Fi range extender which runs faster than the existing router; this will help you get the speediest connection possible to all the devices in your house.
5. Use a mesh network system.
While range extenders can do a decent job filling the dead zones, their bandwidth rarely exceeds 50% from what you would get from the router. With a mesh network system, you will get whole-house Wi-Fi coverage at full speed - if you choose a high-quality set of devices from a reputable manufacturer.
A mesh Wi-Fi system includes a main router and several satellite modules, also known as nodes. The main router must be connected to the Internet cable, while the nodes can be placed throughout the entire house. Power on the mesh, set it up - often, by installing a user-friendly mobile app - and you will discover that all the devices have created a single network, which shares the same SSID and password with all the nodes. Not only that, but the mobile app will help you position the nodes for maximum coverage. And yes, each router/node communicates with all the other ones, with the goal of delivering the strongest signal possible to all the connected devices.
6. Improve Internet speed using Ethernet ports.
If you don't want to buy new hardware, you can use your router's Ethernet ports to extend Internet coverage around your home. While you can't use this method for portable devices (phones, tablets, etc.) it's a great idea to apply it anytime you want to set up a fast Internet connection for your desktop PC, smart TV, gaming console, and so on. Just make sure your router has several WAN ports, and then connect those devices to the router using standard network cables.