Top 3 fast and easy tips to speed up your WiFi
While markets are opening up, the impact of COVID-19 has simply highlighted that our needs for fast and reliable WiFi (TV streaming, gaming, Internet) has never been higher. As everyone is now online and becoming used to being online, it also seems like our WiFi has never been slower too.
To help out everyone, here are our Top 3 fast and easy tips to speed up your WiFi in your home. We guarantee that You can do them on your own without any extra money or too much tech know-how. If you don't need to know why, just check out the Hot Tips below or read on for more details. If you've seen them already then scroll past all the Top tips for an alternative solution.
Here are our Top 3 fast and easy tips to speed up your WiFi:
- Hot Tip #1: Put your router in the center at the highest spot
- Hot Tip #2: Don’t surround your router with interfering clutter (metal, appliances, etc.)
- Hot Tip #3: Switch between 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz depending on how near you are to your router
Positioning your router in the best spot
Position your router wisely
WiFi dead zones are those places where you can’t get any connection even though there’s a strong signal everywhere else in the house. We all have those, like that one zone on the bed or the corner of the room. One of the main reasons could be because your router has not been positioned in the best spot possible.
For many of us, where we position our routers is more a case of “that’s the closest spot to the telephone port”, but according to the experts, the best place to put them would be in the center of the home in the highest spot possible. So, placing it inside a glass and metal cabinet or on the lowest shelf is probably not the best place for it.
Hot Tip #1: Put your router in the center at the highest spot
Remove the Interferences
Believe it or not, our WiFi signals can be interfered with by a number of things, many of which are actually in our homes. These include reflective surfaces like mirrors and aquariums and home appliances like microwaves and TVs. Certain materials like metal and heavy timber can also affect WiFi signals as well. To help strengthen your WiFi, you should try to avoid placing these interferences near your router at all.
This means placing your router away from mirrors, aquariums, fountains, microwaves and above all, your smart TV. Many people tend to put their routers in metal or thick vintage teak wood cabinets right below their TVs which is probably the worst place to put it, in terms of WiFi interference. Ideally, you should place it on a wooden shelf or rack by itself with nothing else around.
Hot Tip #2: Don’t surround your router with interfering clutter (metal, appliances, etc.)
Take advantage of Dual band WiFi
You can see that the connection is more stable on the 5Ghz band WiFi above compared to the 2.4Ghz band WiFi below
Most routers these days have dual WiFi bands, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. The usual 2.4Ghz band has a wider range (~ 125 meters) and works better through walls but is not as fast as the 5GHz band. The 5Ghz band is faster and more stable but it has a shorter range (~ 60 meters) and doesn't work so well through walls and other objects.
So, if your router is in your living room with your smart TV, we’d recommend you connect your smart TV to the 5Ghz band on your router. If you're in the bedroom or upper floor, switching to the 2.4Ghz band is probably better.
In Malaysia, if your router does support dual bands, usually the installer crew will set up 2 WiFi networks, one on the 2.4Ghz band and the other on the 5Ghz band (usually the same name but with a"_5G" added). Both should use the same password but if you're setting up your own WiFi router, you'll have to setup both yourself.
Hot Tip #3: Switch between 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz depending on how near you are to your router
You can pair your WiFi router with a Mesh WiFi router which solves all of the problems above, without you having to do anything more than connect a few cables and follow instructions from an app. Most Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Malaysia will offer you the option of adding on Mesh WiFi and it's usually more affordable to do so as well.
Is it really worth it? Let's do the math
For example, unifi offers 4 options to enhance your WiFi experience by adding on Mesh WiFi depending on the Internet plan you have with them. The most affordable option is the Deco M4 at RM15 added to your monthly bill for the next 2 years. This equals to (RM15 x 24 = RM360).
Compare the price of say a Deco M4 on unifi with a set of 2 units from their official online shop
A quick search online reveals that the RRP (Recommended Retail Price) for a 2 pack TP-Link Deco M4 set costs about RM379 (and you'll have to pay it all in one lump sum). Scaling up to the Deco M9 Plus gets a difference of (RM35 x 24 = RM840) vs RM999, so if you can afford the M9 Plus or perhaps the highest-end Deco X60, you'll definitely get more savings.
Which mesh WiFi router should you get?
It depends on your needs, but common sense indicates that the more premium device would have more advantages and if you compare the TP-LINK Deco X60, M9 Plus and M4 this is quite true. Basically, the more premium mesh WiFi routers support more devices (upwards of 100 devices and above) and also have a wider range.
Of course, there are other features but those are the most important ones to us. However, we can't guarantee that all ISPs will offer the same deal, so do your research ya?
TP-Link is a fairly well-known router brand with various mesh WiFi routers
So, what do you think? Did any of the tips above help improve your WiFi? Did we miss out on anything? Let us know on our Facebook page and stay tuned to TechNave.com for more tech articles like this.