In these times when many human activities are heavily reliant on online and virtual engagement, mobile phones and personal computers become necessities. Technology plays a bigger role than before in everyday living but being privileged to own these devices and equipment may not be enough to survive our technology-dominated lifestyle. Internet access is another necessity that is as essential as the air we breathe. We may hate to admit it, but it is hard to cope with daily activities without a reliable Internet connection. Work, study, business, and entertainment – all of these require the Internet as if we are left without a choice.
Commonly, many Filipino households have at least 10mbps to 25mbps Internet connectivity at home. Others even have 35mbps to 45mbps which is for some, fast enough to handle video streaming, game streaming, and other online activities at the same time. However, the truth is that the Philippines ranked second as having the lowest Internet connection among ASEAN countries, yet ours is the most expensive. This results in interrupted online classes, intermittent video streaming, down system and portals, and delayed work.
So, was there no other choice but to get used to a flaky Internet connection? Probably not because here are some life hacks that you might want to try before you even find yourself complaining to your Internet service provider for how many times. Read these five simple tips to boost your Wi-Fi signal at home without needing to upgrade to a more expensive subscription.
1. Clear your working space by removing physical obstructions.
Concrete walls and tall furniture and appliances are some of the common physical obstructions that affect signal strength. Of course, you cannot just take down a high concrete wall like you are a Titan, but you can change the location of your router by placing it in a more open space without too much blockage. You may also place it on a higher shelf for it to maximize its 360-degree range. Clear your workplace by removing unnecessary equipment that may block the signals. If there are glasses from mirrors and windows around where your router was placed, these may reflect the Wi-Fi signals. If there are some, cover them with cloth or curtain. You should also check if your router is close to where your neighbor’s router is located because this may also cause your connection to drop. High-frequency appliances such as refrigerators, aircon, and washing machines could also be the culprit so do not place your router near them.
2. Check the frequency and channel before your connection goes totally bloop.
If you already cleared out possible obstructions at your workplace and you are already losing your cool, try checking the frequency and channel first. If you have a dual-band router having 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequency, switch to 5 GHz because it is less crowded due to fewer devices having this frequency. Some devices automatically detect this, but if yours do not, you may switch to it by opening your device manager. Just press Windows key + R and type MMC devmgmt.msc, but if you do not want to, just access it from the Windows start menu. Then, go to Network Adapters and look for your WLAN module. Unfortunately, if your router has 802.11b/g/n, there might be a need to upgrade because there is almost a zero percent chance for a 5 GHz frequency to work on your device.
Hang on, because even your device does not support a 5 GHz frequency, you can still boost your signal by minimizing interference. Having the same Wi-Fi channel with your neighbors could also be one of the contributing factors to why you are having a spotty connection. You may connect to a lesser busy channel by going to your router’s administration portal. Look for radio or channel and choose either 1, 6, or 11 because these three usually do not usually overlap with the others.
3. Use wireless range extender commonly known as “Wi-Fi repeater.”
No matter how fast your Internet connection is, you might still be upset over a bungled Internet connection. Maybe your problem here is your distance from the router. If you have a big house, you may experience issues when it comes to signals because they cannot reach your bedroom that is located at the cornermost part of the second floor. The perfect solution here is to purchase a Wi-Fi repeater to extend the signals to other parts of your house. For as low as P500, you can purchase a good wireless range extender that could perfectly rebroadcast your router’s Wi-Fi signal. Setting up your Wi-Fi repeater is not as complicated as understanding girls’ mood. Manuals are available to give you instructions and within just a few minutes, you may enjoy a faster signal even if you are on the rooftop.
4. Consider upgrading your hardware and/or updating your firmware.
Do not set a high expectation on your internet speed if you are using an outdated modem or router. Even if you availed an Internet speed caps at 50mbps, you may still not get the supposed speed. Usually, Internet providers give free Wi-Fi modem when you applied for their service but they give the cheap ones which have an average performance for at least three years. If you are using that mid-range router for a few years now, you should consider replacing it because old routers give off weaker Wi-Fi signals.
Aside from the hardware, you might also want to check your firmware if it is up to date. Just like mobile applications, your router may also have updates that can be found on the router’s admin portal. Modern routers usually have their built-in update process so you just have to hit the upgrade button. However, older models may require you to download a firmware fire from the manufacturer’s website and manually set it up to the administration interface. Updating your firmware regularly helps you experience better Wi-Fi performance and useful features and security updates.
5. Watch out for Wi-Fi intruders.
Have you ever done almost everything to boost your connection yet still experiencing “gone off the net” moments from time to time? Well, you have to check out for Wi-fi intruders who are possibly sucking up your signals. You might not know that you are sponsoring your neighbor’s whole family for their daily social media spree. To check what devices are connected to your Wi-Fi, log in to your router’s administration website by typing your IP address (which can be found under the router) on your browser’s address bar and entering your credentials. Then, click Connected Devices or DHCP Client. If you found some uninvited guests, kick them out. You may even block them using MAC filtering which can also be found on the administration website.
There are times that an unstable Internet connection gives us immeasurable stress level and no matter how many times we complained to our service providers, the same thing happens over and over again. At least, with these five simple ways on how to improve Wi-Fi signal at home, we can somehow be at ease because they lessen the interruptions that we might experience by not doing something at all. These tips do not guarantee relentless Internet connection but these might be the ways that we actually need to ease our dilemmas when it comes to Wi-Fi signal. There is no harm in trying. By exerting these simple efforts, it might solve our Internet connection issues that have been distracting our online activities for quite a long time.