Slow Home Wi-Fi? You’re Using Your Router Wrong
What a time to be alive. "Invisible airwave crackle with life" when the Canadian-based rock group Rush recorded those words as part of the song, they were singing about radio but those invisible radio waves carry so much more than just your favorite songs these days.
Back in 1980 when Rush was singing about electromagnetic radiation about the only uses most of us had for the stuff was in our home stereos and microwave ovens. How things have changed over the last forty or so years.
These days many homes rely on those invisible waves to connect them to the Internet. We call that wi-fi. For most of us, wi-fi is a love/hate kind of thing. We love to be connected to the Internet without wires. But we hate the fact that our connection is sometimes slower than hurricane response from the federal government.
Slow and janky (is that a word?) wi-fi is the bane of our existence. I wonder how many laptop computers have been bashed against walls because of a slow connection? I know at my house that number is three. Yes, I have issues with anger and with wi-fi, or at least I did until I found out this very simple hack to improve my slow wi-fi at home.
Apparently, the constipated connection I was experiencing with my home wi-fi had more to do with my router than it did with my computer. And no, it wasn't because my router was underperforming. It was more about where I had my router placed in my home.
Here's where we make that connection to the "invisible airwaves" mentioned earlier in this article. Wi-fi signals are made up of radio waves. And just like you can experience interference on your favorite broadcast radio station, so too can your router experience interference from a variety of things in your home. This is what affects your router's performance and ultimately how quickly you can get to cat videos on YouTube.
To put this in very simple terms your router and your real estate investments have one big thing in common. That thing is location, location, location. Or would that be three things they have in common?
Where your router is located in your home and what is close to it can really change the way your wi-fi signal is dispersed through your home. Here are a couple of great suggestions that you can use to vastly improve your router speed and performance. Best of all you don't have to pay anything extra to get this performance boost.
When it Comes to Wi-Fi Everybody Needs to Get High
If you have your router sitting on the floor you are missing out on one of the greatest opportunities to expand your wi-fi coverage. Have you ever wondered why radio stations stick their antennas on top of huge towers? Radio coverage increases greatly with height. So the higher the antenna, the greater the coverage. Since your router is basically a radio wave transmitter your signal will improve the higher off the ground you can place the unit.
Remove Your Router's Competition.
Let me explain this one, almost every electronic device in your home emits some kind of radio wave. Whether these waves are on the same frequency as your router really doesn't matter. It's electronic clutter. Just like you have trouble walking swiftly through your child's room when the toys are scattered about, your router signal faces a similar issue negotiating all the extra interference. Since you can't shut your fridge off, the best way to ease the problem is to move the router away from those appliances.
Get Faster Speeds by Surfing in the Dark.
While we don't suggest using your computer in total darkness, light fixtures and lamps can also affect how strong your router's performance can be. Yes, even light bulbs emit radio waves, hence the name light-emitting diode or LED. You will see a marked increase in wi-fi speeds if you disconnect lamps and other small appliances while you're online.
Zap Your Pizza, Popcorn, or Potato First, then Get Online.
Yes, I am about to implicate your microwave oven. It may be one of the biggest performance stealers your router will face. A microwave oven is basically a radio that doesn't play music and pops great popcorn. If your microwave is working chances are your router isn't working as well as it could be. Keep that in mind if your using an online recipe in the kitchen.
Move Your Aquarium if You Want to Surf Faster at Home.
I have to admit this sounds totally off-kilter but the truth is water absorbs radiation.Think about how warm a swimming pools water gets in the bright sunshine of a summer day. Yeah, that fish tank will gobble up router signals faster than a competitor at the Coney Island Hot Dog eating contest. Move the fish and improve your wi-fi speed.
Disconnect the Devices You Aren't Using.
Take a minute and think about all the connected devices you have in your home. At my house, we have mobile phones, tablets, laptops, smart televisions, a number of smart speakers, and other assorted gadgets that just "stay connected" to the wi-fi even when they aren't being used. Try shutting those devices down or at least disconnecting them from the wi-fi signal. It's amazing how fast your speeds will increase if you disconnect three televisions, two laptops, five mobile phones, and three tablets. Trust me, I know from experience.
Improve Your Video Call Experience with One Simple Change.
When do most video calls start? At the top of the hour or on the half-hour. That's universal so if you're starting your call at 15 past or:15 until the hour, you just might have a lot more bandwidth, in general, to really accelerate your video call experience. It's like going to lunch at 11 am or 1 pm as opposed to going right at noon. You get better service when there are fewer customers.
Personal Experience Proves All of These Tips to be Legit.
As I've explained, our wi-fi at home was awful and slow and we pay a lot of money for service that is, in Louisiana terms, fast-fast. I made these adjustments at our house and the difference is remarkable.
Alrighty then, since I unplugged your microwave, I know you still need to eat, so why not try this method while you're surfing the web. It will give you hours of online time without having to even get up and stir the pot.
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