21 May Pres. Jonathan Cartu Announces – How to Soup Up Your Home WiFi With Multiple Repeaters and…
By Jack M. Germain
May 21, 2020 12:39 PM PT
Does flaky Internet connectivity have you scrounging for solutions?
The COVID-19 pandemic increased our demand for Internet service due to working from home, online learning for kids, and video conferencing with colleagues and family members.
For many people stuck at home, Internet connectivity issues became more troublesome in recent months. To make matters worse, Internet providers may be unwilling to send repair techs into your home to fix your problems.
Construction materials and interior design decisions can have an adverse effect on how far your WiFi signal travels inside. They can slow down the connection speed, especially when everyone is home using a slew of computing devices. Put this do-it-yourself primer to work fixing what ails your home network.
One easy fix is to add multiple access points (hardwired connections) and wireless repeater devices. This is much like adding telephone wiring from room-to-room to plug in more telephones, and using wireless phone stations throughout your home.
Routers in general lack the transmitting power of cell towers to reach the far corners of even a small floor plan in houses and small offices. Low-cost routers tend to have the worst performance issues.
It takes trial and error to find and fix the bugs in your wired and wireless home and office networks. If you have an old router running on original firmware and default settings, you can solve your connectivity problems with a new router. Consider a multichannel device.
What if the new router fails to fix the problem? Routers transmit a slower wireless signal that may not travel as far within your home. That is why adding repeaters or multiple cable-wired access points inside your home can provide better reception and eliminate the dreaded dead zones.
Another option is to expand your hardwired network by extending the cable wire throughout your house. Instead of having the signal travel from a wireless router, each hardwired connection feeds into a desktop or laptop.
This is less than optimum when you want to connect cellphones, tablets and such to the Internet. However, adding an access point to the expanded cabling puts a wireless extender or router closer to mobile devices throughout the house.
Cable modems usually provide enough sockets to plug in a cable from three or four computers. You can buy rolls of cable and lay it down yourself. That solution may be fine for nearby rooms.
Snaking the cable between floors is a different scenario. In that case, discuss the installation needs versus the cost of having your Internet Service Provider (ISP) install separate modems on each floor.
In large homes and offices, this hardwired strategy gives you the additional benefit of running WiFi routers on each floor. This strategy is effective in expanding your home network’s reach without jeopardizing signal strength and connectivity.
It also puts your WiFi router physically closer to the devices in those rooms. That gives you a stronger signal that is not degraded by extended distances and too many connected devices robbing you of bandwidth.
Be careful, though. You might need WiFi routers that let you configure for multichannel use for better connectivity.
Let’s Get Started
To find out what obstacles are blocking faster Internet speed within your domicile, survey your space for five essential things that affect your Wifi signal. That could eliminate the need to add as many multiple repeaters or access points. It also could improve your results if you do go that route.
Before you proceed with trying to improve your WiFi connections, first find out what speed you have now. Answering these three questions can help you map out a plan to improve connectivity and extend your network’s range in your house or office:
- Has your WiFi become troublesome and routinely slower recently?
- Is your hardwired Internet connection fast on your connected desktops and laptops but painfully slow on WiFi?
- Do you have dead zones in one or more households or small office locations that prevent you from connecting mobile devices and laptops wirelessly?
You may be facing two different issues, depending on whether you answered yes or no to those questions. First, make sure that the hardwired connection from your service provider or ISP is not at fault. Some providers include WiFi service as a feature of the Internet cable modem.
If you have a separate router available, compare the speed test results of the modem’s WiFi versus the WiFi speed provided by the external router.
Even though the external router is connected to your cable modem for the Internet signal, different routers perform differently and may exceed your modem’s WiFi capability, which you then can turn off to prevent interference.
Checking Your Needs
You can verify that the hardwired Internet pipe to your home is functioning correctly by calling your ISP. If it is, the next thing to consider is the strength of your Internet signal to the modem. Video chatting or streaming on multiple devices can drain your available bandwidth. That in turn drops your wireless speed drastically.
Your provider can check the signal quality of the connection into your cable modem remotely and make adjustments. Chances are in your favor that upgrading your Internet plan to a higher speed will give you improved WiFi speed as well. Remember, however, that wireless speeds always are slower than hardwired speeds.
Having a faster Internet speed delivered to your cable modem gives your more bandwidth for faster wireless speeds in proportion. Simply paying for faster Internet speed can leave more bandwidth for multiple computer connections, WiFi-connected printers, and wireless security cameras. So can upgrading your router’s capacity.
You easily can keep tabs on your Internet speed — both cable and wireless — by going to a speed test website. Try
Speed Test by Ookla or
Fast. Use these sites or others to monitor improvements in your home network’s performance.
Time to Survey
You cannot count on your ISP to solve your Internet speed issues. You probably will not get the ISP representative to agree with your speed complaint. Trust me on these two points. I have been there.
Some do-it-yourself sleuthing can help you improve your Internet speed or at least be assured that you…