To have a fast, reliable and perfect wireless internet and to run all our Wi-Fi connected devices efficiently with a high download speed, many things need to be considered: the choice of the router, its location, the extenders to add and more. We’ve sorted it all out for you.
Computer, tablet, smartphones, game console, TV … Nowadays, this list of devices connected to your home wireless network is the basis.
With the growing popularity of home automation devices, homes are often also equipped with a printer, voice assistants, security cameras, and streaming systems like Chromecast or Apple TV.
All of this obviously means that our network is more in demand than ever and even so much in demand that we can take advantage of the connection speed we’re paying for.
So here are some tips for improving the situation and optimizing your home Wi-Fi network so you can reach its full potential.
Today, our home wireless network is connected to more devices than ever before.
Wired vs. Wireless Connection
First, it is important to note that a wireless connection will always be slower than a wired network. The transfer speed is not the same, and good old Ethernet ports work better than the Wi-Fi card built into the device.
Even if we want to talk about improving the wireless network, it is impossible to ignore the fact that devices connected to the network via a cable will be better served than those connected to a Wi-Fi network.
In fact, it may be appropriate to use this method for devices primarily used for downloading, such as the family’s desktop computer or game console.
In order for this to be possible, the location of the modem must be considered. We should consider it the gateway to the Internet at home, which allows us to receive the signal from our service provider to distribute it to our devices.
How to choose the location of your modem and/or router
Today, more and more modem models are compatible with wireless technology and you can connect devices with or without a cable.
Although this is somewhat rare, some older modems do not offer wireless connectivity. In this case, you must connect a wireless router to it, which will distribute the signal to devices in Wi-Fi mode.
It is important to choose the location of your devices at home carefully because in wireless mode, the farther the device is from the router and the longer the delay before transmitting data packets, it makes sense!
It is necessary to have a good router, but also to place it in a strategic place.
How to choose the optimal router
The router used can affect the connection speed. For example, if you are paying for a 100Mbit/s connection and your router only provides 54Mbit/s speed, you will never benefit from the speed you are paying for.
With a high-speed router, transfers are faster.
To be able to connect all your devices, choose tri-band routers that have two 2.4GHz and two 5GHz bands.
Basically, the 5GHz band is newer and is twice as fast and stable as the 2.4GHz band. On the other hand, it has a shorter range and less well overcomes physical obstacles.
Together, this helps reduce network congestion such as devices that require a 5GHz connection, such as HD or 4K streaming, online gaming, etc. It will have better stability.
Also consider the standard used, and choose the latest if you have a large number of networked devices. You will find this information on the router, and the standard is represented by a letter displayed after a series of numbers.
The latest development is Wi-Fi 6, which complies with the 802.11ax standard. This is essentially 40% faster than Wi-Fi 5, in line with the 802.11ac standard.
In theory, Wi-Fi 6 is able to achieve a maximum throughput of 9.6 Gbit/s, compared to 3.5 Gbit/s for 5 and 600 Mbit/s for Wi-Fi 4.
If you choose a Wi-Fi 4 or 5 compatible router, it will only be able to connect to a certain number of devices at a time. This is not a disadvantage in itself, as the more bandwidth-hungry devices you have, the slower your network will run with older standards.
Where the difference is in Wi-Fi 6 is, for example, if you have a large tech family where all the members share the same connection at the same time for school online, then using the content of different streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney +, YouTube, Spotify and playing games Online video, play smart home automation tools and more.
Read my column on how to choose a router
Read my review on the TP-Link Archer AX90 Router
A network extender can be especially useful in areas where the Internet is not optimal.
Install Wi-Fi extenders or access points
If slow speed issues and/or network disconnections occur with devices far from the router, you have two options to fix them.
The first is to use a wireless signal extender. This is a device that is connected to an electrical outlet and is responsible for transmitting the signal from a remote router.
Even if it could result in a slight loss of speed, it was still much better than no signal at all!
The other option is to use an access point, which is a device to which you have to connect an Ethernet cable from a modem.
Since this cable must also be connected to a modem or router, sometimes this option cannot be used, even if it is more efficient in terms of throughput.
However, given that the technology behind routers has greatly improved in recent years, it is a useful solution especially for those who want to improve their corporate network or a large building.
Read my review on the TP-Link Deco Wi-Fi System
Read my review on the TP-Link N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender
There are applications to know the true speed of our network.
Differences between a hub, a “switch” and a router
We now know the router better. Now let’s look at two other devices that we tend to confuse with the latter: the Hub and the Switch.
The hub, or condenser, simply hits the extensions of your existing Internet connection when you want to add a limited number of users and their devices by creating a local Ethernet network.
So we share the connection from a computer. It is possible to get a capacitor that will amplify the signal and regulate its quality.
Switching allows the Internet connection to be shared and managed in a calibrated way between the different computers connected to it.
In this way, it will be possible to use several network components simultaneously without causing conflicts or slowing down. It acts as a smarter and more secure hub.
Other tips and tricks for a more efficient network
1. Disconnect the configured devices from the network if you are not using functions that require the Internet, be it smartphones, tablets, or portable game consoles.
2. Secure your network with a strong password to prevent neighbors from connecting to it.
3. Test your connection speed with a tool like the free SpeedTest mobile app for iOS and Android to find out the true speed of your network.
4. Set your devices to the best channel for your router with a free tool like Wi-Fi Analyzer for iOS and Android that takes care of finding the optimal device for your devices, based on the channel usage in your environment.
By applying these few tips, you will definitely gain transfer speed and enjoy a more efficient network!
Wifi Booster: Demystify Ads to Speed Up Your Internet
Increase the range of your Wi-Fi inexpensively with this