In recent months we are making more life at home than ever: we telework, teach classes, watch more movies or play video games. We even exercise online in the living room. That also means that we are asking more of our WiFi connection . And when it doesn’t work right, it’s a terrible source of annoyance and dissatisfaction. Pushkar Sharma , Head of Connectivity Products at Google Nest , has put together some good tips to avoid connection problems.
Check that your router is up to date
If your current router is more than three or four years old, check that it supports the 5 GHz WiFi signal. Some older routers only support 2.4 GHz signals and that can make your devices much slower. It’s kind of like having a car that isn’t fast enough to drive on the highway. Ideally, you should have at least a router with an 802.11ac system, so that you can also use the 5 GHz frequencies, which are like the German WiFi highway, with more lanes and higher speed limits.
Always, always, protect your network with a password
Yes, okay, having an ‘open’ network without a password is very convenient because you avoid the hassle of remembering a complicated password. But, if you don’t protect it with a password, anyone can access your WiFi, your network, your devices and your data . Even someone driving down your street. Those accesses, at the very least, slow down your network. Choose a strong password that is hard to guess but easy to remember.
Create a separate guest WiFi network
If you have children at home or if you receive many visitors, surely you have given your WiFi password to a lot of people. The best thing in these cases is to configure a specific network : it is a second network that allows your guests to connect and enjoy a good experience, without affecting the security and privacy of your own devices.
Prioritize your devices and services
We have seen an increase in people online – to work, learn, buy or play – and this means that the networks are increasingly congested, which causes the internet to slow down and your video calls to freeze. And if many devices and services are demanding bandwidth at the same time, this problem can be even greater.
Many modern routers can inform you about problems on your network and even allow you to prioritize a specific device . At Nest, for example, you can select your preferred activities – for example, video conferencing or games – so that they take precedence on your home network.
Place your router in a central point of your house
The WiFi signal is weaker the further you are from the router. If you have the router next to the front door, the videos will probably take a long time to load when you use a device in a secluded bedroom. If possible, place the router in a central location in your home . Of course, that will depend on where your internet provider has connected you. And, if you don’t mind that the router is in plain sight, put it in an open space. If possible, avoid hiding it on a shelf or in a dresser. You will notice that the WiFi signal is much better.
If in your house there are areas with poor coverage …
In these cases, you may want to create a mesh network . The devices that allow it are made up of a group of routers (WiFi points) that communicate with each other and form a single network that perfectly covers a wide space. The power of such a network varies depending on things such as the size of the home and the internet service provider, but the idea is that this system provides good constant coverage to all connected devices throughout the home.