The freedom that a WiFi connection at home or in the office offers is precious: even if an internet connection generally gives its best if the relationship between router and computer or other device is via Ethernet cable, often there are no conditions for realizing it, and we rely on wireless technology to bring the Internet into every room and connect all devices that use the Internet.
WiFi is convenient, and if the router is a quality product, the signal is strong and the connection sufficient to give the necessary speed for daily activities.
The possibility of using WiFi anywhere in our home and work environment also depends on the position of the modem-router and on the characteristics of the space, which could hinder the diffusion of the signal and make some rooms, corners, and floors unreachable by WiFi. Fi or poorly achieved. How can the WiFi network be enhanced to extend the Internet to every room or floor? If the problem exists, it can often find a satisfactory solution with a few valuable tricks to facilitate the propagation of the wireless signal: we will see them in this post.
What Is A WiFi Connection, And How Much Does The Router Matter?
Wireless is the standard for those who use an internet connection because it is convenient and generally high-performing. The secret of good WiFi starts from the modem-router and its antennas designed to exploit radio waves and propagate the signal even without a physical LAN connection provided by the Ethernet cable.
Some routers have external antennas. Others have internal antennas not visible to the naked eye. The modem-router – the modem manages the connection provided by the provider, the router the home network – is one of the fundamental junctions for the quality of performance of an internet connection precisely because it is responsible for providing and distributing internet traffic among all the devices connected.
Boxes that we supply for our connections use two frequency bands, the 2.4 GHz band (gigahertz) and the 5 GHz band, which transmit the link to the devices at different speeds and distances use it: the 2.4 GHz band, slower, propagates the signal over a greater distance, while the 5 GHz band is faster but due to its specific characteristic, has less propagation capacity and is more sensitive to possible obstacles present inside of a building.
What Is WiFi 6
The latest generation of WiFi is known as WiFi 6, identified by the IEEE 802.11ax standard, and the word ax is often used in router models to signal the use of the new WiFi. Often indicated on a commercial level with terms such as “super Wi-FI” to indicate the possibility of using it to reach higher download and upload connection speeds than the current ones, always to be considered in the context of the type of connection possessed.
In any case, WiFi 6 represents a beautiful standard for those who, for example, play online and generally prefer a wired connection to achieve optimal performance for playing without slowdowns. To exploit it, there needs to be a special modem-router that communicates with devices that support it in turn: a modem with WiFi 6 still works regularly, even with non-prepared devices, because it also supports the current standard.
Routers And WiFi Channels
The router autonomously manages the use of the two bands and the radio wave transmission channels to give the best signal. When interference can be detected, it is also possible to intervene to manually choose the track to try to improve the WiFi connection—using a freer one.
This can happen, for example, in houses very close to each other, multi-family dwellings, or buildings, where each home has an Internet connection and uses a WiFi modem-router that uses the same channels and congested traffic.
In any case, before intervening on these settings, it is good to try to understand if the reason why the WiFi does not cover the whole house depends on other factors: sometimes surfing is worse simply because there are several devices in the home using the connection at the same time, even when uploading, or because there are physical obstacles that hinder the propagation of the signal. Having established the cause of the WiFi signal drop, you can consider extending the wireless signal.
How To Tell If There Is WiFi Interference
Realizing the lack or weakness of the WiFi signal is simple. It is usually noticed thanks to smartphones or portable devices such as laptops or tablets that “no longer take” when you move around the house: it is the first way to notice the presence of dead zones or shadow zones.
What creates a deadlock and hinders the diffusion of WiFi? The list is extensive, but it is worth evaluating all the points: the solution could be even more straightforward than expected. The reasons for interference that decreases or hinders the WiFi signal can be:
- Structural physical obstacles such as thick walls of older houses or nooks and crannies, wide doors, and even floors between floors can prevent the signal from propagating well.
- metal elements such as those present in armored doors or metal doors, more common in working environments
- Mirrors and other reflective surfaces and glass can affect the WiFi signal: if there are large partition walls made of glass or glass with metal frames, these too can be an obstacle. Do you have a large aquarium at home? Even water can interfere: better not to place the router near it.
- Household appliances such as microwaves, which use radio waves, refrigerators, dishwashers, and washing machines, can become obstacles to WiFi.
- Active Bluetooth devices such as headphones can interfere with and block WiFi (and vice versa) if used simultaneously and sharing the same frequency.
How To Check Your Home WiFi And Figure Out Where It’s Weakest
Checking the strength of the WiFi signal and creating a map that indicates where it is weakest is also possible in an artisanal way: beyond direct verification, that is, moving around the various areas of the house with a device and checking the WiFi icon Fi to see when the signal drops, today there are applications for phones that reveal where the WiFi is best and where it doesn’t reach the best.
These apps generally perform multiple functions and also have the heatmap function, which is very intuitive for evaluating WiFi. Generally, the green color indicates the best performance, and the gradations from yellow to red indicate the progressive deterioration of the signal.
Can The WiFi Signal Be Improved?
Having established that there are areas of the house or office that WiFi does not reach, it’s time to move on to possible solutions to amplify its power.
Purchase A New Router
If the router is a little dated, consider buying a more recent and powerful model compatible with the willingness of your operator to let you use a proprietary modem router, a right you should be able to exercise in any case. In our case, in addition to providing a modem with excellent performance for free, we favor the free modem: if you prefer to use your router, you can do so.
Change The Location Of The Router To Improve The Signal
Correctly positioning the router is the simplest and often the most decisive action. We have already seen that the router set in niches, closets, crowded shelves, near columns, thick walls, or metal surfaces can find a severe obstacle to their performance. But the excessive distance between routers and some rooms can also be a problem, especially in larger homes or offices.
If possible, therefore, it is essential to identify the area of the room that is as central as possible and free from obstacles for all the spaces where the WiFi must reach, possibly at the top and not resting on the ground. This position makes it more challenging to get around any obstacles.
Even orienting the external antennas of the router in the models that have them helps: better to position them in different directions, usually one vertically and one horizontally.
Create A Mesh Network
The Mesh network can be the perfect solution even if it is among the potentially more expensive solutions and requires some familiarity with the configuration. Still, it is ideal when there is a need to “repeat” the router signal (losing a little power) and distribute it homogeneously in all the environments concerned.
Using multiple devices positioned in different places in the house allows for numerous wireless nodes to be obtained and integrated into a single “mesh” network, which will maintain a single name and have a single password, allowing any device to connect automatically. The flexibility of the Mesh network allows it to be extended as needed, adapting it to various types of spaces, from single-story buildings to multi-story ones.
Use Repeaters Or WiFi Repeaters
WiFi repeaters do precisely what their name indicates: they receive the WiFi signal from the router and repeat it and increase it where needed to cover a larger area and make up for the drop in movement: for this, they must be positioned with taking care that they give their best.
As general advice, and taking into account the need for a connection to the electricity grid, the repeater should be positioned not too far from the router so as not to risk losing the signal nor from the space that suffers from the lack of WiFi, because even repeating the movement could be affected.
Use Power Lines
Powerlines are a convenient and effective solution to bring the connection using the electricity grid. Therefore, to be purchased according to actual needs to transform each socket into a network connection. The basic kit usually includes two devices: the first adapter connects to the router via cable, and the second is plugged into an electrical outlet. Three details to take into consideration when choosing one or more Power Lines are:
- The presence of WiFi as well as the Ethernet socket, which requires you to connect the device that needs to access the Internet via cable
- the number of Ethernet sockets to be able to connect more devices
- The presence of the electrical socket in the Powerline itself, if the socket to which it is connected is essential for other functions, and you do not want to sacrifice it to secure the Powerline.