by Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert
In our digital world, a strong Wi-Fi signal is important to keep all of your smart devices working. If you don't, you won't be able to perform cool things like printing from your smartphone, streaming music or movies or interacting with Google or Alexa.
Are you frustrated by the lack of Wi-Fi in certain areas in your home or office? Are you not getting the Wi-Fi speed you're paying for? If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you need to take a look at how your wireless is configured in your home or office.
At Integral, we get calls all of the time from frustrated customers not getting good Internet speed and spotty wireless coverage. If you're one of those struggling with Wi-Fi, you might want to read on to find out what steps you need to take to get full wireless coverage.
1. Speed is King or Queen.
Your Internet service provider doesn't control your wireless coverage, but your internet speed is important when it comes to streaming music or movies. It's possible that you already have good wireless coverage, but lousy internet speeds. If you're curious about what your current Internet speeds are, point your smart device to www.speedtest.net.
This website will check your current Internet speeds which you can compare to what you're paying for. If you're not getting the speeds you want, contact your Internet provider to fix any issues with speed.
One of the common problems with slow Internet is a slow modem. If you've had your Internet modem from your provider for over 5 years, it's time for a replacement. With most Internet companies, you can simply take your old modem in and exchange it for a new one.
2. Find Your Center.
If at all possible, have your Internet provider company place your cable modem or wireless gateway in the center of your home or office on the main level. When your wireless router is in a central location, you get better coverage.
Wireless routers transmit a signal similar to a mushroom which means if you place it in the basement, it will only cover the main floor. If it's placed in the attic, you will be sending more of your signal out of your roof.
If your cable provider is unable to place your modem or wireless gateway near the center of your home or office, you will have to resort to the following options.
3. Check Out Power Line Adapters.
A power line adapter allows you to send your Internet signal over the power lines in your home or office to an area that has poor coverage. You plug one powerline adapter in an outlet next to your router and another one in an outlet in an area where you want wireless.
Once you install a power line adapter, you can use what's called a wireless access point to boost the wireless signal in an area that has a weak signal. A great brand of power line adapter to purchase is the TP-Link Powerline Adapter. For an access point, Ubiquiti makes the best wireless access points.
4. Mesh Might be the Answer.
You might need a mesh network to fix your poor Wi-Fi. What is a mesh network? Well, think of it as casting a Wi-Fi net over your entire home or business. Usually, mesh networks consist of hubs that create a bubble to expand your wireless.
Most homes and businesses need 2 - 3, but if you have a larger area to cover, you can easily add hubs to fix those nasty dead spots. Also, mesh networks are capable of handling the faster fiber-optic speeds that AT&T, Comcast, and Google offer.
If you’ve had fiber optic installed in your home and didn’t upgrade your extenders, it’s very possible you’re not taking advantage of the speed you’re paying for. A mesh system will help carry that super-fast fiber speed throughout your home.
5. Run Network Cable to the Wi-Fi Trouble Area.
Many people don't want to do it because of the cost, but actually running cable to the area of your home or office that has a poor signal and installing an access point is probably the best solution.
Want to ask me a tech question? Point your email program to firstname.lastname@example.org and send it in! If you prefer to connect with me on social media, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter and watch great tech tip videos on my YouTube channel. I love technology. I've read all of the manuals, and I want to make technology fun and exciting for you.
If you need on-site or remote tech support for your Windows\Macintosh, computers, laptops, Android/Apple smartphone, tablets, printers, routers, smart home devices, and anything that connects to the Internet, please feel free to contact my team at Integral. My team of friendly tech experts are always standing by to answer your questions and help make your technology useful and fun. Reach out to us a www.callintegralnow.com or phone at 888.256.0829.