A recent study by iGR indicated that American households now get the majority of their data via their home WiFi devices. Residential and business users alike are gravitating to WiFi because of the convenience – but both are subject to the same frustrations when their wireless networks crash. Weak signals, bad connections, hardware problems and signal interference are just a few of the more common problems that can hinder a WiFi signal. Before throwing your tablet, smartphone or laptop against a wall, here are several easy fixes consumers and business owners can use to solve their WiFi problem and improve their connection.
1: Reboot Everything
“Reboot” is usually the first solution mentioned in the router’s manufacturer troubleshooting guides – with good reason. Rebooting may be the easiest computer service and repair function you will encounter. It is effective is solving most WiFi problems and should be your first step before purchasing any new hardware. Often WiFi connectivity issues are caused by regularly scheduled operating system updates, and sometimes these updates can interfere with router connectivity. This is usually resolved by turning off the computer and turning off the router. Wait about 30 seconds, and then turn everything back on. Many times that is all it takes.
2: Update the Firmware
Sometimes connectivity issues occur when manufacturers roll out updates for their routers. In most cases, the updates are automatic, requiring no action from the user. However, occasionally, the user may need to manually upgrade their router firmware because it failed to receive an automatic update.
By visiting the manufacturer's website, you can see if you have the latest firmware. You will need to find the router's version number, which is normally located in the router's control panel. Confirm your router has the latest updates. If not, follow the manual update instructions.
3: Better Position the Router
Think of the router as a person in the room listening to you. If the router is located behind a bookcase, sofa, inside a cabinet, or behind a wall, it may have difficulty “hearing” you. Your laptop and tablet may have a similar problem as they try to connect to your WiFi router. Moving the router to a more exposed setting can improve signal quality. Also, keep in mind that other electronic devices and equipment in the room can interfere with connectivity. If your device is having difficulty “hearing” your router, give it the space that it needs.
4: Boost the Signal with a Better Antenna
Antennas play an important part in boosting signal strength, especially if a digital device is in one room and the router is in another. By attaching an antenna to your router, it can deliver a stronger signal to your mobile devices. If more than one device in your home or business is suffering from a weak signal, then you may want to opt for a stronger, omnidirectional antenna. If the signal bars indicate a strong signal between your mobile broadband device and your computer, but the bars on your mobile device are weak, then you may want to consider hooking up a window-mounted, external signal booster that can be attached to the nearest window pane.
5: Check the Wires from the Modem to the Wireless Router
Sometimes a weak signal can be traced to a defective Ethernet cable connecting your modem to the router. Switching out the wire may resolve the issue. If you are experiencing connection problems where you simply cannot access the Internet, the cable may be connected into the wrong port. Check to see if the Ethernet cable runs from the modem into the WAN/Internet port on the router. If not, turn off all the devices and plug the cable into the right port. Wait a few seconds and then turn everything back on (see solution number 1).
Many of the issues you have with your wireless network can be fixed before buying any new wireless equipment. By exploring these other options first, it can help save you money. You will be amazed by how fast web pages load and your download speeds increase thanks to some relatively simple and fast fixes.