If you recently got a WiFi connection or have been facing issues with dropped Wi-Fi signals, it can be more frustrating than expected. It results in the inability to stream, cancelled downloads and failed voice calls. If you feel that your WiFi is being a bit slow or sluggish and wondering what you can do to improve the coverage or the speed, you can follow some of these steps to optimise your network:1. Update Your WiFi's Firmware
Sometimes the most common problem has to do with pending software updates. Router companies update their routers' software just like phone companies update their phones. Sometimes routers also get new firmware for battery or security reasons. If you have one of the newer routers, the software can be updated right from the backend settings. However, if you own an old router, you may have to download the update manually and install it on your own.2. Select The Right Frequency
It really depends on your needs and the placement of the router. Modern routers now come with two different bands. 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies serve entirely different purposes which also depends on where the router is being placed. For example, if speed is not your priority and portability matters more, make sure you stay connected to the 2.4GHz frequency. This band can cover a larger distance but at the cost of giving you slow speeds. On the other hand, if you want fast internet speeds, utilise the 5GHz band as it is capable of delivering incredible speeds depending on the router. Not only does 5GHz offer faster speeds, you'll likely encounter less interference from other wireless networks and devices. However, the 5Ghz frequency does not have enough range and you will be confined to an area. If you plan to stream movies and TV shows and need fast speeds wirelessly, we suggest you keep the router near the streaming device or move your streaming device nearer to the router.3. WiFi Repeaters Are Obsolete
After considering all the options, a WiFi repeater is probably the worst solution to signal problems. We recommend you do not waste money on a repeater as it only re-broadcasts your router's signal. It is possible that you have a big house or thick walls due to which you do not get enough WiFi signal. The range extender works just like any other device with an IP address. You can do the same thing with your laptop or your phone if it supports WiFi passthrough. Instead, if you want to solve your signal range issues once and for all, we recommend you get a mesh WiFi network. You can set up another router, connect it via a very long ethernet cable and improve your situation. However, you will have to worry about concealing a really long ethernet cable, and tinkering with the DHCP and IP settings to make it work.4. Change The Channel
Interference from other electronic devices is one of the major causes for slow speeds, weak signals and overall quality of the signal. Signals from your smartphones, smart TVs, Laptops, PCs, IoT devices or any other device that can communicate via WiFi is bound to interfere with your network. There is also interference from other appliances such as microwaves and traditional cordless phones. In order to combat this issue, you need to switch the channel where the wireless network is being broadcasted. From the settings of your router, you can change the channel according to the network type and congestion in various channels. You can track the signal congestion via numerous apps on your smartphone or on a Windows-powered PC. Just search for a WiFi Channel scanner app and you will be able to see the congestion visually. For a 2.4 GHz signal, we recommend you stick to channels 1, 6, and 11 since they're the only ones that don't overlap with other channels. The 5GHz frequency generally uses channels that are not commonly used. However, if you still prefer to change it, you can do so after checking the signal congestion around your router.5. Install a Mesh Networking System
© Unsplash/Andres Urena
A mesh router system is the answer to every problem you may face at your home. Range extenders are a good temporary solution but you will still encounter dead zones and slow speeds. In order to have seamless connectivity at home, we recommend getting a mesh Wi-Fi system instead. There are plenty of options available right now, however they come at a premium price. Personally, I use Google's WiFi's Mesh system at home and it works flawlessly. Netgear, Linksys and other companies all have their WiFi mesh systems that can be installed in your home in minutes. Most mesh WiFi systems can be managed with a native application and you can even manage speeds for specific devices. I have a 1GBPS connection at home and from 20 feet away, I was able to get 500Mbps on my device while connected to my Google WiFi. I am able to stream 4K movies on Netflix in three separate rooms at the same time without facing any buffer period, thanks to this setup. If you want to know more about how Google's Mesh Wi-Fi system works, you can read more about it here. Mesh Wireless systems are capable of switching automatically from 2.4 GHz to 5GHz depending on your device's proximity to a satellite and it is also capable of automatically selecting channels that have the least interference. It is currently the best and complete solution for any WiFi issues you may face at home.