How to use a Wi-Fi extender or Wi-Fi booster, plus other tips to improve your internet
Do you have a spot in your home such as a bedroom or out on the deck where it’s just harder to get a reliable Wi-Fi signal? You’re not alone. Luckily, through better Wi-Fi router placement or tech such as a Wi-Fi extender or Wi-Fi booster, you can easily enhance your internet strength. Here’s what you need to know.
Several things can impact your Wi-Fi signal.
Think of Wi-Fi as a bridge between your devices and the internet. Wi-Fi lets you use your smartphone to send or receive information on your home network rather than on your mobile data plan. To access it, you need a Wi-Fi router, which distributes a signal to your computer, printer, phone, tablet and any other device and creates a network.
Wi-Fi isn’t perfect. The signal gets weaker the longer the distance between you and the Wi-Fi router or the more physical obstacles — such as a corner or a brick wall — between your device and the router.
In a pinch, you can temporarily create a hotspot with your mobile phone to supplement your Wi-Fi. But for a long-term fix, it’s worth it to check whether your Wi-Fi router is placed correctly or whether you can supplement the signal with a Wi-Fi booster.
Check your Wi-Fi router settings and placement.
Like any piece of tech, a Wi-Fi router may be out of date — both the software and the hardware. If the physical router itself is very old, contact your internet service provider about an upgrade. In addition, make sure that the device’s software is current; many times software updates will correct functional issues and boost security.
Tweaking the location of your Wi-Fi router is one way to help improve signal strength. If you can, resist the urge to tuck the Wi-Fi router inside a closed cabinet, and instead find a spot in the center of your home for it. An open shelf with no obstructions — and no other electronics around — is best.
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