Home Wi-Fi: How to Troubleshoot

As you are still working from home, home WiFi must be looked after on a daily basis.

The coronavirus pandemic is currently in its third year, suggesting that many former commuters are in their third year of functioning from home.

Unfortunately, even folks back in the office a few days a week often work from home more than before the pandemic.

Therefore, if your Wi-Fi is reneging, slowing to a crawl, or dropping at untimely moments, hereís how to bring it back in business, varying from free and simple to complicated and quite costly.

Test Your Connection

Your first step is to comprehend the nature of the issue: is the internet bad throughout your home, in certain areas, or on specific devices? Does it cut out or slow down aimlessly throughout the day or during particular activities? Is the problem your internet link, your Wi-Fi signal, or something else?

The easiest way to commence is to run an internet speed test. On a computer, drive to Speedtest.net; on a phone or tablet, download and conduct the Speedtest app (iOS, Android). Ensure youíre using your Wi-Fi rather than cellular data and that any VPNs are disconnected.

Some routers can conduct speed tests directly from the web interface. If you can accomplish that, you should. If yours doesnít, and you maintain a computer with an ethernet port that you can hit directly into your router, you should conduct Speedtest from that. Either should provide a result within a spitting span of the speed youíre paying your ISP for. If not, itís time to reach them and complain ó or switch providers if you can.

Check Your Wi-Fi Signal Strength

If you have more than adequate bandwidth coming into your house, itís time to review the Wi-Fi. You can use speed tests as a fast proxy for signal strength. First, check your speed and ping in several additional rooms. Next, start following the router and then drive progressively farther away, and take note if there are places with significantly upload speed and lower download or higher ping than others.

Move Your Router

If the signal or bandwidth strength tests show dead spots in your home, try moving your wireless routeróthe worst site for it. Wi-Fi is radio; radios have limited scope and occasionally have trouble infiltrating walls. If itís helpful, try moving your router to a more prominent location using a longer cord from the wall jack. If you canít move the router distance, at least try to hold the router out of cabinets and away from large pieces of metal, like refrigerators, desktops, or microwave ovens. Wi-Fi doesnít do nicely around lots of water, so abide away from 100-gallon aquariums. Moving books and muddle away from your router can decrease interference and boost signal strength. It also helps boost airflow to the router to maintain it from overheating. Speaking of which:

Clean Your Router

When was the last span you groomed your router? If your routerís vents are plugged with dust or pet hair, it will overheat more easily, throttling the processor and generating your connection to the tank.

Move To A Different Band

Modern Wi-Fi functioning on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. The latter is quicker and less subject to interference but doesnít travel as far and canít penetrate walls. The former is additionally robust but has lower highest speeds and is susceptible to interference from microwave ovens, some older cordless phones, and neighboring Wi-Fi signals.

The standard advice here is to trade as many devices as 5GHz. And if youíre having trouble with the 2.4GHz band, that could help.

Change The Channel

If there are a bunch of other Wi-Fi networks near you, you may encounter radio interference. Some routers are created to sense interference and pick neat frequencies, but not all are great at finding more precise frequencies as conditions change. However, you can use one of the Wi-Fi Analyzer apps to scope out the radio neighborhood, go into your routerís settings, and manually switch to a less crowded channel.

Wire It Up

Every device on ethernet does not compete for Wi-Fi signal or is limited by Wi-Fi transmission rates. Instead, itís an elegant weapon from a more civilized time.

Buy More Bandwidth

Data requirements sneak up on us, and you probably use more bandwidth than employed. It wonít do you any good to enhance your Wi-Fi coverage around the house if traffic is getting bottlenecked by your ISP. Instead, look at your bill or log into your ISPís customer portal to see your current plan and your options for upgrading. If your connection only delays down toward the end of the month, youíre also possibly encouraging up against monthly data caps, though ISPs will usually warn you if thatís the problem.

Get A Wi-Fi Extender

Itís possible that you canít move your router or that moving it didnít help. If your router is relatively new and you donít want to replace it and only have trouble in one part of your home, you can get a range extender. Most router companies now sell range extenders designed to work with their routers to act as an ŗ la carte mesh networking system. Just grab an inexpensive TP-Link.

Range extenders can be valuable in certain situations but arenít very efficient and unsuitable for providing fast connections everywhere. If you need a signal, any signal, then thatís what they are helpful for.

Get A New Router Or A Mesh Networking Kit

Replacing your whole Wi-Fi setup is the nuclear option for improving your bandwidth, but you should think about it if your router is more than five years old. Also, if your home is more than 2,000 square feet, has multiple stories, or has a layout that makes it difficult for a single Wi-Fi router to cover, consider a mesh network like Eero or TP-Link Deco.

In the end, ensuring your home Wi-Fi network runs well ó mainly when your income or your kidsí teaching is concerned ó is worth the grind and probably the expense.