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How to Make Your Home Wifi Faster

Welcome to another episode of Design Under Influence!  

Here, we deconstruct how to make technology your architecture, design, and engineering firm’s competitive advantage.  

Today, we’re digging into how you can make the most out of your home Wifi.  

With so many of your employees working from home with no end in sight for most of the world, this topic is at the forefront of the industry!  

On this episode, we’re giving you some tactical information that you can share with your employees across the company.  

So: how do your employees start thinking about how to optimize their home Wifi?  

First off, as IT guys, we have to say it: hardwire connection to your router is always going to be the best method of getting online.  

However, we know this isn’t possible in many home offices, and that mobility is important. It can still be a good idea to keep a hardwire on hand for key meetings and other important events that take place online.  

Let’s get into how to optimize your wireless connection.  

When logging on to your Wifi, check how many other networks are broadcasting within the range of your laptop.  

This will give you an idea of how much potential interference can affect your signal.  

If there are a bunch of Wifi networks in your range, you’ll want to see if you can get into your router and change some settings around.  

For example, you could change the channel that your router uses. By default, most people use channels 1, 6, or 11 due to preconfiguration.  

You can check to discover which channels are less congested in your area.  

Sound complicated? Don’t worry. You can call up your company’s IT provider for assistance with this.  

It’s always a good idea to position your router somewhere in the middle of the house so that you are covered in every room.  

Your router likely has approximately 30 feet of circumference for optimal service. Outside of that circumference, your service will start to weaken.  

If your router has been pre-installed in a location that is not central to your home, there are some options.  

The easiest thing you can do is get a power extension line. This will allow you to extend a CAT 5 cable from your router to another room in the house that is outside of your 30-foot range.  

To do this:  

  1. Plug the power extender in to your router  
  1. Place the other component of the power extender in the room you desire increased connectivity  
  1. Connect another wireless access point to the power extender to broadcast more signal in that area  

This setup can be a little bit complex and vary depending on how many devices that you are using.  

While this is the least expensive method, dealing with electrical wiring in your home can be a bit intensive.  

Therefore, unless you are tech-savvy, this might not be the best option for you. 

So what do you do next?  

The next level up would be the use of a mesh network. Google, Amazon, and NetGear all provide these mesh products.  

This mesh network replaces your router. That means that if you are using a provider like Comcast or AT&T, you would disable the wireless provider by the router.  

Mesh networks are top-of-the-line and can be more expensive. It takes over the network in your home, automatically configuring the broadcast signal throughout the house.  

Mesh networks either contain two or three units in the package. You can put one where the router is, and then spread the other units out to rooms where you need strong connection.  

A quality mesh networking system starts around $500—which is a significant investment. However, this investment can really pay off in terms of strength of connection and reliability.  

If you’re going to go with the mesh network route, go with a top-of-the-line option. The cheaper, generic brands usually don’t have the proper hardware to give you the connection you need.  

Router hygiene is also important to consider.  

If you live in an apartment or smaller house, you likely don’t need to upgrade to a mesh network. You can have a great connection by attending to the health of your router.  

One of the first things you should do is turn off public access to your Wifi signal.  

If you’re using Xfinity, this can be done in the app. This will prevent other users from logging on to your network and weakening your signal.  

You might not be aware that your neighbor could be streaming videos on your wifi.  

Because you are leasing the router equipment from your provider, you are paying a fee to use that equipment.  

Your provider will not proactively reach out to you to let you know that your router is old and needs replacement.  

Instead, you will have to be the one to take a proactive approach. Give your provider a call to see if a newer version of a router is available for a replacement.  

This will give you the latest equipment and ensure maximum performance. You should be checking for updated equipment at least once every two years.  

Have questions about improving your employees wifi performance?  

Contact us at ArchIT! We’d be happy to chat.  

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