Wi-Fi has become completely interwoven into our homes and our everyday lives. If it isn’t working efficiently, it can have a disruptive impact. Yet, many people have issues with their home Wi-Fi despite high-speed packages being supplied by the various broadband providers. I chatted with Dave Dooley of Kable Kings to determine why this is the case and what we can do to remedy it.
What causes Wi-Fi issues?
‘Having a strong and reliable Wi-Fi connection is as important as having an efficient heating or electrical system in your home,’ says Dooley. When we experience Wi-Fi issues, we immediately think the fault is with our broadband provider. However, the problem is often that the router is being overloaded by too many devices trying to access Wi-Fi in our home at the same time.
As more and more of the things we use every day become Wi-Fi enabled, this kind of congestion will worsen. ‘We’re not utilising the packages we get from our broadband providers to their full potential,’ explains Dooley. In some cases, the broadband packages are 245Mb and larger, which is much more than an average home would ever need. The problem is it isn’t appropriately distributed.
Upgrade your router
One of the first steps to take to improve your home Wi-Fi is to upgrade your router. ‘Routers supplied by your broadband provider are basic devices,’ says Dooley. Although broadband providers offer very high-speed broadband packages, the routers they supply cannot cope with the speed.
The location of your router will also have an impact on how strong your Wi-Fi signal is. The further you are away from the router and the more devices you have connecting to it, the slower and more problems you will have. Place the router in a central location and as high in your home as possible. Don’t hide it away on a bookshelf or in a cupboard, as the more covered up it is the weaker the signal will be. Instead, keep it in a central location.
Replacing the router will also mean your home will be more secure from the risk of hacking. You should also personalise your settings and change your password. This is great from a security perspective, but creating your own password will mean it is much easier to remember. No more looking under the router calling out a list of upper and lowercase letters and numbers when guests want to connect to your Wi-Fi.
Create a wired network
Creating a wired network in your home is the ideal way to ensure a constant and reliable connection. If you are renovating or carrying out building work, make sure you run CAT5E or CAT6 cables to every room in your home.
Doing this will create a wired network that you can plug all of your devices into. ‘Whatever is plugged in will have a dedicated connection to the broadband connection, which will lessen the load on your Wi-Fi,’ says Dooley. You can then add in wireless access points on each floor which will help you to get better connectivity wirelessly throughout the house.
By creating a wired network like this, you are also future-proofing your home. Many appliances such as smart TV’s require their own internet connection now and as more and more appliances follow suit, a wired network will guarantee a better user experience than Wi-Fi.
Create a separate network
There are certain cases where you will need dedicated bandwidth. A home office is one example. When you’re working from home, the ideal solution is to have a separate network assigned to your home office.
You can do this by running a cable from your router to your home office to create a separate network just for work. The office can then have its own Wi-Fi box to connect office devices. You can then give this network its own name and password. When you are working, you connect to the new Wi-Fi box rather than your main home router, which everyone else is connecting to.
The same principle applies to running Wi-Fi outside to a garden room, for example. ‘Many people think they need to contact the provider to get a second broadband package when they need Wi-Fi in a garden or garden room,’ says Dooley. ‘There is no need to do this as you will end up with two bills,’ he warns. You can run a second network from your router to serve the garden room, giving you dedicated Wi-Fi in this space.
‘People worry that splitting up the network like this will somehow weaken the connection,’ says Dooley. ‘But it’s quite the opposite. By doing this, you will lessen the load on your primary router and improve the connection for everyone,’ he explains.
By splitting up your network in this way, you are distributing the large broadband package efficiently throughout your home so everyone can enjoy uninterrupted connectivity.
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