Setting Up and Optimizing Your Home Network
Getting your home network in order is part of getting your entire household in order. Without a proper internet connection, everybody is dissatisfied and angsty.
However, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can optimize the network, thus changing the outcome.
In this article, we will cover some strategies for improving your home network. At points, it can become quite technical, so if something is confusing, contact an IT specialist who will be able to help you out.
But if you trust in your tech-abilities, keep reading to learn more.
Router Placement In Home Network
The most obvious resolve to optimizing a home network is to adjust the physical location of the router. Because the Wi-Fi signal radiates from the antenna in a spherical capacity, the best place to put it is in the center of your entire household.
If a centered position is not possible, it’s important that your router is not on the floor, the corner, the closet, or directly located to thick barriers. Stone, brick, and concrete are very tough for Wi-Fi to penetrate. The ideal placement is in the middle of the ceiling, but any elevated surface should work well too.
If environmental barriers and optimal positioning exhume an issue, skip to the other steps to compensate for this lack of flexibility.
Firmware should be updated over ethernet, never over Wi-Fi, as that will damage the router.
Firmware is the OS for the router, and new updates can contain fixes to performance and security. Nicer routers have all of the information for updating the firmware on the admin panel. Older routers might require you to manually visit the router website and dig for ZIP files.
Because the process for updating the firmware is variable by manufacturer, ensure to follow the guidelines provided by the vendor when performing an update. An advanced user can make use of alternative firmware, such as OpenWRT, Tomato, DD-WRT provide advanced features and extra security.
Each router not only looks different but operates differently as well. However, the concept remains the same. It’s a box with antennas. The antennas are the broadcast signal points.
Most newer routers are compatible with external antennas that can help boost the range of your network. Antennas can be directly or omnidirectional. They are rated by the decibel isotropic, with higher values representing a greater range.
An omnidirectional antenna works in all directions and is effective when a signal gets progressively weak towards the edge of the signal bubble. Directional antennas only work in one direction, it’s great for routers that are not placed centrally or in oddly-shaped buildings.
A powerline adaptor makes use of existing wiring as the data network. While they do not optimize your network, they can take off a significant load from the bandwidth by wiring the devices that would otherwise get a poor signal.
It’s a great solution for computers and TVs that you would usually connect with ethernet. But instead of dragging the entire cable through the home, you can hook it directly into the electrical socket in any room.
Another thing about the powerline adaptor is that it does not require technical know-how. You simply connect one plug in the router via ethernet, then plug another device in the plug. The powerline will connect all of the devices via electrical wiring automatically, the speeds delivered will be altered slightly, but unnoticeable on fiber-optics.
An extender can pick up and amplify any signal coming towards it. The problem with extenders that even though the signal travels further, it loses speed which can be a concern for many.
A powerline system is preferred over an extender, but they can work in a pinch when you’re trying to fix or extend a signal to a specific area in the house. If this is not enough, learn how to boost the WiFi signal in your home network.
A Wi-Fi router works like a baby monitor, or more like a cordless phone, perhaps even Bluetooth. The router is the base which broadcasts the signal. Your device is the recipient of the signal.
Just like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi only works on devices that are capable of making use of the signals. Virtually all modern devices come with Wi-Fi chips so that’s not really a concern.
Each router has the ability to broadcast over several channels and wavelengths, these channels are available to network and determined by the standard that defaults on your router.
Wi-Fi standards change often, and the most recent is the 802.11ac. Some other common standards are but are not limited to 802.11ax, 802.11n, etc.
The newest is Wi-Fi 6 and is considered to be a revolution in the realm of the internet. This is due to its ability to traverse a signaling area quite quickly. However, most households are still on the outdated versions of Wi-Fi 5 or 4. If your router does not have the standards printed on it, it might be making use of even older solutions.
No wonder your connection is abysmal. If you run anything older than Wi-Fi 5, you need to update your router. If you want to speed up, go with the newest standard every time. However, some devices can change their standards from the admin panel. To do this, speak to an IT specialist.
Now that you know how to optimize your home network, you are well on your way to ensure that your internet is always stable. However, none of this guarantees results, as each household varies, not to mention devices vary, circumstances vary, and much more.
If you’re interested in learning more about tech, feel free to check out the rest of our tech-related articles.