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TBayIT - Web Design / Development, Web Hosting, Content Management Systems

Optimize and Improve Your Wi-Fi Network

Posted on March 12, 2012

WiFi Wireless Network

WiFi in your home is just as commonplace as a fridge or television. Especially now with the popularity of smart-phones and tablets it is a necessity to have a good WiFi signal throughout your home.

But as more and more people setup there own wireless networks you may get interference. In my neighbourhood there are nearly 20 networks within reach. Ideally you should be on a wireless channel that no one else is using – but how do you know without guessing and hoping your signal improves. There is an easy solution, I stumbled on a tool by a company called Meraki that will detect and analyze all of the WiFi networks in range, tell you what channels they are using and how strong the signal is. Check it out at tools.meraki.com/stumbler. Find the empty channel in your area and set your wireless router to use it. This will eliminate most connection problems immediately.

Another problem is having your WiFi signal reach to throughout your house and even into your yard if you are like me and enjoy sitting outside with the tablet or smartphone. There is a quick and cheap way to improve your WiFi signal by using card stock and tin foil. Check it out at www.freeantennas.com. I tried this on my router and saw a 10dB improvement.

A couple of other tips:
• Use Wireless N (802.11N) especially for large file transfers and streaming media
• Secure your router using WPA/WPA2 (not WEP)
• Locate in a central location, off of the floor away from metal objects

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