It is a staple of success. You purchase a home big enough to raise a family (or adopt puppies, or store a lot of things), and you have all the space in the world to stretch out and enjoy. There’s only one problem: The internet hasn’t caught up with your success.
Even investing in the best router your internet company has to offer can create internet dead zones, and you want to fix the delicate Wi-Fi reception. It could be the basement, or the second floor bathroom, or maybe even a home office. Not being able to get online can be obnoxious, even cataclysmic. So what is one to do when the Wi-Fi range is limited? How do you go about fixing a weak Wi-Fi signal?
Wi-Fi blind spots can be frustrating, but they can also be easily fixed with the right tools and, in some cases, the right money. With the proper knowledge you can repair feeble internet connections. The only question is, where to begin? That’s where we can help!
Analyze your Wi-Fi signal
No, this isn’t Star Trek, or something only a certified internet technician can do. Analyzing your internet can help you to begin fixing weak Wi-Fi signals. All you need is a smartphone, preferably an Android as the best iPhone options have proven unreliable. In the Google Play store you can find an analytic app called Wi-Fi Analyzer. This app is free and will show you the signal strength of your network as well as the strength and frequencies of your neighbor’s Wi-Fi. This app can help you figure out how to get more robust internet in your home. If you are using an iPhone, try Network Multimeter on the app store. The multimeter can swing wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other, but it could be helpful in finding complete dead zones. These apps will help you track down the spots where you need to restore fragile Wi-Fi connections.
Once you have your app of choice downloaded, simply activate it and walk to the rooms where you need to increase the Wi-Fi signal quality. The analyzer will tell you exactly where you need to mend frail internet strength. Keep in mind things like file cabinets and metal shelves can affect the signal strength. Also, older houses may have chicken wire or thick concrete inside the walls, which could also cause problems. Once you’ve analyzed your home you’ll be well on your way to restoring feeble Wi-Fi signals!
We downloaded Wi-Fi Analyzer and tested it to see if we could fix weak Wi-Fi signals in our own homes. Installation is quick, and from there it’s a very straightforward interface. A graph will appear showing the Wi-Fi strength of not only your router, but every router it detects in the vicinity, allowing you to see where you need to maximize from delicate Wi-Fi speeds. From there just walk around your home and see where the dead spots are. We were picking up signals from across the street and other places in the neighborhood, so the sensitivity is great! It’s a great tool to help prevent feeble internet connections. Though if you’re downloading this app you probably already know where you need to improve internet signal durability. If that’s the case, we recommend using this to verify which channel your router is on. If your neighbor’s router is set to the same channel as you are the signals could be competing over each other. Simply changing the channel of your router could fix a weak Wi-Fi signal.
Move your router
Homes are laid out in a funny way. Your router is most likely located in your living room or office. If either of these rooms is positioned off to one side of the house, you can expect to find dead zones in the opposite side. Sometimes restoring delicate Wi-Fi strength is just a matter of location. If you can, consider moving your router to a more centralized location. Even one room over could help reposition the signal so the entire house gets high speed coverage. On the other hand, though, moving it could potentially create a low speed section somewhere else.
The key thing to remember when selecting router positioning is where are you most going to need Wi-Fi? Do you spend a lot of time in the living room, or streaming movies in the bedroom, or keep your home office online at all times? Think of the priorities, and then position accordingly. Also consider Ethernet connections to maximize the internet connection strength. They can be cumbersome and not very attractive, but with some proper planning and finesse you could quasi discretely run a 100 ft. Ethernet cable from the router, up the stairs, or anywhere else in your house. We know because we’ve done it. Tacking the wire along the walls or ceiling helps, and if running them along the floor consider some area rugs to help conceal them. The wired connections will help mend any frail internet strength issues you may be experiencing.
Throw money at it!
No, but seriously. Having the right money could help restore weak Wi-Fi signals. The internet offers a wide range of solutions if you’re willing to invest in some additional equipment. For between $30.00 and $70.00, Amazon has a large variety of options. Be sure to do your research and read the reviews, however, as some of these choices can be too good to be true. Despite popular views, we tried the Netgear N300 Wi-Fi Range Extender and found it to not be very effective. Set up was easy, and devices would connect to it, but then the internet load speeds were even slower than they were before. Not our first choice for fixing frail internet connections.
Another option to consider is the MSRM Wireless-N Range Extender. This works like other repeaters, but has the capability of plugging an Ethernet cable into it. Remember what we talked about earlier with running Ethernet cables from your router? You could do this and essentially set up a second router somewhere else in your house. This device can perform high speed data transfers up to 300Mbps.
If none of these options are enticing or seem manageable, the other choice is to turn to your smartphone. Many carriers offer a plan to generate a hotspot from your mobile device. This will eat into your data plan, but if you have a large data plan (or are of the lucky few to have unlimited data), you could generate the hotspot from your phone to help fix the weak Wi-Fi signal. This can be used to power laptops and tablets, but the speeds might not be up to par for high end gaming. Still, if you absolutely cannot stand the slow speeds in parts of your home, this is just another option to fix fragile internet signals.
Have you had to deal with internet dead zones at home or at work? How did you go about restoring firm Wi-Fi signals, or have you learned to deal with the problem at hand? Did you find a solution that wasn’t listed here? We want to know!