With most coffee shops, airports, schools and shopping malls blanketed with ubiquitous WiFi signals, we’ve grown accustomed to being able to connect to the Internet from any device, nearly anywhere. That makes it even more frustrating when WiFi problems prevent the Internet from working properly at your house.
These tips will help you eliminate spotty WiFi connections.
Rebooting and Checking Cables
It’s surprising how often your WiFi woes come from small, easily fixable problems. I know it’s simple to say, “Have you tried turning it off and on?” but it’s a surprisingly effective solution.
So is making sure that all the cables are properly plugged in. A loose connection between your router and modem could be the culprit. If this doesn’t work, try rebooting the router or resetting it back to the factory settings.
Resetting Previously Saved Networks
Sometimes, your WiFi network could be working fine, but the issue could be with the device you’re trying to connect. First, turn off and then back on your WiFi connection from whatever computer, smartphone or device you’re trying to connect. If you’re still experiencing WiFi problems, changing your saved networks might help.
Your saved network settings are what let your computers or smartphones automatically connect to a WiFi network without having to enter the password every single time. Sometimes this can cause hiccups with your connection. You can reset these settings through your settings or network preferences, then reconnect with your proper password and they will save for future use.
Upgrade Your Router
Your WiFi router may just not be capable of covering your entire house. It may be time to pick up a new one. Before buying new hardware, be sure to check if your Internet service provider allows you to buy your own modem and/or router. Most do, but it never hurts to check.
When choosing your new router, know your options. Your router options will be labeled: 802.11 G, N or AC. These letters represent different standards: 802.11G is the slowest of the three, N is relatively fast and 802.11AC routers are the fastest on the market. Along with speed advantages, 802.11AC routers tend to perform better over longer distances, and they typically cost more.
I consider 802.11AC routers worth the investment, particularly if you’re connecting multiple devices all over your house. It’s ideal if you’re playing a WiFi-connected game console in the living room, streaming videos on your TV in the bedroom and connecting throughout the house on smartphones and tablets. If your WiFi needs are simpler, you may be perfectly fine with an 802.11N router.
Your device should work with whatever router you decide to buy, but it will also be limited by what type of WiFi chip is in it. For example, if your smartphone has 802.11G WiFi, it can connect to an 802.11AC router, but it will be limited to 802.11G speeds. You can’t upgrade your existing smartphone’s WiFi chip but you can expect the higher-end smartphones to have 802.11AC WiFi built in moving forward.
Call in the Pros
If you’re still having WiFi woes after these tips, it might be time to call your service provider. There are some more technical options for trying to fix your home WiFi that your service provider can walk you through. Every so often, a spotty connection is due to an issue you personally can’t fix and may require a technician to come to your home.
Be warned: they’ll probably have you go through the first couple tips again. Just be patient, as it’s also in their best interest for you to have fast, ubiquitous WiFi at your home. Keep in mind that if the issue stems from a modem or router that wasn’t provided by your service provider, they won’t be able to fix it. In these instances, call the modem or router manufacturer for assistance.
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