Jun 27, 2020

Wi-Fi Signal: Some Tips to Optimize Coverage

With the telework imposed on many companies because of the lockdown, the bandwidth consumption of all Internet connections has increased dramatically, to the point where the European Union had to ask Netflix to reduce the default quality of the videos to avoid the collapse of network infrastructure and ensure a minimum of bandwidth to workers remotely. However, the slowness of the connection may also depend on the Wi-Fi signal. Router obsolescence or incorrect placement affects the quality of the connection, as well as other problems often not considered.

In order to make the most of the connection, Panda Security offers some simple tips for optimizing Wi-Fi coverage in the home.

Router issues

The first thing to do to improve the Wi-Fi network is to check the condition of the router and its location:

·        The ideal would be to position the router as high as possible, this to prevent the signal from being hampered by interference. In addition to the height, it is advisable to try to install the router in a central position of the house to increase its coverage or near the room where the Wi-Fi connection is most used.

·         If the router is dated it is advisable to update the firmware. The risk of incompatibility of the router with other devices may have been resolved in subsequent firmware versions.

·         If connection problems persist after these measures, the purchase of a new and more powerful device or a Wi-Fi antenna to increase the signal range may solve the problem.

Even some basic router settings can hinder the strength of the Wi-Fi signal. Here are some changes that can help you:

·         Most routers use the traditional 2.4 GHz transmission frequency, changing the frequency to 5 GHz could solve problems of overlap between the home connection and those in the surrounding area.
·         You can select the security algorithm for your network in the router settings. If this is set to "WEP" (Wired Equivalent Privacy) - a less secure algorithm than WPA / WPA2 (Wireless Protected Access) - the tool, it may not be able to protect the line from external interference or even allow hackers to enter in the network. Clearly, this is not enough to guarantee the IT security of the connected devices but it is necessary to have a complete defense software such as Panda Dome Premium. As a first step, however, it is desirable to set a WPA / WPA2 key instead of WEP.

·         The fewer devices connected to the network, the faster the speed. You can limit the number of accesses to the network by creating a list of MAC addresses of the allowed systems. The MAC ("Media Access Control") address is a unique identification code of each device with connection capability. To create a list of MAC addresses, you can enter the codes, easily found in the connection properties of your devices, on the router configuration page authorizing them to connect.

·         Hiding your network, by not making the name public, helps to limit the access of potential intruders and thus prevents the flow of the network from being drained by third parties. Always on the router configuration page you can tick the "Enable SSID broadcast" option, of course you can continue to access the network anyway, but new devices will not automatically detect it. It is also advisable to change the Wi-Fi credentials, to avoid simple but annoying line thefts.

Extend the coverage of Wi-Fi

If the problem of the line does not depend on the router, it may simply be that the conformation of the home or office does not allow the signal to completely cover the space, so it is necessary to enhance the Wi-Fi signal via Wilson cell phone booster for home in Texas or, to be more precise, extend it.
There are three types of devices on the market to improve the Wi-Fi signal:

·         Repeaters are the simplest and cheapest solution. These are small devices that connect to an electrical outlet, receive the Wi-Fi signal and repeat it, in order to increase network coverage. Unfortunately, their effectiveness is limited, the signal may reach some more area, but will still arrive weakened if the router is too far away.

·         The mesh network like Google Wi-Fi is the next generation of Wi-Fi repeaters. Instead of creating a new network with a new signal, meshes are smart devices that share the same connection. In this way, for example, if three mesh devices are installed, it is equivalent to installing three routers in the house, even if only one of them is connected to the control unit. Mesh networks are more stable and are practically indispensable for those who want to convert their home into a smart home, since they are the only ones able to allocate connectivity dynamically to devices.

·         Powerline devices transform the radio signal and retransmit it via the home electrical network, so that we can hook a second router or repeater to the sockets of the rooms that interest us. Unfortunately, the signal strength drops quite a bit and the powerlines can malfunction with dated electrical systems.

·         Finally, there is always the "traditional way", which in this case is the most effective but also the least efficient: the Ethernet cable, to make the most of the bandwidth guaranteed by the provider.
The methods recommended by Panda Security, if the problem is related to the Wi-Fi router, will surely improve at least the signal quality and the speed of the connection to allow you the best navigation in this particular period.

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