Ever wonder why your Wi-Fi signal drops in certain areas? Do you have intermittent Wi-Fi connectivity at home or in the office? There are factors to consider to make sure that your wireless connectivity can fully maximize the signal propagation and will not be abused by unauthorized user. Check out the tips below on how to increase your Wi-Fi connection experience.
Proper device location – Wi-Fi access points or Wi-Fi router are usually treated as if they are modems. Owners usually put them beside the internet modem or place it in a table. You have to understand that a wireless device can propagate it’s signal efficiently if you place it in a higher location. Why do you think your cellular network provider invest millions of dollars to build cellular towers that is 100 feet above the ground?
Avoid physical obstructions – Partly, this factor is related to the first one. But it is different because you do not just put your Wi-Fi access point anywhere in high places. You should also consider that the place is free of or have less physical obstructions such as cabinets, furniture and big appliances. That is why you should re-arrange these furniture and place them next to the exterior walls of your office or home. This is also true if you have a second floor. You should place your main Wi-Fi device in the second floor and use a Wi-Fi repeater in the ground floor. Wi-Fi signal usually cannot penetrate solid concrete and solid steel material.
Avoid equipment that uses similar wireless signal – Bluetooth uses the same frequency as Wi-Fi signal, as well as cordless phones, microwave ovens and other equipment such as solar panels. It is also advisable to place your Wi-Fi access point or Wi-Fi router away from these devices. Keep in mind that these devices does not have frequency settings and might interfere with the Wi-Fi frequency that your Wi-Fi access point or router is using.
Use proper frequency settings – Since you have access to frequency or channel usage settings, it is important that you use it well. There are only 3 channels that you can use without interference with each other and that is channel 1, 6 and 11. If your neighbor’s Wi-Fi router is using channel 6, then you should use channel 1 or 11. Do not put your settings in automatic channel selector for the moment the device detects the same channel, it will shift to a different channel. This will cause your laptop, tablet or smartphone to be disconnected from the device and needs to re-sync.
Hide your broadcast address – If you have a standalone or private Wi-Fi access point, you have the option to hide your Service Set Identifier (SSID) or broadcast name. You can do this after all your Wi-Fi enabled devices have successfully connect to your Wi-Fi Access point or router. Make sure when the devices connect, set it to automatically remember settings so it does not ask for the settings again when you reconnect. If you have new devices that you need to connect to the Wi-Fi network, you can manually add the SSID name because the signal will not be visible to the public.
Upgrade your security settings – Other Wi-Fi devices still uses Wired Equivalent Privacy or WEP encryption settings for their Wi-Fi security password. This encryption type has been cracked many times and there are smartphone apps that are capable of doing this now. Same thing with Wireless Protected Access (WPA) which bring disappointment to a lot of Wi-Fi users. So far, the most secure encryption is Wireless Protected Access version 2 or WPA2 that uses an encryption key with plain-English passphrase between 8 and 63 characters long. It is considered by far, the strongest Wi-Fi security at hand since 2011. You can also use machine (mac) address filtering to add another layer of security. This settings keeps a list of records of authorized devices by the use mac address and blocks all other devices that is not on the list.
Manage the bandwidth (if possible) – Other Wi-Fi devices have bandwidth management settings which can limit the bandwidth usage per device. This can provide a fair share policy to all users so that others cannot abuse the Wi-Fi bandwidth. This is why your browsing speed slows down whenever a device tries to stream a video that uses a big chunk of bandwidth. So if you have a 12 Mb bandwidth capacity at home and you have 4 users, limit each device to 3mb each so you can all enjoy a dedicated bandwidth without affecting other users.
This usually works for home and small office setup. In the corporate environment, there are more factors to consider and more Wi-Fi devices are involved. Not to mention other companies who have their own Wi-Fi network which probably uses the same frequency as yours. If you want to learn more about Wireless Private Network and Wi-Fi management system, please contact us at Netmax Solutions.
About the author
Alfie D. is a technology solutions consultant for Netmax Solutions with over 10 years of experience working in Telecommunications Industry. He is a passionate learner who likes to discuss technology ideas with friends. He is also a front end web developer, system integrator, network administrator and likes to play the guitar.