Experiencing slow speeds and dropouts on your internet connection? The culprit might be right inside your house. As we move increasingly to wireless connections in our homes, Wi-Fi performance issues are becoming more prevalent.
Wi-Fi issues have become so widespread that nbnco have put out a handy guide that is relevant to all Wi-Fi users, not just those connected to nbn. Their key advice centres around the placement of your home modem or router. Points they ask you to consider:
- Is your router placed in the centre of your home? Consider your Wi-Fi signal range as a radius extending from the router itself, becoming weaker as it travels. Placing your router as close as possible to the centre of your home will give you better coverage. Consider how and where you use your devices – the router should be as close as possible to the centre of your usage zone, which might mean you actually locate the router closer to the end of the house if that is where all your devices are located and used.
- Is your router elevated? NBN advise that, for best results, your router will ideally be 2 metres off the ground, and you will not have obstructions between the router and the devices that connect to it. A router at a higher elevation is less likely to be obstructed.
- Are there any Wi-Fi dampeners between your router and your devices? Objects block signal, and the more objects your signal passes through, the weaker it will get. Consider relocating moveable objects that may be dampening the signal between your router and your devices, such as fish tanks, appliances or other objects. Walls themselves will also degrade the signal, but are less easy to relocate – in this case, it may be better to relocate the router itself.
- Do you have too many devices connected? Wi-Fi may degrade if many devices are using it simultaneously. If you have devices that can be cabled in to the router, such as Smart TVs, desktop PCs or other ethernet-enabled devices, you will free up more bandwidth for the devices that must be Wi-Fi connected such as phones, tablets and devices that don’t have ethernet ports.
- Does your router match your needs? The way we use internet in our homes has changed over time, and so have the routers that deliver our connections. Your older router may not be as efficient or effective at supplying your devices. Consider if it is time to upgrade.
- 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz? Our article on Spectrum Crunch goes into more detail, but the short answer is: If available on your router and on your device, 5Ghz is usually a better choice, but 2.4Ghz might come into its own if you are far from the router, or have a lot of internal obstacles, such as walls, that reduce your WiFi range.
To read the nbn guide in full, visit https://www.nbnco.com.au/blog/connected-homes/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-wifi-connection
This article was first published on November 19, 2020, and was updated on 18 March 2021.