As one American state after another has started to tell all their citizens to stay at home and be safe amid the coronavirus pandemic, people are depending on their home Wi-Fi for just about everything – from telecommuting to entertainment. After all, the priority now is to contain the COVID 19 situation; so as not to let it affect more people, people should not let themselves be exposed to the virus.
And it is in this light that reliable internet speeds will be of utmost importance so that people can still work from home, be updated with the latest information, and continue to be connected with family and friends. It will be no surprise that internet service providers will be overwhelmed in the coming days, if not weeks. But is there anything you can do to keep your Wi-Fi fast from your end? True, not all of us are tech experts, but the tech experts themselves say that we can do some slight tweaks to make sure that our Wi-Fi experience is maximized.
Lamps and other gadgets – stay away from the router!
Moving your electrical appliances and your lights away from your Wi-Fi router can actually improve your Wi-Fi speeds. This has to do with the radiation (don’t worry, these radiation waves are harmless) that brings Wi-Fi to all the areas of your house. In order for you to be connected to the internet, your router sends electromagnetic signals that are received by your devices. However, your other gadgets, and even your lights and lamps, also give off electromagnetic waves; thus, your router’s signals may get muddled. Appliances such as your TV, speakers, washing machine, kettle, dishwashers, toasters, Christmas lights should be away from your router.
Also, try to limit the number of devices or gadgets connected to your Wi-Fi. Your tablet or smartphone may be automatically connected to your Wi-FI once you’re home, and obviously, the more devices you have connected to your Wi-Fi, the slower it will be.
Firstly, disconnect all the devices which have been connected to your Wi-Fi router. These devices unnecessarily slow down the internet speed.
Your microwave can be a culprit
Is your Wi-Fi speed fluctuating? Your microwave may be one of the biggest causes of your diminishing web speeds. Microwaves give off electromagnetic radiation (more than most appliances we named earlier) that may interfere with the signals given off by your router. Thus, if you are doing something important that would need a strong Wi-Fi signal, like attending a video conference, or watching HD videos, don’t operate your microwave at the same time.
As Wi-Fi connections and microwaves operate on the same wave frequency, radiation from microwaves can leak and interfere with internet connections, preventing pages from loading properly.
Remember the landline? Use it!
With so much of the population staying at home, mobile networks may already be overwhelmed, and using your mobile to make calls would just add to the demand of these networks. If you really need to make a call, why not use a landline instead? Otherwise, you may also use wi-fi calling or internet apps like Skype to make calls.
Ofcom advises using your landline or wifi calls when possible.
It explained: “If you do need to use your mobile, try using your settings to turn on ‘wifi calling’.
Take your router to a better location
One thing to remember about Wi-Fi signals is that routers send them out in an arc, much like a halo or the light from a lightbulb. Thus, if you put your router on the floor, most of the signals go straight to the ground. Elevate your router from around five to seven feet, putting it on top of a shelf or table. Avoid placing it in areas with too many walls and surfaces that may block the signal. Also, if you are living in an apartment complex or a condominium unit, moving your router await away from your neighbor’s routers as the signals may cancel each other unless you have very thick walls.
If you’re able to work in close proximity to your router, then a wired Ethernet connection to your computer is the best way to ensure that you’re getting the fastest speeds. But if that’s not an option, you might have to work in a room where the Wi-Fi signal isn’t as strong as you need. That happens when you’re too far from the router, or because there are too many walls or obstructions separating you from it.
Your fish tank may be the other culprit
If you have a fish tank or aquarium at home, your router’s signal may also be weakened. If you’re wondering whether this is a joke or not, rest assured this isn’t one. Water absorbs radiation routers send out, which the area around your tank a “black hole” or an area without a Wi-Fi signal. So, try moving your tank and your router away from each other. Also, don’t forget to be away from a fish tank when in a conference call.
She also advised to “keep your router positioned away from metal objects, mirrors, walls made of sheet metal and even fish tanks — these objects weaken the wireless signal.”
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