The problems with the Wi-Fi network at home can be frequent, especially when the number of devices connected to the internet grows and the contracted megas are not enough. Films in low resolution and delays in loading web pages or sending emails with attachments are some of the headaches that can suffer people with their Internet connections at home. Why is performance better in one room than in another? Why does the signal fall if my house is a small place?
Five Keys to Have a Perfect WiFi at Home
To have a better experience and keep your wireless network in optimal condition, here are a series of recommendations.
1. Location of the Router
The place where the ‘router’ is located (the device that provides the connectivity of the network) is crucial to enjoy a good experience, explains José Félix Vega, professor of the Department of Electronic Engineering of the National University.
“Many times people locate this device in places that are not convenient. For example, on the floor, behind the television or inside a cabinet, among other things because it does not match the aesthetics of the home. These devices need a direct line with the user for communication; therefore, if they are installed in those places, the signal will be affected, “he says.
The expert recommends placing the router in a clear place and as central as possible with respect to space, it will cover, so that the distribution of the signal is balanced and reaches all corners. In fact, he warns about the importance of taking into account the kind of walls with which the building is built.
“The brick walls generate an attenuation, but it is not serious. On the other hand, those that are made with reinforced concrete, which contains metallic elements, kill the signal completely. The wifi in open spaces can reach about 50 meters, but in an apartment -with walls and obstacles- that distance can be reduced up to 10 meters, “says Vega.
2. Frequency Bands
Wi-Fi uses the radio spectrum, that is, wireless channels that are not exclusive to each user, but shared. Therefore, the signal weakens when there are many devices connected to the same network.
Jorge Alvis, director of operations at Axity, a company specializing in information and communication technologies, explains that Wi-Fi works in two frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz (last generation).
“As the first band is the most used, there is the possibility of intermittences. The second is less common; therefore, if you have the option of connecting with that frequency, the quality of the service will be more stable, “says Alvis.
Although the user can configure their equipment to use the 5 GHz band – as long as they have a network card suitable for both frequencies – it is advisable to request the change to the telecommunications operators.
“The user must call his provider to be responsible for making the corresponding adjustment. But, eye: it is important that the ‘router’ can work in both bands, “adds Alvis.
Also note that the ‘router’ should stay away from devices that interfere with these frequencies, such as microwave ovens, video game consoles and wireless devices such as telephones, keyboards, and Bluetooth devices.
3. Expand the Signal
For places with very large areas, use additional devices that operate as amplifiers or repeaters. All this in order to expand the coverage area and reach spaces where the original Wi-Fi signal does not reach to reach an adequate power. In the market, there are a large number of alternatives for this purpose.
Keep in mind that devices known as ‘wallbreakers’ are illegal. “They can not be used because they exceed the power of the Wi-Fi signal regulated by law,” says José Félix Vega, a professor at the National University.
4. Change of Router?
In the market, there is a wide catalog of these devices. For example, it is possible to find references that offer up to three frequency bands (one of 2.4 GHz and two of 5 GHz) that guarantee excellent performance in more demanding tasks, such as live transmissions or online video games. While acquiring a router seems a viable option to improve the signal, it is important to consider that most operators do not allow to change that device.
“In general, companies do a good job of choosing that device; however, there have been cases where it does not work, it shuts down or has heating problems. If there are problems with the proper functioning of your router, it is important to call the customer service of your operator, “says Vega.
5. Use of Apps
To determine the strength of the Wi-Fi signal at home, it is possible to use free applications available in Android and iOS stores. In this way, you can determine if the router changes position or if you choose another frequency band. Platforms like Wifi Analyzer and Netspot will help you with that process.
How many megabytes are needed for the home?
If you are thinking of improving your connectivity or contracting an internet plan in your home, the first thing to ask yourself is what you need to connect to the internet for. If your plan is to enjoy content in UHD or 4K, it is advisable to have an internet connection with a speed of at least 25 Mbps. If more than three people live in your house or apartment and each one connects to the internet from a device differently, you should think about plans between 30 and 50 Mbps.