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Life as we know it is evolving at a phenomenal rate, and if you’re not technically minded to begin with it could throw you off quite easily.
So, let’s start with the basics…
A common source of confusion is this whole Wi-Fi and Internet malarkey. Many people don’t know the difference, and the difference is HUGE.
Wi-Fi and the Internet are not the same thing.
The Internet is your connection to the World Wide Web, this is the service that allows you to speak to people, email, send files across the planet etc.
Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) is the wireless method through which your devices connect to the internet.
You can also use a hard-wired infrastructure to connect things but to the general consumer, Wi-Fi is the most common method.
In your home you will have a Hub, usually provided by your ISP (Internet Service Provider) which you will use to connect your devices to the Internet. But if you don’t know the basics of these then you could very well be sabotaging your own internet connection.
So before you ring Sky and start giving them the good news down the phone, let’s have a look at a few things you could do yourself to improve your connection.
Location… Location… Location…
A Wireless Hub/Router is usually Omnidirectional, which basically means its firing out signals in every direction. So, putting it against an external wall is not ideal.
The best way to ensure a great connection is to put the router as close to the centre of the property, but also try to limit the number of walls between the router and the devices you want to connect to.
Most people try to hide their routers as they are seen as a bit of an eyesore. We’ve seen them in cupboards, behind bookshelves, Under stairs, behind ornaments etc. This is one of the worst things you can do.
Having Wi-Fi isn’t your dirty little secret to hide away from the world… embrace it, show it off.
The best place for your router, believe it or not, is to put it nice and high. A high shelf will do the trick, wall mounting it would be even better.
Concrete is the enemy.
If you have an older house your internal walls may be bricks and concrete. This is not good for Wi-Fi. Actually, this is like Wi-Fi’s kryptonite.
Your signal may get through one wall, maybe even two if you’re lucky but that’s your lot. So as previously mentioned, if your router isn’t in a central location, you’re going to face serious connectivity issues.
The good news is that floors and ceilings are much easier to penetrate. So, with this in mind, it may be a good idea to invest in a wireless access point or two for the home.
Wi-Fi can be affected by almost anything electrical. Microwaves, monitors, TVs, Phones, Baby Monitors or CCTV cameras are all leading culprits of this.
So, basing your router on top of the microwave with a phone next to it isn’t the best idea.
Keep them away from your router.
As I said at the beginning of this blog, technology is forever changing and improving. So keeping on top of this can be a pain. As with most devices, routers get regular updates becoming available but are not always done automatically so you may need to do these manually.
There is no one fits all solution. The router/hub your internet provider gives you is the same generic one they give everyone – not all houses are the same, and not every household has the same demands. We always suggest looking at alternative routers that specialise in wireless signal and strength (keep in mind some internet providers do not allow you to use any other router so ask when signing up)
As well as improving the speed and strength of your Wi-Fi, these can also improve security on your router to protect your network from intruders.
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