The layout of your home can cause Wi-Fi problems, and it’s one of the things that’s overlooked most. Here are some steps you can take to help make your Wi-Fi better.
For consumer Wi-Fi networks, there are two frequency bands—2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The following is a list of the pros and cons for each.
In some cases, a 2.4 GHz network will work just fine for doing basic things, such as surfing the web or using email on a tablet, PC, or phone. However, if you’re doing things that use more data on a device that supports a 5 GHz network (for example, streaming movies on an Xbox One), using a 5 GHz frequency can go a long way toward improving Wi-Fi performance.
If your router is broadcasting at both a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz network band, you should use different network names (also call SSIDs). This way you’ll know which network you’re connected to. You can make this change using the software for your access point.
Most consumer access points (APs), such as wireless routers, use a preset channel that gets set at the factory and doesn’t get changed. This can result in congested channels, which can slow down your Wi-Fi network performance. This is especially true if there are a lot of Wi-Fi networks around you.
Before changing your channel, it’s important to look at network performance in different places of your home to choose the best channel. One of the ways to do this is to get a Wi-Fi network analyzer app from the Windows Store, open the app, and then find the feature that lets you create a network graph. If the app you choose doesn’t have this feature, try a different one. To find a network analyzer app, open the Store app on your Windows 10 PC, then search for “Wi-Fi analyzer” or something similar.
For a 2.4 GHz frequency network, the network graph will look something like this.
When choosing a channel for a 2.4 GHz frequency networks:
For 5 GHz networks, overlap is less of an issue, so choose the channel with the fewest access points for your signal strength.
Many consumer Wi-Fi routers or other access points have an Auto option where the access point will automatically pick the best channel and use that. Some work great and pick the best channel, but others might not, so you should pick the best channel for your home.
If the signal isn’t strong enough, you won’t be able to connect reliably to your Wi-Fi network no matter which channel you choose. Again, you can use a Wi-Fi analyzer app to determine your signal strength—the closer to –10 dBm, the stronger the signal. A stronger signal gives you a better chance of a reliable Wi-Fi connection. The strongest signal strength will usually be a few feet from your access point, but not right next to it.
If you have a weak Wi-Fi signal, try these things:
If moving closer to the access point or moving the access point itself isn’t an option, you can try a network extender to improve your Wi-Fi signal. Network extenders are usually small devices that you can plug into an electrical outlet anywhere in your home.
Though it’s less common, the channel width setting for a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi network can cause problems. 2.4 GHz band networks have two channel widths—20 MHz and 40 MHz (40MHz was introduced later with the IEEE 802.11N specification). While the 40 MHz channel band offers more throughput, some older Wi-Fi network adapters and drivers don’t work well with it. If you’re not getting a reliable Wi-Fi connection but your signal strength is strong and the Wi-Fi channel is clear, check the Channel Width setting for your access point by signing in to it. Typically, it’ll be set to Auto or 20/40 MHz or something similar when you get it. If your access point or router is set to one of these, try setting it to 20 MHz instead.
As technology changes, older security types become less secure and are no longer supported. While some of these older security types are still around for older devices to work, it’s best to avoid them and use newer security types if you can.
The current standard is WPA2-AES; new Wi-Fi certified devices have supported this for quite some time.
Avoid using WEP or a hidden SSID, which isn’t secure. If possible, try to avoid using WPA+WPA2 for your network security type. When your router or access point is set to this, your PC or another wireless device will try to use WPA2 first, and then fall back to WPA if it can’t connect using WPA2. However, some of the older Wi-Fi network adapters can’t reliably fall back from WPA2 to WPA, so you won’t get connected sometimes.
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Article ID: 4000461 - Last Review: 2016, ഒക്ടോ 11 - Revision: 26