Wireless connectivity transform the modern home but when you’re struggling with a weak WiFi signal it can be frustrating, to say the least. A weaker signal means slower performance, which can leave you suffering the buffer when you should be cosied up on your couch, streaming your favourite shows on your devices.
Thankfully, there are some simple steps that you can follow to make sure your home WiFi signal is the best that it can be. If you’re suffering from a weak WiFi signal, have a read of this handy guide we’ve put together to find out what to do.
Most WiFi devices these days are using 2.4GHz N WiFi when they could be using 5GHz AC WiFi. Don’t let the names scare you away – we’ll break it down for you. Basically, all you need to know is the main differences between these two types of WiFi and you’ll be good to go!
This type of WiFi uses more bandwidth and it can provide faster speeds but it has less range for coverage.
This type of WiFi uses has less bandwidth so it isn’t as fast as 5GHz but it provides coverage over longer distances.
If you have a small to medium home, you may be better off on the latest 5GHz WiFi but larger households might not benefit from making the switch. How do I switch, you ask? First of all, you need to do a quick Google search to see if your WiFi modem broadcasts 5GHz WiFi – it’ll be faster than digging through the manual. If you have a TG-789 Broadband Gateway, Cable Gateway Pro or Budii Lite supplied by us, you’re in luck – these modems have 5GHz WiFi built in and they should broadcast by default. Check the barcode sticker on the modem for the name and password for the default 5GHz WiFi network.
Next, make sure that your devices can connect to 5GHz WiFi. If your device was manufactured after 2014, chances are that it’s compatible. If you have an older laptop or desktop computer, you can also purchase a USB plug-in AC WiFi adapter from your local computer shop or office supply store to allow you to connect to this channel.
If you’re still not sure if your devices connect, the easiest way to find out if your device is compatible is just to have a go at connecting to the 5GHz WiFi network. If you’re not sure how to do that, just follow our guide on Connecting to a WiFi Network. Once you’ve got all your devices connected, you may notice an improvement in performance, especially if you have a lot of devices connected simultaneously!
It’s all about location! Where you place your WiFi modem in your home can have a big impact on your WiFi signal strength and coverage. Follow these tips to make sure your WiFi modem is in the best spot possible:
Finally, it’s worth checking if your WiFi network is using the best channel. Much a like a radio, WiFi has different channels to choose from and if too many WiFi networks are operating over the same channel, it can cause some performance issues. This is most common in high-density living areas like apartment buildings where there are more WiFi networks closer together.
To find out which WiFi channels are being used in your area, follow the steps in our guide for Windows and Mac computers. Take note of which channels are being used – for 2.4GHz WiFi, out of channels 1, 6 and 11, you want to find the one that’s being used the least. While you can use a channel that isn’t 1, 6 or 11, these three channels are the best choices for WiFi networks in Australia.
5GHz WiFi operates on a much higher frequency than 2.4GHz WiFi so it isn’t subject to the same common microwave interference that can affect 2.4Ghz WiFi. You shouldn’t need to worry too much about which channel you’re using, although you may want to switch to a different available channel if nearby connections are using the same channel.
Once you know which WiFi channel to use, you’ll need to change the channel your WiFi modem’s settings. We’ve got a guide on how to do this for all modems currently and previously sold by Westnet here. If you have a third party WiFi modem, please visit the manufacturer’s website for support information or try running a Google search for a guide.
Do you have a top tip for boosting your home WiFi signal? Share it with us in the comments.