Since the dawn of wireless Internet, people have been having problems with wireless dropouts. While our guys in the iiNet Labs have been working hard to put the best in wireless products on our virtual shelves, sometimes our customers still end up with wireless woes.
So right now, we’re getting ready to release something that will push even the most stretched wireless signal even further. We know people living in multi-storey dwellings or sharing a wireless network among several others in an apartment block will really appreciate the boost. Until then though, here are a few things you can do to give your wireless signal the best chance at reaching your devices.
Location, location, location
Most people are used to shoving their wireless modem out of sight in the office at the far end of the home. In this case, your wireless signal needs to travel all the way through your house (and often through several walls in order to reach the device it needs to). A better idea is to put your modem in a central part of your home. That way the wireless signal is closer to where it needs to be. This rule also applies if you have your wireless router on the first floor of your home and your computer/laptop on the second floor. Try putting your modem on a high shelf to get a better signal upstairs. In fact, it’s general a good idea to put your modem higher up in your house because those radio waves will transmit downward better than upward.
Upgrade your hardware
If you’ve had a long-term relationship with your modem, you might just be running on an older wireless protocol. The fastest standard currently available is 802.11n, but there are plenty of people with dusty old modems running the 802.11g or earlier standards. The get an idea of the difference in speed, check out the table to the right. All of our BoB modems are currently running on the most advanced wireless protocol, perhaps it’s time you were introduced. For more information on the different wireless protocols, read our Wireless for Beginners blog article.
Move away from interfering objects
Many everyday items such as metal, fish tanks (water), fridges, dense walls can interfere with your wireless signal and weaken your connection. If you’re having problems with it, try moving it off the floor, away from walls and away from any metal appliances or furniture. This is the most common form of interference so it’s worth moving your modem around the house a few times to establish the best position for it. It’s also a simple fix, so it’s worth trying before dialling support.
Change the channel
With so many people switching to wireless, the channels are getting a little congested which could be causing issues with your wireless signal. Some wireless channels will have more interference than others. It’s a lot like flicking through your radio station for the channel with the least amount of white noise. Depending on where you are, one channel might be coming in clearer than the others. Australia has 13 channels to choose from. Flick through and see which one works best for you. Do note that some wireless cards on the market can only see up to channel 11. If you have one of these cards do make sure that you do not select channels 11, 12 or 13 as your device will not see your wireless network.
We’ll be dropping more hints about our new product launch soon so stay tuned for more on the iiNet Blog. If you’ve got any products ideas or feedback you’d like to send our way, head to the iiNet Labs webpage and fill out a feedback form. We’re always listening.
If you have any tips of your own to add, feel free to mention them in our comments section. Alternatively, flick through any questions you might have regarding your wireless connection to the BoBsquadTM.