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.
“Most people are used to shoving their wireless modem out of site in the office ”
Shouldn’t that be out of sight?
Well spotted! I’ll amend :).
A great way to check the wireless strength around your house and to find a less congested channel is Wifi Analyzer for Android. It will show the channels being used and their strength wherever the phone is.
I have a belkin N wireless modem/router and get good reception throughout the house but my iPhone keeps dropping the connection. It stays on if my laptop is on and I’ve tried talking to belkin about it to no avail. Any ideas?
Is your iPhone the only device dropping out?
If your laptop and other devices are retaining a connection and it is just the iPhone dropping it. You might be better off talking to Apple than Belkin.
Maybe test with a friends mobile phone if you can as well.
Hi Anthony. great artical & a question if I may. We have Belkin Modum/Router adsl2+”G”. our 3 laptops etc are 2-5 yrs old. Is it worth upgrading to “N” for better wireless etc around the house. & for gaming??? Will our computers improve with “N”. Look forward to your reply thanks..
As Reece points out, to really get improvements from using the 802.11n wireless standard, your connecting devices will also need to be using 802.11n. That is something you should consider in making that descision. If your devices are going to be operating on 802.11n then it might be worthwhile, but if some of them are using 802.11g then that may not be the case.
May also be worth adding the proviso that 802.11n also requires that the device support wireless n 😉
I think the author is confusing wifi and wireless.
Wireless is a generic term meaning pretty much any connection without wires, though I have ammended the article to reduce the possibility of confusion by referring to Wi-Fi.
The main problem for moving it around the house for customers on an ADSL connection, if the wireless is built into the modem, it will need to be next to a phone socket. Maybe your new secret device will help with this 🙂
Ethernet is 1000Mbps, left that off the graph much like it was left off the BoB2/lite 😉
I would also add that unless your wireless router is dual band, it will slow the wireless network speed to the slowest device on your wireless network.
Great tips about the channels.
Hi Anthony Malone,
I was reading your content, as you mentioned “All of our BoB modems are currently running on the most advanced wireless protocol” and you gave a link on “Bob Modems”, but unfortunately, I found 404 error in your Your provided link. Actually, I want to check BoB2 and BoB Lite modems.
Can you please provide page link here.
Regarding the WiFi channels, do note that only channels 1, 6 and 11 do not overlap with the other channels. Therefore, they are your best bet for choices.
Also note that microwave ovens are near channel 6, so you may get interference on 6 if you have a microwave nearby. Many routers choose 11 automatically, and 1 tends to be less used, so I make a habit of switching a new router to channel 1 in most cases.
Finally, that little graph showing the speeds is rather misleading as it leaves off Gigabit Ethernet, which 99% of new routers have.