Unless you want to be tethered to the wall, you need to have a router along with your modem. Unfortunately, every step that you put between your computer and the source of the internet means that it will slow down just a little bit more. If you are able to plug right into the modem, your internet will be the fastest; if you go through the router it will be just a little bit slower. Fortunately, however, there are some tips to using your router more efficiently that don’t require any technical know-how.
Centralize the Router
The radio waves that are sent from the router are very short; only about 6 inches or so. This means two things: they don’t travel far, and they can be blocked by structures.
The more walls, floors, doors, and furniture between your device or computer and the router, the weaker the signal will be. The further you get from your router, the weaker the signal is going to be. IN order to gain maximum signal strength, you want your router in a central location in your house. If you can see the router, even better.
Lift it Up
A router broadcasts a signal out and a little bit down. This means if your router is laying on the floor, it is broadcasting a portion of the signal down into the basement (or into the dirt if you have no basement). You can improve your signal considerably by getting it off the ground.
It doesn’t even need to be put on a table. Most of them will have two keyholes in the back. By putting two screws into the wall, you can hang the router basically anywhere in the room. However, that seems tacky to many people. Instead of putting it on the wall, people often opt to put it on a shelf where nobody will see it, or on top of kitchen cabinets if you have a centrally located kitchen.
Move it From the TV
Every electronic device in your home, whether it broadcasts a signal or not, puts out electric disturbance. Most people don’t realize that setting the router on top of the DVD player, and underneath the TV, is one of the worst locations for it. These electronic devices put out signals and pulses that can disrupt the radio waves put out by the router.
Even the kitchen isn’t entirely safe. That microwave, it puts out waves that disrupt the signal (even when you’re not cooking food). Instead, have the router away from all other electronics devices (anything with a motor, chip, display, etc.) to minimize disturbances.
Adjust the Antennas
Finally, here is the easiest way to improve your internet signal. Simply move the antennas on the router.
The signal that comes from the antenna is broadcast on a plane. When you move your device outside of that plane, your signal diminishes. Fortunately, you can maximize the area by adjusting the antennas.
Most routers come with at least two antennas. Position one so that it is pointing straight up, and the other so that it is pointing straight out. If you have a higher end router, you might get a third or even a fourth antenna. Angle those at 45 degrees.
Consult a Computer Repair Technician
If you have gone through all of these steps, and your signal is still terrible, there are a few other things to check into.
First, you may have a bad router. If it’s over a few years old, it is possibly time to upgrade.
Second, you may have a bad internet feed. This is where the signal comes off the cable lines and into your house. Your ISP will replace that at no cost to you if that is the issue.
Third, you may have a computer problem. You can run some diagnostics on your own, but most likely it will be easiest to take it in for computer repairs.