CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — Whether your family is working, studying, gaming, streaming or doing a bit of everything online, it’s critical to have a home Wi-Fi network that can keep up.
There are many reasons why your internet connection may be slow, from outdated equipment to signal interference. Once the problem is identified, the solution is sometimes as simple as moving your router or installing a quick update.
As Southern Utah’s “Internet People,” the experts at InfoWest suggest seven ways to help get the speed you need and stay connected all summer long.
Update your router
Keep your network performance at its best by making sure the firmware on your router is up to date. An update might be all that’s needed to boost signal strength and speed. Beyond the router, enable automatic updates across all devices including computers, tablets and smartphones.
“Make sure you have the most up-to-date firmware and security on your devices so your information isn’t at risk,” said Jeff Ferrin, support operations manager for InfoWest.
Find the optimal location
Obstruction from both natural and artificial objects can interfere with Wi-Fi signals, and router placement makes a big difference in the quality of your browsing experience. Moving the router from one room to another could be another simple solution for improving your connection.
Ferrin recommends setting up your router in a central location within the home whenever possible. Avoid placing it next to windows, near other electronics or in the basement.
Avoid signal interference
Proximity to certain household appliances will block your Wi-Fi signal. Ferrin said microwave ovens are the most frequent offenders because they operate at 2.4 GHz, the same frequency as standard Wi-Fi. Garage door openers, baby monitors and wireless security cameras can also cause problems.
When choosing a location for your router, avoid these devices as well as metal boxes or cases. Additionally, Ferrin recommends using a free Wi-Fi analyzer tool to help monitor interference from other electronics in the home.
Create a strong password
Ferrin said some people never change the default password after getting a new router out of the box. If you don’t have a strong password, Wi-Fi thieves can log on to your home network without your knowledge and use it for free, bogging down your connection.
When creating a Wi-Fi password, use at least eight characters and incorporate at least one special character, one capital letter and one number. The experts at InfoWest advise against using dictionary words. Try to remember your password instead of writing it down or saving it on your computer.
Upgrade your devices
Don’t expect the best performance if you’re using out-of-date devices. As new technologies emerge, improve your browsing experience by upgrading your router and computer, tablet or smartphone every few years.
“Technology progresses pretty quickly,” Ferrin said. “It’s a good idea to get a new computer once updates are no longer supported by the manufacturer.”
Monitor bandwidth hogs
Online games, streaming services and chat apps all demand a massive amount of bandwidth, which can become frustrating when other people are trying to use the internet at the same time. Managing these bandwidth hogs by updating your Universal Plug and Play settings will help improve overall Wi-Fi performance.
Ferrin recommends waiting until fewer family members are online to start large downloads like video games, movies or software updates. InfoWest offers managed router solutions along with the Connect Plus app to help customers monitor Wi-Fi usage and track devices using the most bandwidth.
Get an extender
If you don’t notice improvement in your Wi-Fi quality after applying the previous six tips, it might be time to try a signal extender. These devices help boost your signal to reach the far corners of the home and eliminate “dead zones,” especially if you can’t put your router in an ideal location.
The InfoWest tech team is ready to answer your questions about Wi-Fi extenders and proper router placement. Call 435-674-0165 for a free consultation.
Learn more about InfoWest’s products, services and community outreach on their website.
Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.
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- InfoWest | Telephone: 866-463-6937 | Website.
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