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Jim Rossman: No more Wi-Fi dead zones

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Published in Science & Technology News

I've had a few reader queries about how to get better Wi-Fi signals at home.

The Wi-Fi router that comes with your internet service may not be up to the task of covering all the corners of your house. Almost every house has dead spots where the Wi-Fi signal (and internet speed) slows to a crawl or is lost all together.

Depending on placement, walls and doors can cut way down on the signal strength as you move away from your Wi-Fi router.

Your router should be centrally located in your home, but this is usually not the case. If your router is in a cabinet or closet or at the far end of the house, try moving it higher (don't leave it on the floor) and out in the open - every door and wall between the router and your devices slows things down.

If you're using the Wi-Fi router that's built into your broadband modem, you'll almost always be better off using a separate Wi-Fi router (perhaps with an extender) or even a mesh Wi-Fi system that uses multiple access points placed in different areas of your home.

But first, let's talk about internet speeds. Don't confuse slow Wi-Fi with a slow internet plan.

 

You pay for your broadband internet based on how fast the data connection is to your house. I recently upgraded my home internet from a plan with a speed of 24 megabits per second to a plan with 1,000 Mbps, and it's totally worth the extra cost.

You'll never be able to get speeds faster than the service level you are paying for.

If you have multiple people in your house streaming video or gaming, it can really be taxing on a slow internet plan.

But if your internet service is fast enough for your needs, a likely reason for slowdowns is weak Wi-Fi coverage. You probably know the places in your house (or in your yard) where the signal drops off.

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