What the tech? Increasing your Wifi range

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(ABC 6 News) – Have you sat down to stream something only for it to pause becasue your connection is weak? It can happen more frequently now than it did a few years ago. That’s because you’ve added a few devices to your home.

Everything that connects to the internet eats up just a little bit of the speed of your WiFi network. There’s only so much data and information that WiFi routers can support. You might notice a buffering problem while watching TV if the kids are playing video games online. Combining streaming games and movies with all of the little things from Alexa devices to doorbells, phones, and tablets. Now, the WiFi signal becomes overwhelmed.

It isn’t going to magically begin offering faster speeds. If you’re not getting the speed that you need, simple changes can improve your home WiFi. You can also and keep everything playing at once with no buffering.

First, it might not be your WiFi router but your modem and internet provider. Check there first by getting on the internet on a computer and bypassing the WiFi router. Connect the computer to the modem directly using an Ethernet cable, then go to speedtest.net. See if it matches what you’re paying for on your internet bill. If speeds are slower, contact your internet provider and ask them to take a look.

Place your WiFi router in the middle of the house, and away from other appliances to avoid interference.

Next, check the signal of the router by connecting to WiFi on a phone and run the speed test again. Do this in several rooms of the house. If the test shows drastically slower speeds, the router may be to blame. WiFi technology has improved drastically in the past few years. Iff you’re using a router over 5 years old; you may need to upgrade to a WiFi 6 router.

If you still need to do it download the app for your router. You can see all of the devices connected to it and shares the signal. You may see 20 devices online and 50 others that will connect when they’re turned on. Most router apps allow you to give some devices higher priority while all of the other connections share signal.

The app also controls updates. Make sure your router has the latest software, not just for speed, but regular security updates. I suggest turning on automatic firmware updates. You should also restart the router every couple of months at least. More often if you’re having trouble with it.

If you’re still getting poor connection notifications, you may want to pick up a mesh network of routers. You place these around the house and they improve the signal in areas and rooms. Or pick up a WiFi extender that plugs into an electrical outlet and connects to the primary router.

And there’s a common mistake people make with these extenders. They place them in the room where they want the signal boosted. Instead, place them about halfway between the router and the room that needs faster WiFi. If you are not getting fast enough signal, you’ll probably notice a difference when you connect it to the extender.