You’ve probably been there before - about 10 seconds away from pulling your hair out and throwing the router at the nearest wall. It’s nothing short of depressing when you’re duking it out on Call of Duty or wholly engrossed in the latest Netflix Original, and then - bam - your signal drops off.
Where does it go? Who knows? All you know is that you’re ready to call it quits with the internet altogether; yet, five seconds later, you’re reconnecting - grinding your teeth with frustration - but reconnecting, nonetheless.
Things don’t have to be this way, though. There are ways to improve your WiFi connection and decrease those upsetting signal drops.
Here are three simple tips to help you keep your signal strong and reliable:
BUY A NEW ROUTER
It’s tempting to go out to the nearest big box retailer and pick up the cheapest router you can find; however, this isn’t such a good idea. Even a $20 difference can do your connection a whole lot of good.
It’s recommended that you use a router with 802.11ac, which is three times faster than the previous standard.
Shopping for routers can be overwhelming - tons of numbers, futuristic names, multiple antennae, foreign terminology. Check out this guide to choosing a router to understand what you should look out for.
PUT IT OUT IN THE OPEN
If your router is obstructed, then the signal will be, too.
Don’t keep your router hidden in a cabinet or tucked behind your sofa. Sitting on top of your TV console or bookshelf is more suitable.
And, if at all possible, strategically position your router in the middle of your home to ensure even coverage throughout.
KEEP IT SECURE
It’s considered relatively easy to hack into other peoples' WiFi connections. And if people are piggybacking onto your connection, it’s only natural to assume that your connection speed is going to lag. Because of this, it’s important to keep your router locked up tight.
For starters, change the password on your router. Your router will come with a preassigned admin password, and many security experts point this out as a major culprit of WiFi hijackings.
Secondly, you should always check with your manufacturer for firmware updates and patches. These updates will work to keep your router protected against potential vulnerabilities.