Most homes have multiple devices that connect to the internet. Laptops, tablets, mobile phones, TVs, DSTV and so on and so forth. In many cases, these devices can be connected using a Wi-Fi network, others may need a network cable that gives them access directly to the router. Most internet service providers will also supply you with a router that has Wi-Fi built in – this isn’t great as it won’t provide coverage to all parts of your home and it will cause some patchy connectivity issues. Most homes are too large to be serviced with a robust Wi-Fi signal generated from the router alone.
When you are setting up your router, if you find you have any issues, check and see if your neighbour’s devices are affecting the performance of your network. If they use the same channels as you do, this will impact your quality. To avoid this, when you scan for Wi-Fi networks and you see a long list of networks or SSID’s that could cause a problem, don’t select those busy channels. You can use a free, easily accessible application that can help you identify and scan the channels being used on the different Wi-Fi networks – find it right
Consider investing into a Wi-Fi solution that supports both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies as this will give you more options. You will find that most Link devices will include this functionality. The primary differences between these two frequencies are the range – the coverage – and the bandwidth – the speed. The 2.4GHz band provides coverage over a longer range while the 5GHz band delivers less coverage but faster speeds. The range is lower with 5GHz because higher frequencies cannot penetrate solid objects such as walls and floors. That said, higher frequencies allow data to be transmitted faster than at lower frequencies so the 5GHz band allows you to upload and download files faster. Within these two frequencies, you have different channels that you can select on your device. On 2.4GHz there are 11 channels – you can find out more information
The great thing about 5GHz (802.11n and 802.11ac) is that because there is more free space at higher frequencies, you get 23 non-overlapping channels. You can find out more information
One of the best ways of increasing coverage is to purchase enough devices to create a mesh network. There are several manufacturers that provide you with the exact tools you need to build a mesh network such as: Tp-link, Netgear, and Ubiquiti. Mesh networks consist of multiple devices that connect to your main router and that are placed around your home for maximum Wi-Fi coverage. The primary mess device is connected to your Wi-Fi router. It is recommended that you disable the Wi-Fi on your Wi-Fi-enabled router when setting up your mesh network as it can impact on performance.
Another option is to use powerline adaptors. These plug into power outlets and create a network connection using existing electrical wiring in the home. This allows for devices to share data without the inconvenience of running dedicated network cables. Powerline adaptors are sold in pairs but you can add extra ones if you need to. You plug the primary adaptor into the power socket closest to the main router that provides your internet connection and then connect a network cable from the powerline adaptor to the router. Then, connect the second unit to another power point within the house at the location where you need to boost your Wi-Fi signal.
The third method to boost signal and Wi-Fi is to lay network cables from your main internet router to the locations you need. You can then connect an access point to the end of the cable. Note, however, that access points need power so when you opt for this solution, bear the positioning and placement of these points in mind. It’s not a very popular method as the cables create clutter and don’t look great hanging about the home.
Finally, you can invest into multiple access points across the locations you need so you can boost your Wi-Fi signal. Rather than the access points being connected via a network cable as in the previous option, you bridge the access points so they connect and communicate wirelessly. It’s complex and often causes issues so isn’t the best way of getting that perfect wireless network.