How can I optimize and strengthen my wireless network?

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Cogeco support
  • Updated

There are several things you can do to optimize and strengthen your wireless network so you can get the fastest possible speeds and most reliable signal:

Use a wired connection where possible

A wired connection is always faster and more reliable.

Using a wired connection is especially beneficial with devices that use a lot of bandwidth, such as smart TVs, gaming consoles or an EPICO 4K Box. Not only will a wired connection deliver the fastest, most reliable speeds on these devices, but it will also improve your Wi-Fi connections on other devices.

Good to know: Bandwidth is the amount of data being sent and received by a device on your network. For example, a device will require more bandwidth for a 4K signal than for an HD signal.

Verify your network

It’s always a good idea to double-check that you’re connected to the correct network.

Your device may have multiple Wi-Fi passwords stored and connect to a different network unexpectedly. If you’re having connection issues, make sure you’re connected to your own Wi-Fi network.

It can also help to turn Wi-Fi off and back on again on the device you’re using so that it connects to the optimal access point. Sometimes as you move through your home or business, your device may stay connected to an extender or access point even though it has a weaker signal than one close by.

Good to know: If you’re using the Cogeco Wi-Fi app, your device will automatically connect to the strongest signal.

Improve the location of your access points

The location of your modem, extenders or Wi-Fi pods affects your signal and speeds throughout your home or business.

Here are some things to consider when choosing where to place your access points:

  • Make sure your modem is in a central location.
    • The closer the device to the modem or Wi-Fi pods, the stronger the signal you’ll receive and the better the speeds. So you’ll want your access points in central locations away from outer walls, or close to where you use your Wi-Fi enabled devices.
    • Since the modem has a limited range, it may not be able to reach all the rooms in a large or multi-level home or business. If you’re having trouble getting a connection in parts of your home, Cogeco Wi-Fi pods can strengthen the signal in those areas. If you’re interested in ordering Wi-Fi pods, please contact us.
  • Place your modem out in the open.
    • To help avoid interference and signal obstruction, avoid closets, cabinets, and house structures (such as concrete) when placing your modem, and keep away from other electronics. (There’s more information about signal interference in the next section.)
  • Elevate your modem either on a table or stand.
    • Having your modem off the floor maximizes its ability to broadcast a solid, dependable wireless signal.

Remove signal interference

Some objects or electronics near or between the device you’re using and your modem can cause interference, especially with the 2.4 GHz frequency. Check for:

  • Wi-Fi-enabled devices that are turned on but not connected to your network
  • Devices that broadcast their own signal, such as baby monitors and cordless phones (2.4 GHz models)
  • Bluetooth devices, such as wireless speakers and virtual assistants
  • Electronic appliances, such as microwave ovens
  • Metal (steel construction materials, doors, etc.)
  • Concrete and brick
  • Glass (winterized windows, patio doors, aquariums, etc.)

Good to know: With Cogeco Wi-Fi pods, the same general guidelines about location and placement still apply for each pod, but you can also validate the signal quality through the Cogeco Wi-Fi app. On the Adapt tab, the signal quality is noted next to each pod (“Excellent,” “Fair,” etc.).

Use the 5 GHz band when possible

Our modems broadcast on 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. The 5 GHz frequency is preferable but may not always be available.

2.4 GHz 5 GHz
Wider range Shorter range
More interference Stronger signal
Slower speeds Faster speeds

Cogeco Wi-Fi pods and newer modems, such as the ARRIS TG3452 and Hitron CODA-4589, use a feature called “band steering” to automatically select the optimal frequency, so you will be connected to the 5 GHz band automatically when possible. You may find yourself connected to the 2.4 GHz band if you’re out of range of the 5 GHz signal.

If your modem does not have band steering, you can manually select the 5 GHz frequency by looking for a network name with “5G” on the end—for example, if your default SSID is “C906081B7375,” look for “C906081B7375-5G.” If you’re able to connect to 5 GHz, this is always recommended for a more reliable connection and faster speeds.

Check your device

Not all devices are created equal, so we recommend checking your device for compatibility and performance.

Here’s what to check for and how:

  • Device compatibility - You may be using an older device that isn’t capable of the speeds you can get with your package.
    • To determine the speed capabilities of your Wi-Fi-enabled devices, have a look at the documentation that came with each device, or learn more about Internet speeds for different devices here.
    • Note: Having older devices connected can slow down your entire network, since the network may need to switch to a lower Wi-Fi protocol to meet their standards.
  • Device overload - Try closing programs and apps you aren’t using to see if that improves your device’s performance.
    • Some programs or apps can slow down your device and affect loading times, especially if many of them are running at the same.
  • Device location - If you have multiple devices and only some of them are not performing as well as the others, consider where you’re using these devices in your home or business, in relation to your modem, extenders, pods or any obstacles.

Check how many devices are connected

All of your devices share your bandwidth, so if a lot of devices are active, this may slow down your available speed.

Each device that connects to your network uses a portion of the available bandwidth, so try disconnecting the devices that you don’t need to be connected right now. Focus on devices that use a lot of bandwidth, such as EPICO 4K Boxes or other devices streaming video. Devices that are on your network but don’t consume bandwidth, such as smart lights, will not impact your speeds.

Good to know: If you’re using the Cogeco Wi-Fi app, you can see which devices are connected to your modem or pods, and how much data they’re using. Go to the Adapt tab and select a pod to manage its connected devices, including disabling their connection remotely to see if they’re affecting the network.

Bypass third-party equipment and services

Equipment not provided by Cogeco doesn’t always cause problems, but to be sure it isn’t getting in the way of a strong connection, try bypassing it.

  • Router - If you’re using a third-party router, try connecting directly to the modem instead. If your connection improves, it may have been the router causing the issue.
  • Power bar - If your modem is connected to a power bar, try connecting it directly to a wall outlet instead. Power bars can sometimes cause intermittent connectivity.
  • VPN - If you’re connected through a VPN service, try disabling it to see if this improves your speed. Since all your traffic is routed through the VPN server, this can sometimes cause speed issues.

Troubleshoot your modem

  • Ethernet cables - If your modem connects to a router, a Wi-Fi pod, or your devices via Ethernet cable, check the cable to make sure it is Cat5e or better (this is usually printed on the cable). Older Ethernet cables may not be capable of delivering your full speed.
  • Reset your modem - To reset your modem, insert a straightened paperclip into the “reset” or “reboot” hole located on the back of the modem. Hold the paperclip in for 3 seconds, then release. The modem will try to resynchronize with the Cogeco network, which can take up to 2 minutes. Learn more about resetting your modem here.

Contact support

If you’re still having connection issues, contact us for further troubleshooting.

Our local technical support team can make sure that your Cogeco equipment can support the speeds in your package, and that your package is sufficient for your needs. We can also check the connection speeds to each of your access points and devices, and make recommendations about modem placement. If necessary, we’ll send a technician to your home to troubleshoot further if we determine there might be an issue with your wiring or equipment.

For more tips on maximizing your Wi-Fi speed in a business environment, refer to the video below.

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