How can I optimize my wireless home network?

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Cogeco support
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There are several things you can do to optimize your wireless home network, which we will cover below. However, if you’re looking for the fastest, most reliable way to access the Internet, you should consider using a wired connection whenever possible.

About using a wired connection

Using a wired connection is especially beneficial with devices that use a lot of bandwidth, such as Smart TVs and gaming consoles. Not only will you get the fastest, most reliable speeds on the previously mentioned devices, but the benefit is twofold, because it will improve your Wi-Fi connections on other devices.

Watch this video to learn more about wired vs. wireless connections.

Here are some things you can do to optimize your wireless home network

Improve the location of your router for better coverage

The location of your router affects your signal and speeds throughout your home. Here are some other things to consider when setting up your router:

  • Select a central location or one where you use your Wi-Fi-enabled devices most often. This is because the distance from Wi-Fi equipment affects Wi-Fi performance and signal strength. Note that the size and layout of your home may also impact performance. This means wireless coverage may be limited in some areas in large or multiple-level homes.
  • Elevate the router on a table or stand. This maximizes its ability to broadcast a solid, dependable wireless signal.
  • Place your router out in the open. Avoiding closets, cabinets, house structures (such as concrete) and steering clear of other electronics can help avoid interference and signal obstruction.

Remove Wi-Fi network interference and signal obstruction, wherever possible

Keep your router away from large metal objects and electronics, such as microwave ovens, cordless phones and Bluetooth devices. Since you’re using radio waves to connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi, items and materials in your surroundings can impact your home's Wi-Fi performance, such as:

  • Wi-Fi-enabled devices that are turned on but not connected to your network
  • Older Wi-Fi devices (with Wi-Fi cards using protocols 802.11 a, b, g or n)
  • Baby monitors, microwave ovens and cordless phones (2.4GHz models)
  • Metal (steel construction materials, doors, etc.)
  • Concrete and brick
  • Glass (winterized windows, patio doors, aquariums, etc.)

If you can, connect to the 5GHz band instead of the 2.4GHz band

There tends to be more Wi-Fi network congestion in urban areas, since there are often several wireless networks in close proximity. That's why congestion is more likely to occur if you live in an apartment or condo. Since Wi-Fi is shared across the same radio frequency, the radio band can become overloaded when many users are trying to watch videos and surf the Internet at the same time. This can result in slower speeds or service interruptions for everyone. For solving congestion problems, try connecting to the 5GHz band instead of the 2.4GHz band. To do this, search names of available wireless networks for the one that matches your default SSID, with “-5G” at the end, then connect to it. For example, if your default SSID for your 2.4GHz network is “C906081B7375”, your SSID for your 5GHz network would be “C906081B7375-5G”.

To learn more about the difference between the 2 bands, watch this video.

If you have multiple Internet access points, turn your device’s Wi-Fi off then back on again

If you have multiple routers or extenders (known as access points), and you move around your home with your wireless device while connected to the Internet, your device will remain connected to the same access point until it can no longer access the signal. This is true even if there is a stronger signal on another closer access point. To get the best signal quality while moving around your home, try turning your Wi-Fi off and back on again. Your device will reconnect automatically to the strongest available signal.

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