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Cheap ways to make your wifi faster

It’s frustrating to watch that blue disc spinning whilst you wait for a webpage to load, and the coloured beach ball of doom on a Mac doesn’t make it any better. But our eight top tips for making wifi faster might.

1. Reposition your router
The best place to position your router (modem) is nearest to the centre of your home as possible. Put it in a open area, away from other electronics, as they can cause interference and weaken your signal. Try and limit the number of walls and doors between you and your modem. Also try to keep it as high as possible, as modem antennae tend to direct signal downwards.

2. Adjust your antennae
If your router has two antennae, adjust them so they are perpendicular to one another – one vertical and one horizontal. If it only has one antenna, you may need to play around with it until you find the best signal. Start with all the way vertical; then try all the way horizontal and work your way back from there.

3. Take your network security up a notch
Networks that are left unsecured can be ‘piggy-backed’ – which is a nice way of saying hacked. Now, that is not only a cause for concern when it comes to your private information being threatened, it will also mean that your signal will slow down dramatically.

To improve your wireless security, log in to your router’s admin page, which can be accessed by typing in your router’s IP address in your web browser. If you have any trouble with this, try calling your ISP for assistance.

Now, find your encryption options and choose WPA2, then select a password that is safe but easily remembered. Here are some hints for passwords that you shouldn’t choose.

You should only share these details with those you trust.

4. Heat-mapping software
If you’re having issues finding the best available signal, you can download some heat-mapping software, such as NetSpot, to help you find the best and weakest signal spots in your house.

Once you know where the strong signals are, you can reposition your computer or device, or your modem to suit.

5. Change your frequency
Most routers operate on a 2.4GHz frequency, but so do many other electronic devices. If your modem gives you the option of operating on a 5GHz frequency, then why not get away from the crowds and head on over to 5GHz land? You should be able to access the frequency options in your router’s admin page, accessed by typing in your router’s IP address in your web browser.

6. Escape the crowd
If you live in a crowded area, say a block of flats, busy estate or retirement village, you’ll most likely be sharing a lot of signal with your friends and neighbours. But you’ll be glad to know that you can change to a less-crowded channel.

Even though most newer model routers will automatically search for the least crowded channel, 1, 6 and 11 are still most commonly used with devices in the 2.4GHz spectrum. If you switch to the 5GHz spectrum, your options for less-crowded channels really open up.

You may have to do a search for a suitable wifi analyser, which can check all the nearby devices and find for you the least crowded channels to which you can switch your device. If you have a Mac, you can check this for yourself, by clicking and holding over the wifi icon at the top of your screen, then selecting Open Wireless Diagnostics.

7. Upgrade your router
Okay, so this may not be the one you wanted to read, but if all else fails, you may need to upgrade your router or modem. Wireless technology has come a long way in the past five years, so if your modem is around that age, it may be time to pick up a new one. Contact your ISP and see what they can do for you.

8. But whilst you have them on the phone …
Ask your ISP if there are any other ways that you can speed up your wifi. You never know, they may be able to talk you through a quick fix over the phone, or be able to supply better equipment at low or no cost. If you’ve tried all of our other suggestions, by this stage, you really haven’t got much to lose – except the time it takes for Facebook to load every day. That time adds up you know!

Do you have any suggestions for how to speed up wifi? What sort of modem do you have? Is it good? Why not share your feedback with our members?

Related articles:
Free wifi wherever you go
Increase your wifi signal with tinfoil
Five ways to make wifi faster

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