How many Internet-connected devices do you have in your home? Consider laptops, smartphones, desktops, smart TVs, TV boxes (such as Apple TV), gaming consoles, NAS devices, tablets, and more.
If you answered more than 10 – your household is completely normal.
In today’s connected world, our home networks connect a plethora of devices. Unfortunately, as this number grows and grows, the functionality of our home network setup decreases. You might start experiencing dropouts, video buffering, poor signal strength, and other frustrating Wi-Fi hiccups.
The good news is, you can make changes to your home network to ensure optimum performance across all 10+ devices. Here are our tips for building a solid home network.
Know the Health of Your Network
Before you start making changes, get to know your current home network’s weaknesses. Discover which rooms are out-of-reach, and whether or not your network is sharing bands with your next-door neighbour.
To do this, you can download one of these free tools:
Create a Strong Foundation
If you want a fast home network, you’ll need to consider the foundation. Let’s think about the basic building blocks of a home network.
- The incoming cable. This might be a fibre, or a conventional phone line.
- The modem. This connects to the incoming cable.
- The router. This might be a separate device, or you might opt for a combined modem/router. The router connects your devices to your modem.
Where the incoming cable enters your home will impact the strength of your network. If it comes through in a far corner of your home, underneath some stairs, in a cupboard, away from the main living areas, your signal could suffer. In this case, your best bet is to connect the modem to a router positioned in a central location with an Ethernet cable.
If your cable enters your home in a central position, a modem/router will most likely suffice.
Keep in mind that wired connections will almost always be faster and more reliable than wireless connections. The more you can hook up via an Ethernet cable, the better. Things that you rarely move can easily be wired up, such as your smart TV or desktop computer.
Understand 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi
We’ve done a whole post on the difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi, but here are the basics.
Wi-Fi operates on two bands – the 2.4GHz band, and the 5GHz band. Think of them as two separate lanes on one road; each device can only travel in one lane at a time. Some routers only support the 2.4GHz band, while others support both.
The benefit of investing in a router that supports both bands simultaneously is you can more easily avoid overcrowding your network, in other words, causing a traffic jam. An overcrowded network is a slow network, so it’s best to make full use of both bands when possible.
Extend Your Wi-Fi Coverage
Even the latest and greatest router can’t guarantee perfect signal throughout your entire home, especially if you have a large, two-storey, double brick house. If you want to optimise your wifi setup, we suggest extending your coverage.
You can do this in a couple of ways.
- As we mentioned above, you can purchase a separate router, connect it to your modem via an Ethernet cord, and position it in a central location. This technique works best in smaller homes.
- You can purchase range extenders. These must be positioned where the Wi-Fi signal is strong.
- You can have additional connection points installed. This will allow you to connect additional modems or devices directly to the main incoming cable.
Accept the Limitations of a Wireless Network
We all want lightning fast Wi-Fi in our homes, but that isn’t always possible. Even with a top-of-the-line router and range extenders, more devices means more bandwidth, and more bandwidth means slower speeds.
If you are struggling operating on a wireless network in your home, consider wiring as many devices as possible – gaming consoles, smart TVs, and other non-portable devices. This should lighten the load, and produce a faster, more stable home network.
Get Help with Your Home’s Network
Experiencing annoying dropouts, poor signal, or a modem that just won’t do as it’s told? We can help. The team at Computer Cures can ensure your home has the fastest Wi-Fi possible. We’ll even liaise with your provider if necessary. We can also check out your computer setup and home theatre setup to reduce the load on your Wi-Fi. Call today on 1300 553 166 or fill out the form on this page.