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9

likely to be congested. Changing to a dif-

ferent channel is a quick and easy way to

possibly boost your Wi-Fi strength.

Log into your router’s settings and view

the broadcast channel. You should see

that it’s on channel 1, 6, or 11. Switch

it to one of the other channels and see if

that makes a difference in your wireless

connection speed.

In addition to having different channels,

routers also have different frequencies.

In general, 2.4 GHz is better for wireless

connectivity in multi-level homes, while

5 GHz works faster in smaller homes.

Check Your Internet Speed

If your wireless connection speed is

snail-like, talk to your internet service

provider about a speed upgrade. The

internet plan you selected a year or

two ago may now be too slow for your

needs. If your internet speed is sufficient,

however, your old router might have a

speed cap that’s limiting the maximum

internet speed possible in your home.

In that case, it’s time for a new router.

Make Sure Your

Firmware is Up to Date

Firmware is the software your router

needs in order to function. Many wire-

less routers will notify you when it’s

time for an update, but some don’t.

Check your router settings regularly to

ensure your firmware is up to date. If

new firmware is available, follow the

instructions in your router’s manual to

update it on your router.

Consider Your Bandwidth Hogs

Some applications use more bandwidth

than others. Online games and video

streaming apps can hog your bandwidth.

Most routers come with media prioritiza-

tion or Quality of Service (QoS) options

to address this. Check your instruction

manual to learn more about how to set

up these rules.

Set Up Your Router

for Optimal Internet

Performance

1. Pick the right location for your

router.

Place your router in the

center of your home and away

from brick, concrete, water, and

windows, which can all interrupt

the signal. If you have a two-story

house, experts recommend you

place your router on the first floor

near the ceiling, or on the second

floor near the ground.

2. Reduce interference.

Cordless

phones, microwaves, and baby

monitors can interrupt your

wireless signal. Move your router

away from these devices if possi-

ble. If this is not possible, consider

buying a dual-band router model

that can operate on another band.

3. Amplify your signal with an

extender.

If you have a larger

home, consider getting a wireless

range extender to amplify your

Wi-Fi signal. These inexpensive

devices extend your router to

wherever you need a Wi-Fi

connection in your home.

An 802.11ac-ready router can support 20 or more

wireless devices in your home.