The how-to guide to boost your WiFi signal
We’ve all experienced it: sending out emails but having them stuck at the outbox, waiting two minutes for a webpage to load but the site can’t be reached due to connection error or getting disconnected from an online conference call because of dropped WiFi signals. These problems are not only frustrating, they can make or break a business, especially in our current world where being connected is essential.
If your office is plagued by slow WiFi speeds, try out these methods to power up your WiFi and boost your team’s productivity:
Start with a speed test
Before you get started, conduct a speed test to find out your upload and download speeds. This can give you a good reference point to measure the effectiveness of the changes you will be applying.
Find the perfect spot
Where you place the router can affect your wireless coverage. It may be unsightly, but hiding it away is the opposite of what you should be doing. For optimal signal, find a central spot in your office to place it - the router needs open spaces, free from walls and obstructions, which can degrade and absorb signal strength.
Move it away from interferences
Appliances and metal objects don’t go well with WiFi signals. Place your router away from appliances such as cordless telephones, fluorescent lights, printers and microwaves.
An easy way to find the sweet spot is to use a WiFi heatmapping tool to measure the impact of distance, frequency changes and building structures on signal strength. Two great tools to track your WiFi coverage are NetSpot for Mac and Heatmapper for Windows.
Get it to the right position
Orient one of your external antenna vertical and another horizontal. WiFi works best when the signals are parallel to your device’s internal antenna. Some devices have vertical antennas and others have horizontal ones. By having your router’s antennas point at different angles, you help to build a solid connection between the router and your devices, no matter the orientation of your devices’ internal antennas.
Elevating your router can help you get a better signal. Try putting it on a table or shelf, or mount it on the wall if you can.
Switch a channel
WiFi signals communicate like walkie-talkie channels. Your channel can get clogged up by interference with neighbouring WiFi signals using the same channel. Move yours to a less cluttered channel to minimise interference. Tools like the inSSIDer Office analyse your WiFi spectrum and help to recommend the best channel for you.
Eliminate your dead zones
If you work in a large office or 2-storey shophouse and experience WiFi problems such as poor signal
and dead spots, your router is probably not cutting it. What you may need is a mesh WiFi system. It consists of a main router that is connected to your modem, and several router units that communicate with the main router and each other to give you a strong signal wherever you are, effectively getting rid of dead zones.
Google Wifi, an example of a mesh WiFi system, has gained much hype and fanfare since its launch. Three Google Wifi points connect with one another to provide up to 2,700 square feet of coverage and connectivity with one network (i.e. single SSID) for all the devices within your office. Once logged in, the devices will automatically connect to the most efficient points regardless of where they are in your office space.
The companion app allows you to see which devices are connected and how much bandwidth they are consuming so you can efficiently prioritise bandwidth to the mission-critical devices. In addition, Google Wifi’s Network Assist software ensures that devices are always connected on the least congested channel to achieve the fastest WiFi bandwidth.