How to get the most out of your wi-fi connection (2015)
Tips to get the best possible connection at home.
As the number of connected devices in the home increases, the need for a reliable wi-fi connection becomes more important than ever.
With the emergence of laptops, tablets and smart phones, the way we connect to the internet has changed dramatically.
In the early to mid-1990s connections were almost entirely wired, with most homes and businesses connecting their computers to the internet using cables from a modem.
But the desktop computer soon gave way to laptops and other mobile devices, and the standard wired connection began to limit users' ability to be mobile in the home and the workplace.
In 1996, a team from the CSIRO, led by Dr John O’Sullivan, created the first wireless LAN using radio waves. This invention laid the foundation for Wi-Fi, as we know it today.
More connected devices
There are now numerous devices in our homes that make use of the wireless connection.
Smart phones, laptops, TVs and tablets are the obvious examples, but there are additional devices like sprinklers in the garden or lights that can be turned on and off from a smart device.
In fact, it is predicted that by 2019, the average household will have an impressive 24 internet connected devices.
The route(r) to better connectivity
As the number of connected devices in the home increases, the need for a good wireless connection is more important than ever - especially as these devices are spread around different areas of the house.
This is also why the position of the router is important.
Most people have their router against an outside wall in their house where their phone line is. Unless you are concerned about your neighbour’s connection, experts advise that it’s usually best to place your router in the centre of your house.
As the router expands its signal in a radius around it, correct placement of the device will ensure more areas of your house can receive a signal.
It is also a good idea to have your router up high, as radio signals travel best down and sideways than upwards.
Thick walls or other metallic surfaces like mirrors or fridge doors will also impact the quality of your signal.
Where possible, you should look to have line of sight with your router, or have it pass through glass rather than thick walls.
Other electronics can also affect your connection. Mobile phones, microwaves and TVs also rely on radio signals, so having your router placed as far away from these devices as possible will also help.
Boost your connection
Apart from router placement, there are a few other things you can do to help boost your connection.
Some routers have the ability to change the power of their signal transmission. These settings exist for people who want to reduce signal strength, if they live in a built-up area. Check your router’s instructions to see if you can increase the range of your signal.
You can also make use of devices that are specifically designed to boost wireless signal.
A Wi-Fi range extender is a bridge between your router and device. It can be useful if you have a device that is located a long distance from your router. It basically picks up a signal from your router and retransmits it so your device can pick it up.
Changing the channel that your device transmits on can also help you increase your internet speeds. If you live in a high-density housing area, other people could be using routers on a similar broadcast channel to you.
Making use of a program like inSSIDer or Wifi Analyzer can help you understand which channels are currently being used around your home and allow you to adjust your settings to ensure the best connection possible.
As a result of the ongoing upgrade to Australia’s existing copper network, the nbn™ network offers an exciting opportunity for Australians to access fast broadband services.
Check your address to see if you can connect to the nbn™ network.