How to get the best wireless connection

When it comes to improving your wireless connection, there are really only two elements that you can improve – the range and the speed of your signal. 

Rather than having to buy a whole new router, we've put together 7 quick and easy things you can do to improve your connection.

  1. First, check your broadband speed by using a speed checker. Before running a test, disable any firewalls or anti-virus software and make sure to shut down programs that could slow things down like instant messenger, internet radio or any other downloads. 
  2. Even if your router is within good range, there may still be problems caused by interference. This can happen when other routers nearby interrupt your signal, so think about placing your router away from any shared walls. Appliances like washing machines and dryers can also cause interference, so try to avoid having one of these between your device and the router. 
  3. A quick way to optimise your signal is to check to see that you’re using a wi-fi channel that isn’t used by too many other routers. Clogged channels may result in sluggish performance of your router, so make sure you’re using one that’s relatively empty.
  4. Just like mobile phones and laptop software, the firmware on your router will get updated fairly regularly, so it’s worth checking to ensure you’re using the most recent update. This’ll ensure optimal processing.
  5. If you’re not daunted by the prospect of tinkering with new software, there are open source software options that are designed to boost the performance of your router. An example is DD-WRT, which can be found online. Some of these options may invalidate your router’s warranty so make sure you read the small print.
  6. You may find that even after these steps, your signal is still struggling to reach you. A solution to this may be to set up a booster as an access point or repeater. This’ll work by relaying your existing signal, which’ll boost its strength and range. 
  7. Connecting an antenna is another way to improve your signal. Newer models will have internal antennas already built in to the router, though you can also connect an external antenna to your existing unit.