8 Tips for Extending Your WiFi Network’s Range at Home

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Gone are the days when Internet users had to set up a wired connection to use the Internet. With a strong WiFi connection, you can work, study, and shop online from anywhere in your house. But while you expect your home's WiFi connection to remain strong in every room, that's not always the case: If you have a large home (or your router isn't in an ideal place), you may find yourself experiencing lags and drop-offs while you're browsing the Internet. Thankfully, extending a WiFi signal so it reaches further is much simpler than you may expect. Here, we'll show you how to extend your WiFi range for a strong, clear connection, no matter where you're browsing from. 

Tip 1: Switch Frequencies 

Most modern Internet routers support three frequencies: 6GHz, 5GHz, and 2.4GHz. 6GHz and 5GHz offer greater speeds and are less vulnerable to network traffic than 2.4GHz, but they have a much shorter range. If you're experiencing spotty WiFi, take a look at which frequency you're set to. If you're on 6 GHz or 5GHz, switching your router over to a lower frequency may extend your WiFi range

Tip 2: Move Your Router

Walls, large pieces of furniture, and even appliances can interfere with your WiFi, resulting in a spotty signal. If you're having trouble connecting, try moving your router to a central area of your home, away from large objects that could potentially block the signal. Avoid hiding it on the floor or in a cabinet-somewhere out in the open, like on a shelf or the countertop, is ideal. 

Tip 3: Password Protect Your Network

WiFi frequencies have a set number of channels, and the more people on the network, the less space data has to navigate these channels. In practice, this means that the more people connected to a network, the slower it's likely to be. Making sure your home WiFi is password-protected ensures only those with permission are able to use your connection and may help improve WiFi speeds. It's important to note that password-protecting your network is recommended even if your WiFi works perfectly, as it helps protect your data from external access.

Tip 4: Update Router Firmware

Oftentimes, router manufacturers release firmware updates designed to improve the efficiency or security of your router. Updating yours could help improve your WiFi's reach and boost speeds. What the update process entails depends on what type of router you have: Consult the user manual or visit the manufacturer's website for detailed instructions on how to update your firmware.

Tip 5: Disconnect Unnecessary Devices

As we mentioned a bit earlier, traffic on your network can cause slowdowns, delays, and interruptions. Password-protecting your WiFi can help prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your network, but you'll also want to take a look at how many of your own devices are taking up bandwidth. You can usually see who-or rather, what-is connected to your network by typing your router's IP address into your search bar. This will bring you to your router's web interface, which should list out any connected devices under a header titled "attached devices" or "client list." There are also apps you can download to see who's connected to your network, but they often require payment or subscription (so do your research if you opt to go this route).

Tip 6: Get a WiFi Extender 

One of the best ways to extend a WiFi signal is with a WiFi extender, such as a mesh system. This smart device acts as a "hub" for your WiFi network and broadcasts the signal to different nodes throughout your house. You can position these nodes anywhere you'd like a stronger, clearer connection. Alternatively, consider purchasing a wireless repeater. These devices re-broadcast your network signal to a localized area without taking up any additional bandwidth. They're typically best suited for WiFi networks with fewer than five connections, however, so if you have a larger household, a mesh system will better suit your needs. 

Tip 7: Replace Your Hardware

If you're using an older router, it may be time to replace it. Older models may not have the bandwidth to support high-speed connections and often have a shorter range than newer models. If you can, look for a router that supports WiFi 6E. It supports high speeds for a strong connection with minimal latency or lag. Optimum offers Smart WiFi 6E with select Internet packages for whole-home coverage you can count on. 

Tip 8: Choose the Right Internet Provider

Lastly, keep in mind that not all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are created equally. For the best experience, make sure your Internet provider has the speeds and features that suit your needs. Optimum Fiber Internet offers plans with speeds up to 8 Gbps, symmetrical upload and download speeds, and 99.9% reliability. Plus, you'll get built-in security and access to 24/7 support when you need it.

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Have a question about Optimum Internet service? Explore our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us for answers. 

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