Teleworking, children’s ‘online’ duties, entertainment for the whole family … A good part of the activities we currently carry out in our homes requires the internet. Although the connection is much more powerful than a few years ago, sometimes it seems that it is not enough. What to do then?
The first step is for the internet to reach the router with sufficient bandwidth, and for this we must understand what type of connection we have contracted. The operator that gives access to the network usually indicates the maximum speed in advertising and contracts, but must also indicate what is the guaranteed minimum, as indicated by the Telecommunications User Service Office. If the quality offered does not correspond to the contracted speed, the subscriber can claim.
But how do I know the quality of the connection?
A test of sending and receiving data is required to check the upload and download speed, as well as the latency (the time it takes for the router to receive a signal response). First, it is convenient to stop all domestic activity on the Internet to free up the bandwidth: while the test is being carried out, you cannot download anything, nor can you play ‘online’, or watch videos or listen to music. The most reliable results are obtained from a computer connected by cable to the router. In ADSL connections it is normal that the power does not reach 100% of the contracted one, but with optical fiber it should be quite close.
There are many of these tests on the internet that are performed through a browser. One of the simplest is from Google itself – if we write ‘speed test’ in the search engine, it will be the first option that appears, and it does not collect any information from the user (at least, that is what it claims) – but any other works. If the result returned by the test indicates that the contracted minimums are not met, you must speak with the operator. Conversely, if you exceed the minimum guaranteed amount, other steps can be taken to improve the connection.
Is the router working fine?
If at any point the network connection fails, the first step is to turn off the router for a couple of minutes and turn it on again. A router that is several years old may be out of date Or, if it is the one provided by the teleoperator that gives us the service and there are many connected devices, its signal distribution capacity may be insufficient and there may be frequent drops in connection performance. In this case, it would be necessary to assess whether it is worth buying a router for high internet consumption.
Check the Wi-Fi network … and clear the furniture area
The simplest thing is to check the speed of the Wi-Fi network in each room of the house, either in the browser with the Google test or with an application such as ‘Speedtest’. If we have rooms in which the signal does not reach well, there are several options. One of them is to change the site router – if it is necessary to change the location of the connection socket that comes from the street, it is necessary to call the teleoperator. The router transmits in all directions, so if you are at one end, the signal may not reach the other end well. It is important to know that metal furniture, some electrical appliances such as microwaves, and devices such as a computer monitor or landline phone can cause interference that interferes with the signal. It is best to place it in a central room, away from furniture and electrical equipment. If the router has antennas, it is convenient to orient them in different directions – tools such as ‘WiFi Analyzer’ indicate the best position for the router.
Check for intruders and change password
Leaving the home Wi-Fi network open means that anyone nearby can connect and, therefore, occupy bandwidth, which would slow down connections. Virtually all routers are protected by a key that should be changed to a solid one, which supposes a most random and strange combination possible of uppercase, lowercase, numbers and signs.
Choose which band each device connects to
In today’s routers there are two bands for wireless connection, one 2.4GHz and the other 5GHz. The former goes through walls better, has a longer range and is more compatible with older devices, but is slower; The 5 GHz band transmits data faster, but is more affected by obstacles such as walls and distance to the router. Thus, devices that are further away from the router may work better on the 2.4GHz band while devices that are close to the router and will be used to watch videos or make video calls will go fast on the 5GHz band.
If the house is large, has an elongated shape or is distributed over several floors, it is very likely that the Wi-Fi signal does not reach every corner and is It is necessary to install signal repeaters that extend it to the most remote rooms. To do this, you just have to connect them to the electrical network and link them with the router.
Another solution, better but a little more complicated, is to create a mesh network, a base station to which different access points are connected.