How to make the most of your Wi-Fi

Most of us rely on Wi-Fi these days for our internet around the house and depending on where you live, this can either be really good or really annoying. Your home Wi-Fi signal could be steady and strong (lucky you) or glitchy and weak, which can be very frustrating. It’s not just signal issues that are a problem either; worrying about hackers, low range and laggy data are all things that can make using the internet go from relaxing and fun to a pain in the butt. Thankfully there are a few things you can easily do at home yourself to improve your Wi-Fi and get more bang for your buck.

1. Update your hardware

Like most machines, your router can lose some steam over time and start running slower and less efficiently. It’s a good idea to buy a new one every few years so that you’re up-to-date with the latest technology and improvements. A decent router should cost you around $100, but if you’re thrifty you could even pick one up during the sales.

2. Give your router a nice home

Where you situate your router can make all the difference. They may be a bit of an eyesore, but it’s best to have your router out in the open and away from too many obstructions. If you spend most of your time at one end of the house, don’t keep your router at the other end as blocking walls and distance will weaken the signal strength. Try to place it high up on a shelf somewhere in the centre of your house so you’ve get the best chance of getting a signal in every room.

Ad. Article continues below.

3. Let it fly solo

Keep your router away from cordless phones and microwaves, which can muck with signals. If you live in an area with good internet and strong W-Fi this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, but if you find the internet is running slow on your device or computer you may want to move it away to somewhere it can be on its own.

4. Update your security

If you’re worried about hacking increasing your security is a must. While your router is probably already hooked up with a basic password these can be easy to crack for tech-savvy hackers. Set up a WPA password instead as they offer much better security for your system.

1. Open the web browser that you use: Firefox,Google Chrome, IE, or Opera and type in the IP address for your router,and press the Enter key.
Router ip addresses can be found here

Ad. Article continues below.

2. A window will open and then type in your routers default username and password,and press the Enter key again
Router usernames and passwords found here

3. Navigate to the Wireless Security\Network Security Settings Tab and open it to locate or change your WEP or WPA Security Passphrase.
Use WPA because it provides better security.

4. Write this Security Passphrase down and put it in a safe place to access when needed.

5. Save settings and close your browser.

5. Fix it with a hack

Ad. Article continues below.

If your signal still isn’t strong enough you can buy an ‘extender’ to boost the Wi-Fi strength and get more range throughout the house. However, if you don’t want to fork out the cash you make your own with aluminium foil. It won’t give you groundbreaking reach, but it will be enough to improve your situation a bit. Plus, it’s free! You can see a ‘how to’ below.

6. Reboot regularly

Sometimes the best thing to do is the old favourite: turn it off and back on again. Your router can slow down due to excessive use or overheating and the easiest way to give this a quick fix is to simply turn it off, wait 10 seconds and then turn it back on again. You might like to turn it off before you go to bed every night and reboot it in the morning. This ensures you’re running on a fresh start every day.

What’s the Wi-Fi like at your place? Do you struggle to get the internet, or are you one of the lucky ones?