A wi-Fi router is one the most important pieces of tech that’re in any household. In India, it is also one the most neglected pieces of tech considering the poor quality of modems that are given by Internet Service Providers in India. The situation is abysmal. Even if you manage to get your Wi-Fi modem installed in a rather central position there are multiple elements that come into play. Chances are you will suffer from them dreaded “dead zones”, which are essentially internet-less voids or at least, you will face speed bumps.
For example, the Nextra fiber line in India comes with a rather abysmal Binatone router. The modem has inferior coverage, inferior to even the old Airtel Beetle modems. So how do you fix something like this? Most ISPs will nudge consumers towards extenders. But then the extenders kill the burst speed.
So, we tell you a few better ways to fix the Wi-Fi woes, in case you have them, at your home.
1- The best way to fix the Wi-Fi issues is to get a new router. Preferably, you should opt for a new dual-band router which supports both 2.4GHz and 5GHz and works on 802.11ac or 802.11n standards.
2- It’s important that the Wi-Fi channel that your router is using is appropriate. On Windows PCs, you can use a free tool called inSSIDer to know what channel your router is on. On OS X, you can press and hold the “option” key and click on the Wi-Fi preferences menu to figure out which channel your router is operating on. To change, the settings you’ll need to go through the model of your router as this depends on the make and model of the router.
3- As we mentioned before, the modem or router is perhaps the most neglected piece of tech in the household. You may not know it, but even your router keeps getting software updates, but these updates happen manually in most cases. To update your router you’ll need to enter its settings interface, which isn’t done often and there will invariably be a firmware update in the waiting for you Web Posting Mart.
4- Just like the router, there could be a problem with the PC or Mac or they may not be running the latest drivers. On OS X El-Capitan, particularly, there are a few Wi-Fi issues which slowdown the speed and reduce the range. To fix them, you need to delete four files from:
The five files in question are:
Before you delete these files, it is advisable that you take a back-up (in case something goes wrong). After they are gone, you will notice a marked improvement in Wi-Fi performance.
5- One of the things you can do with your Wi-Fi router is to move it around in a more central location in your house. In the case, you have bitten the bullet and bought a separate router, may be, you can purchase a long Ethernet cat-5 cable too so that you can centrally place the router for improved coverage across your house.
6- Routers can be upgraded. At least their antennas can be. Routers which have external antennas can up updated with high-gain antennas and you can position them in the desired direction. High-Gain antennas can cost anywhere between Rs 3,500- 7,000. One can find them at places like Nehru place or online marketplaces like Amazon.in or even AliExpress, which will ship from China.
7- It is possible that your Wi-Fi signal is suffering from a lot of interference. Cordless phones, microwaves, Bluetooth and other appliances can cause interference. You can either get rid all the interfering elements or invest in a dual-band router like an Apple Airport Extreme or a NetGear N600, which can operate in 5GHz band. This band doesn’t get affected much by interference. 8- You can extend the range of the router by using a trick called the WindSurfer tinfoil trick. You can use an old used Coke can and peel it open using a can-opener. (Be careful don’t cut your hands). You’ll need to punch a hole in the base of the can so that antenna of the router can pass through and the rest of the body of the can act like a rudder for the signal. The results wouldn’t be fantastic, but there will be a minor boost.
9- If you are on a different floor than your router, then it is best to stick to the 2.4GHz band, which are better at punching through walls. The 5GHz channels, as already mentioned, don’t suffer from interference, but they struggle with walls.
10- If you’re open to being adventurous, you may want to try out an open source software tool called DD-WRT. It is known to unlock the full potential of the router, which will obviously have a positive impact on the performance of the router.