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ten tips to optimize your Wi-Fi network

In this very special period of confinement, our Internet connection is taking on a whole new dimension and becoming more than ever a door open to the world. Games, films, music, contacts with our loved ones, everything goes through this umbilical cord, which is often … wireless. This technological dependence is also sometimes an opportunity to see that everything is not optimal in our local network . So here are our top ten tips for getting the best possible router coverage so everyone can enjoy it at home. Be careful, stay at home as much as possible, and, if the Internet is an infinite and full space a thousand wonders, consume it despite everything in moderation so as not to overload the infrastructures.

First publication, 01/27/2018

Real estate missions tell the tale, when you are going to move into a new house or a new apartment, you must have a crush, certainly, but above all plan. Preferably, not too violently and not against the wall.

To project oneself more or less means that one imagines in this new space, that one sees there his furniture, his cat, his goldfish, his television set, in short, his life. However, often we forget to think about our digital life. The one who slips a smartphone in your pocket, begins your home installation of a box with an ISP and flourishes as soon as Wi-Fi bathes your home.

Nevertheless, if we think about the location of the grandma's chest of drawers, using the latest television, the cupboard with spoons and the bed always made, we do not think upstream of its wireless network. And this is a big mistake, because having good rates and good coverage at home is a bit like having electricity in every room, becoming more and more vital.

First of all, you have to keep in mind that the Wi-Fi network is not just a box or a router that you put in a corner, or worse in a closet. Wi-Fi uses waves to connect your Internet devices and these waves can meet physical obstacles, interference (other waves) and sometimes bounce in a surprising way to end up not covering this chair on which you so much like to sit to surf .

So there are a few things to keep in mind in order to consider the best options for your network.

  • What is my home made of?Except living in a shed in the middle of the woods, your home is designed to resist the breath of the big bad wolf. Depending on the materials used to structure your home, Wi-Fi waves will spread more or less easily. For example, reinforced concrete is not well seen, while partitions made of fine brick or plaster tiles should not be too much of a problem. . To get the best throughput, start by knowing what is hidden in your walls. If they are thick or the surface covered stretched, prefer routers compatible with the 802.11ac standard and triple band, preferably. Triple band means that the router puts three networks. A 2.4 GHz, less efficient but with a better door, which will connect especially the older devices. Two at 5 GHz for the most recent devices and the best speeds. In mesh solutions (several routers linked together to form a network), one of these two 5 GHz networks can be dedicated to the communication between the routers, which guarantees that the other open connections to your devices benefit from the best possible speed. A dual band / dual band router is more than enough if the walls are thin enough, that the area covered is fairly limited or that you have only a few devices to connect.

Netgear
                                                    – Wi-Fi is extremely sensitive to the environment and possible radio interference.

  • When did the building date?A priori anecdotal, this question can still have its importance. Knowing when the building was built or in any case refurbished will allow you to know if the electrical installation is new and therefore proves to be even more likely to offer honest results if you decide to use PLC, or current carrier online. the PLC systematically leads to a loss of speed, requests that the adapter be plugged directly into the socket to avoid connection problems with multiple sockets and rarely offers good performance when a Wi-Fi router is added to it. Solutions that integrate CPL and Wi -Fi are generally too compact for the antennas used for the wireless network to be sufficiently efficient. If these solutions can be satisfactory for establishing a basic connection, it is very rare to have a truly efficient network through this.
  • Are there a lot of Wi-Fi networks nearby?You do not have complete control over this element. However, the proper functioning of Wi-Fi networks is based on the good diffusion and robustness of the waves. The multiplication of nearby networks increases the risk of interference and disturbances. This is obviously especially the case if you live in an apartment. Against this problem, there is not much to do even if we may offer you a lower solution.
  • How is your accommodation available?Another key point, especially if you are looking to establish total coverage of your home, you will need to take into account the way in which the different rooms are arranged. A square is easier to cover with one or two routers, while a row of rooms complicates the things. Both because the area is long and because the load-bearing (thick) walls are likely to be more numerous. If your house / apartment is built in length, you will probably have to turn to routers that work in mesh, if you want to have network everywhere, or to a Wi-Fi bridge to cover an area too far from the box's coverage area.

Great
                                                    – A communication board with RJ45 modules, to distribute the Internet connection from the wired box to sockets where Wi-Fi routers can be connected.

  • Where is your box?Even the most recent dwellings which must meet (near or far) the NF C 15-100 standard, which provides for the presence of a dedicated box and the deployment of an RJ45 network, are not always well thought out to allow optimal positioning at daily point of entry to the Internet connection at home, your ISP box. However, being able to place it in the center of your home (or the place most suited to your needs) could greatly facilitate your quest for an omnipresent Wi-Fi network, or in any case In other words, it may be worthwhile to hire a little the technician who will come to install your box at your home. Even better, if you are building or redoing your home, try to think of your Ethernet / Wi-Fi network at the same time as your electrical, heating, etc. network.

Now that you've taken into account the environment in which you're going to deploy Wi-Fi, it's time to move on to the wireless network itself. If you are looking to get the best bit rates possible here are a few tips to follow.

  • Should we recycle an old router?When you want to extend your wireless network, there is a great temptation to recycle old routers and place them in addition to more efficient and newer routers. In some cases this may be enough, but keep in mind that your network will never be faster than its weakest link. So do not expect miracles if you reuse an old Wi-Fi hotspot. And place it instead rather at the end of the chain so that it does not penalize the other links too much.

Apple
                                                    – Formerly triumphant, the first Airport Extreme terminal tops out at 802.11g.

  • How to best position your routers?When installing Wi-Fi routers, we are often forced to do so depending on the position of the FAI box, sockets, furniture on which we will be able to put them attention, never put an active router in a closet, the waves will have more trouble spreading. Anyway, to find the best locations for routers, it is possible to use applications. Some manufacturers offer them with their device, but it is also possible to download them from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store. These applications will tell you the signal strength, possible disturbances, which will allow you to know easily enough where to place your routers according to the layout of your rooms and furniture to have the best possible coverage of your sofa. For example, Wi-Fi Analyzer or Netgear Wi-Fi Analytics. If you are resistant to applications, you can follow these few tips: 1 / Avoid putting your router on the ground. It will be more effective placed at mid-height. 2 / try to place the router as much as possible in the center of the room / area to be covered, even if it must be along a wall. 3 / if you use several mesh routers, one repeater or Wi-Fi bridge, make sure the line of sight between the different devices is as clear as possible.
  • How to favor certain uses?Most current Wi-Fi routers offer so-called Quality of Service (QoS) options which allow more bandwidth to be provided or in any case to guarantee certain uses (video streaming, games, etc.). Better yet, some models offer to privilege one or more devices connected to the network, so it may be appropriate to make sure that your Shield 4K or your Apple TV 4K has priority access if you do not want to see your streamed films get pixelated or freeze.
  • Should I play with the router's channels?Your Wi-Fi routers put their signal on communication channels. Often a channel is retained by default. Problem, it is also the case for all the routers of your neighbors. So it happens that all the Wi-Fi networks in the vicinity and yours use the same channel, which creates interference and affects the rates offered in the end. It may therefore be appropriate to choose another channel and then observe if you note a improving the performance of your Wi-Fi. This can have very positive effects but is also a bit restrictive. However, most modern routers have a function that automates the choice of channel. The latter may change depending on the neighboring networks. So your router optimally adjusts its efficiency.
  • Does updating do anything?Manufacturers regularly release updates, which fix security flaws or possible bugs. But these new firmwares also have another interest. They improve certain performances and sometimes even add new functions (parental control, new connection mode, etc.). It is therefore recommended to automate the update of your routers if the option is available or to make sure to apply them manually. You will be able to see expected and useful functions appear.