When you’ve just bought a router and just finished setting it up, your responsibility doesn’t end with arming with an updated password and strong wireless security. There’s a lot of things you still need to do to boost your router’s performance. From picking the perfect location to adjusting your router’s settings to achieve faster Wi-Fi connection, check out some other adjustments you can do in order to get more out of your router.

Before you proceed with the tips below, make sure you already have the router properly installed, changed the network password, and updated its firmware. Otherwise, it is vital for you to accomplish those things first before diving in with these other must-know tweaks.

Pick a Good Location

 

If you want better coverage throughout your home, you may want to consider finding a better position for your router.

Routers work by broadcasting and receiving radio waves, so find a place for your router with an eye toward signal strength. If you have your router positioned at an end or corner of your home, you’re probably getting better coverage in your yard than on the other end of the house. Routers broadcast outward, so you’ll want to place the router in a central location.

Radio signals also travel downward, so get your router up off the floor. An elevated position, such as on a shelf, or mounted high on a wall, will help ensure that all that sweet wireless coverage goes to your devices instead of into the ground.

For ideal placement, you may want to remember that having a direct line-of-sight to the router will translate into better performance.  A direct line-of-sight to the router will give you lower latency and faster ping times, without having to punch through walls or furniture. You may not be able to guarantee line-of-sight for every device in your home, but it’s definitely something to consider for specific uses, like your gaming rig, or for a cord-cutter’s home theater setup.

Finally, be sure to stay clear of anything that may cause interference with your Wi-Fi signal. Metal objects, like metal shelving, air ducts in walls and ceilings, metal pipes and structural beams, can all disrupt wireless signal. But even walls can be a problem when made of dense, solid materials like brick or concrete.

Create a Separate Network for Guests

 

Creating a separate guest network will make you more secure and give you an easy way to share Wi-Fi with friends without having to hand over your network password. It also keeps your home network clear for the things you really want on it.

To set up a guest network, you’ll need to access your router’s web interface, and log in with your router’s username and password. Generally, part of the wireless settings menu will be an option to set up a guest network.

Name your guest network something that won’t get confused with your home network, and create a new password. Be sure to use a unique password, since you will be sharing this with acquaintances and strangers – you definitely don’t want to use the same password you use on your regular network or, say, your online bank accounts.

Choose the Right Bandwidth

 

Routers that are of newer models use the Wireless-N and AC standards are dual-band devices. They can broadcast on both the 2.4-GHz band – which is used by cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, and pretty much every other wireless device in your home – as well as the less crowded 5-GHz band.

Switching to 5GHz will give you better performance on a less crowded band, which is pretty much a win-win. The only potential drawback is that the 5GHz signal has a slightly shorter range than the 2.4GHz, so larger homes may have more dead spots on that band.

The good news is that dual-band routers (and there are even a few tri-band models already on the market) can run these bands independently, as separate networks. Devices that need better coverage over a distance can be switched over to 2.4GHz, and low-usage devices, like smart- home gadgets and printers, can be put on that same 2.4-GHz band to keep the 5-GHz band free and clear for better performance on gadgets that game, stream or otherwise take advantage of higher bandwidth.

To set up separate 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz networks, log in to your router’s management console and look for the wireless settings menu. Once there, you can set the router to keep 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands running as separate networks, and set new network names for each.

Tweak the Channel Settings

While you’re setting up your 5-GHz network, you should also think about changing the channel each network uses. In the Wi-Fi settings, you’ll see that each network has a selection of channels it can operate on.

It may be set to automatically select the channel, or to switch channels when the one in use is congested. However, you can also select a specific channel to use, avoiding channels that are in heavy use by neighbors and nearby networks.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 6:14:17 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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