Working from home gives options on where you want to work — redeploying a spare bedroom as an office, sat at the dining room or kitchen table even sat on the sofa in the living room.
Where you can actually work from at home is more often than not, dictated by the broadband service you can receive in that location with most home workers using a Wi-Fi connection from the router. So, you can be stuck at the dining room table, when you’d really like to be working from that spare bedroom, enjoying a better level of privacy to concentrate on getting things done and not have to worry about excited kid noises being picked up on the zoom call with the big client you’re trying to impress.
A familiar problem?
Do not worry — much can be done to improve Wi-Fi around the house at little expense. The obvious place to start is the router. Where is it located?
Many are still sited near to the socket where the broadband comes into the home. A lot of people find this isn’t the ideal place — as it can be in a confined space and the Wi-Fi signal you need is constrained in that space.
The construction of the property — particularly the type of brick used can have a marked effect on the Wi-Fi performance of your router, as they create barriers that the Wi-Fi has difficulty getting through. Modern construction methods can also create problems as partition walls can contain insulation materials that are encased by foil, creating a faraday cage effect that creates problems for the Wi-Fi.
Size of property is another contributing factor. Whatever the router, it will have a range. Some routers are better than others for range, but its not a finite calculation.
One of the easiest ways to try to resolve this type of issue, is to see if the router can be located into a more central location. Some modern houses have basic ethernet cabling installed in rooms. If not, you may consider running an ethernet cable to the desired room and running the router from there.
Routers these days tend to be dual band – providing a Wi-Fi connection at 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz. The simple way to explain these is 5Ghz is the fastest of the 2 Wi-Fi bandwidths but has less range – 2.4Ghz has more range but less speed. Experiment connecting your most important device on the different bandwidths.
Also, check the number of devices you have connected to the router. The more devices you have connected, the more the Wi-Fi can be affected with the available speed suffering. A standard called Wi-Fi 6 is now available on the better routers. Wi-Fi 6 is designed to allow many more devices to be connected.
None of the above work? Next article will cover more advanced ways of improving Wi-Fi for home working – Cabling, Mesh routers, Range Extenders and Powerline adapters.
Air Broadband is one of the new generation of ISPs (Internet Service Provider) who can offer a full fibre connection in the main towns and cities of East Anglia. We are not 100% there yet, for all areas in these towns and cities – no ISP is! Working with our network partners these networks are being quickly rolled out, with most locations completed by 2025.