7 May 2021 WiFi problems

Better WiFi Setup

We have many customers that struggle with the WiFi connectivity in their home or business. The causes for this are many and varied. There are many things that affect the WiFi signal. First is the device you are using. What WiFi module does it have? Then there is your WiFi router or access point. What standard of WiFi is this transmitting? Then there is general interference around the property such as other electronic equipment, microwaves, walls and windows (glass).

WiFi Standards and Types

Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN) protocols are known by different standards that over the years have increased in capability and performance. The standard is known as IEEE 802.11 and all WLAN or WiFi will use this. The old naming conventions for WiFi were 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n etc. Your device will have a WiFi module supporting one or more of these standards, as will your router or access point. The older devices may not support the newer, faster standards. You may have a 802.11n router but your laptop only has 802.11g capability. It will still work but only at the speed and coverage allowed through the 802.11g restrictions. With the new 802.11ax standard the naming is changing. This new standard (ax) being known as WiFi6. the b,g,n aspect of naming is changing to become WiFi1, WiFi2 etc. The table below shows the different standards used so you can determine which WiFi coverage and speeds you can expect.

802.11b WiFi 1 2.4GHz 11Mbps 35m
802.11g WiFi 3 2.4GHz 54Mbps 40m
802.11n WiFi 4 2.4GHz 300Mbps 70m
802.11ac (dual band) WiFi 5 2.4GHz

5.0GHz

433Mbps

1733Mbps

70m

35m

802.11ax (dual band) WiFi 6 2.4GHz

5.0GHz

600Mbps

2401Mbps

70m

35m

Getting faster WiFi to your device, or a better more stable connection is really dependent on your device. You can upgrade your WiFi router to WiFi5 or install a new WiFi6 Mesh system but your phone, tablet or laptop may only support WiFi3 or WiFi4, it will still work but you will not benefit from the faster speeds or range. Likewise you may have a new device capable of WiFi5 or WiFi6 but your router is old and only transmitting a WiFi4 signal.

A lot of people are now having fibre optic internet installed and wondering why a speed test on their laptop is only showing 150Mbps when they should be getting 600Mbps. The speeds you get will depend on whether you are connected to the 2.4GHz or 5.0GHz channel, the distance you are from the router, what walls/windows the signal has to pass through, and the capability of the WiFi on your device.

Upgrade the WiFi adapter on your device

Laptops and desktop PC’s come with the ability to plug in USB devices. This is great news for older machines that do not have the latest WiFi standard capability. You can buy plug and play USB WiFi adapters (dongle) from our store which will upgrade your devices WiFi reception to WiFi5 or WiFi6.

WiFi routers
upgrade your router

Add an additional router

You can change your existing router, or even add another router to increase your WiFi network speed and coverage. Your ISP supplied router may only be giving out a WiFi4 signal (wireless ‘n’ Router). Get yourself an upgraded router WiFi5 or WiFi6 and connect this new Wireless5 (802.11ac) router to your existing router with a cable. When connecting wirelessly to the new router you will benefit from faster speed and connection quality.

Additional routers can be placed strategically around your home to give coverage in those hard to reach areas.

 

Home Plug Kits

To save cabling all around your house/office to connect a second wireless router it is possible to use Powerline Home Plug kits. These will plug into a plug socket and carry the internet through your electricity circuit. Place one near your main router and connect with a cable then place another powerline home plug in a different room where you want to place another router. Pair the two devices and hey presto you have WiFi in a room where previously it was not possible.

 

Wireless Mesh

The latest developments for full property coverage is a MESH system. This consists of two or more ‘nodes’ that communicate with each other wirelessly, or through cable. They can be placed around the home or office and give full seamless coverage of up to 500 square metres. These new mesh system come in wireless 802.11ac (WiFi5) or WiFi6. They are the best, but of course the most costly. We have the perfect set for sale here – the D-Link Covr 3 node WiFi Mesh System.

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