Some of us, from time to time, find that our wireless broadband is intermittently slowing down or doesn’t work at all. In these cases, we can become incredibly frustrated, and find ourselves plugged in through an Ethernet cable 2 meters away from our WiFi router, sat on the stairs!
This article will look at some of the solutions to your WiFi router problems, and some of the workaround solutions:
Turn Off your WiFi Router and Turn it Back On
Sometimes, our WiFi routers can get clogged up with data and can need a reset to their original settings. Turning off your router for 30 seconds and turning it back on can solve many WiFi router issues. Bear in mind, however, that in the first two weeks of your connection time, your router may well have issues due to it being on a line that is being trained.
What are Trained Lines?
Essentially the first two weeks of your internet connectivity will be a period whereby your internet service provider assesses your line for the speed it can handle. It will try different speeds and up them and up them until it finds a point of instability, after which it will reduce them slightly. During this period, you will have a fluctuating service in most cases, until your line stabilizes at the level at which it can operate satisfactorily.
If you get new devices such as a new premium router, you may ask your internet service provider to retrain your line in order to deal with the increased capacity that your connection may have.
Typical Wireless Issues
Some of the typical wireless issues involve:
- Interference from other internet connections in the area
- Interference from other WiFi devices such as baby monitors and wireless boilers
- Obstructions in the form of physical objects such as walls, ceilings, cupboards, filing cabinets and so on
- Inability to reach the distance of the connecting devices
- Interference from electrical devices in the vicinity of the router
Changing Channels on your Router
It’s fairly easy to log in to your router in most cases. All you need to do is log in through your web interface and, normally, the default address is http://192.168.2.1. Log in details vary from provider to provider, but are frequently ‘admin’ and then a blank password. With Sky broadband, it is admin and then password ‘sky’. Do find out your password - you can normally do so with a search online.
Once you log in you can see the status of your router - whether it is enabled, disconnected, or connecting. If you have problems on your line it will be identified here. If you do have a problem then it’s well worth talking with your provider and finding out whether there are issues at the exchange or actually on the line itself, as it may be pointless you going through a troubleshooting process if you are not in control of the problem.
If you’ve established that there are other connections on the same channel, then you can change the channel in your wireless router control panel. There’s also a lot of more information that may be useful for your internet service provider, and they may well log you in to this area in order to find out more about your connection if you do have troubleshooting issues.
Move your Router
One of the simplest things to do with your WiFi router is to move it a more elevated position - free from obstacles and interference. Many people prefer to put it on a shelf, and it is important to ensure that you don’t have fridges, microwaves, radios or anything else within a meter or two.
Get a Repeater
If you’re having problems with your WiFi router connecting to devices further away in your house, it could be a good idea to get a WiFi repeater. Repeaters, or extenders, are signal amplifiers that increase the range of connection. You can get multiple signal repeaters for your home. If you have your WiFi routers centrally located in your home, you can have a much better opportunity to get the signal around to all the rooms, especially if you do use WiFi repeaters in strategically positioned locations.
If you really are having problems that you can’t get around wirelessly then it’s time to start plugging in. There are three main ways you can do this. You could just sit closer to your WiFi router and plug in with a short Ethernet cable that came with your device.
A HomePlug System
You could also go for a HomePlug system, which connects to your socket and passes the internet signal around your home. These systems will require that you plug in with an Ethernet cable in the target room, and it’s a great way to pass the internet around your home quickly and effectively.
If you have a split electric circuit, then it may be that you’re unable to get online in all the locations that you want to because, obviously, the internet won’t be able to pass if the electricity circuit doesn’t travel through a certain room from your router.
HomePlug systems are relatively inexpensive, and are a good solution for many.
Ethernet Cables around Your Home
Much like you have telephone wires that go around your home for upstairs connections, it’s possible to get longer Ethernet cables very affordably, and run these around your home, too. It can be a bit unsightly if you don’t do it properly, so it’s important to take the time to do so to go over doors and take sensible routes to where you’re going; and it’s good to have plenty of Ethernet cable in order to achieve this. You can get 50-meter Ethernet cables on e-Bay very affordably and, normally, WiFi routers these days have multiple ports to plug these Ethernet cables into.
If you don’t have enough ports to go to the places that you need to go to, then it’s possible to get Ethernet adapters to increase the number of ports going in. Bear in mind that the more ports that you’ll be using, the more likely that your router may overheat, and the more you’ll be sharing the connection if you use adapters.
However, this shouldn’t be any different from sharing wirelessly, and it’s important to understand the benefits of connecting wired, which is always faster than wireless connections.
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