How to get the best from your router
It connects the broadband network outside your home to the devices you use inside using either an Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi. But did you know that many factors can affect the performance of your router?
Follow these tips to get the best possible online experience
We all know Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is causing a lot of disruption and uncertainly in our daily lives.
For many people, this could mean self-isolation and having to work from home for a period of time.
We’d like to reassure everyone that here at KCOM we’re working hard to make sure our network is ready to meet the challenge of even more people online more of the time.
Our award-winning full fibre network is more than capable of managing the extra daytime demand that’s likely as a result of increased home working and children being sent home from school. You can read more about that here.
If you do find yourself working from home in the coming weeks rest assured we’re doing everything necessary to keep you connected and able to rely on your broadband, whether for work or for keeping in touch with friends and family.
To get the best possible online experience during this period it’s worth following these tips to make sure your Wi-Fi is operating at its peak performance.
1) Where’s your router? Although we recommend fitting the router centrally, it’s sometimes best to place the router nearest to where you’re likely to use it most – Wi-Fi is a radio signal that allows you to connect your internet device to your router without wires. As with all radio signals, the further away you are from the source, or transmitter, the less powerful the signal and greater the chance of interference occurring.
2) You’ll get a better connection if your router is plugged in to your main broadband socket, rather than an extension socket.
3) Keep your router off the floor, well-ventilated on a solid surface, in the open and ideally away from other electrical appliances – they can affect the Wi-Fi signal. It’s also best to leave your router switched on all the time.
4) Many electrical appliances can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. These include everything from baby monitors to fairy lights, TVs and microwaves. All of these – alongside many other electrical appliances – can affect and interfere with your Wi-Fi signal.
5) If you’re using lots of devices at the same time the speed transmitted from your router is being shared between them, slowing your connections down. Try turning off devices that aren’t in use, or, if you need multiple devices to work all at once, think about getting a package with a higher speed.
6) Could your neighbour’s Wi-Fi be affecting your Wi-Fi? Your router works on one of a number of Wi-Fi channels – if your neighbour’s Wi-Fi is operating on the same or a nearby channel, the interference from their Wi-Fi may be affecting yours. Changing your Wi-Fi channel may reduce interference to your signal.
7) Now we’re getting really technical. Just like any radio signal, Wi-Fi operates on different frequencies. When you try to connect your device to your router, you will have the option of two frequencies: a ‘5GHz’ (5G) and ‘2.4GHz’ (2.4G).
5GHz uses tightly bunched wavelengths that are powerful but may not travel far, depending on what’s in their way. 2.4GHz uses long, shallow wavelengths that can travel further.
That’s why the 2.4GHz network may be available in your garden, or further away from the router, and the 5GHz isn’t. The device you’re using should let you choose which frequency you use – make sure you pick the one that works best for you.
8) Old devices can affect your Wi-Fi. If you’ve had your tablets, iPads, laptops or computers for a while they may not be able to cope with Lightstream speeds. In some cases, older devices might not be able to use some of the frequencies the latest broadband uses.
9) Do you have a big house? If so, remember the further Wi-Fi has to travel through your home the weaker it could become. Powerline adaptors might be needed to optimise your Wi-Fi performance. The same applies if thick, stone walls, steel beams and loft insulation in your home is limiting the ability for Wi-Fi to pass through them.
Finally, during this time remember that germs can live on handheld devices such as tablets, phone and your computer mouse for days – so make sure you clean them regularly. Using anti-bacterial wipes is the best way to keep them clean.
For more details on how to get the best out of your broadband visit www.kcomhome.com/support or call our technical support team on 01482 606101 (Mon-Fri 7am – 10pm; Sat 7am-6pm, Sun 8am - 6pm)