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?
Did you know that KCOM’s full fibre Lightstream delivers the UK’s fastest broadband right to your front door?
But the broadband speeds you experience once it’s in your home can be affected by a lot of different factors.
Here are ten things to look out for that can affect the performance of your Wi-Fi – and some steps to stop it happening.
1) Where’s your router? Although we recommend fitting the router centrally, it’s sometimes best to place the router nearest to where you are likely to use it most – and to plug it in to your main broadband socket, rather than an extension socket.
2) 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.
3) Baby monitors. Yes, baby monitors. And Christmas lights and TVs and microwaves. All of these – alongside many other electrical appliances - can affect and interfere with your Wi-Fi signal.
4) Wi-Fi is a radio signal that allows you to connect your internet device to your router without wires. As with radio signals, the further away you are from the source, or transmitter, the less powerful the signal and greater the chance of interference occurring.
5) Do you have a big house? If you do then lucky you, but remember the further Wi-Fi has to travel through your home the weaker it could become.
6) Your walls. The composition of your walls and floors will impact how Wi-Fi passes through them. Thick, stone walls, steel beams and loft insulation can dramatically affect the Wi-Fi experience.
7) Old devices. 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.
8) Many devices. If you are using lots of devices at the same time the speed transmitted from your router is being shared between them and will be slower. 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.
9) Next door. Is your neighbour’s Wi-Fi affecting your Wi-Fi? Did you know your router works on one of 12 of 13 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.
10) 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 give you an option for which frequency you want to use – make sure you pick the one that works best for you.
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 8am – 9pm; Sat-Sun 9am - 6pm)