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Top 10 Ways to Boost Your WiFi

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1. Select a Good Place for Your Router

Not all places are equally suitable for your router. To start with, you want to avoid placing your router close to metal objects and appliances that emit electromagnetic waves. Metal is the top disrupter of a WiFi signal, and its presence close to a WiFi router can easily create a large dead zone.

Other materials, including glass, wood, plastics, foam, and cardboard, can also disrupt a WiFi signal but their influence of WiFi signal strength tends to less severe. Keep in mind that many buildings use metal studs (rather than 2×4 wood) for the particleboard mounting, and placing your router close to them would be a bad idea. When in doubt, use a handheld stud finder or at least a stud finder app on your smartphone.

Strictly speaking, all household appliances emit electromagnetic waves to some degree, even fluorescent lightbulbs, circuit breakers, and electric razors. The biggest emitters of electromagnetic waves tend to be found in the kitchen, and they include stoves, microwave ovens, and dishwashers.

Other problematic appliances are washing machines, tumble dryers, televisions, cordless phones, and radiant heaters. If you have any of these appliances at home, keep your WiFi router as far away from them as possible to boost WiFi signal.

 

Ideally, you also want to keep a safe distance from electric wires. To cover an area with an even WiFi signal, you should place your WiFi router roughly in the centre. You can slightly boost your wireless signal by elevating the router above the floor level.

WiFi signals radiate outward in all directions, not just horizontally. When your router is on the floor, it’s the ability to emit strong signals is severely limited. For the same reason, people who live in multi-store houses should always locate a Wi-Fi router near the ceiling on the first floor. This way, even the second floor will receive consistent coverage.

 

2. Keep Your Router Updated

If you follow the news, you’ve heard about the growing number of large-scale malware attacks that are costing businesses and individuals alike billions every year. Many of these attacks wouldn’t be possible if all routers were kept updated. Once the malware infects a router, it can steal bandwidth and spread itself across the network to other devices.

But even without a presence of dangerous malware, routers with old firmware perform worse than routers that are properly updated.

To check if your router is running the newest firmware available:

  1. Launch a web browser on your computer or mobile device and connect to your router’s network.
  2. Enter the IP address of the router into the web browser.
    • If you don’t know what the IP address is, check if there is an information sticker somewhere on the router.
  3. Log in with admin username and password.
    • Again, if you don’t know what the right admin password is, look at the information sticker on the bottom or back of your router.
  4. Select an option called Firmware Update or Router Update.
    • Because there are many different routers, you may need to do some digging and detective work to find the right option.
  5. Wait until your router finds and installs the latest firmware.
    • Never interrupt the update. If it takes a long time and your router appears to be unresponsive, give it a few more minutes before you disconnect the router from power and turn it on again.

3. Get a Stronger Antenna

 

Most WiFi routers come with small, weak antennas. It’s not that manufacturers want to save every cent they can, but powerful WiFi antennas tend to be hideously large. Compared to the antenna that came with your router, which probably is just a few inches tall and has around 4 dB gain, a 10-dB antenna can be anywhere between 10 to 15 inches tall.

But if you don’t mind the size, a new, powerful WiFi antenna is a great way how you can boost WiFi at home or office without buying a new router.

 

There are several different types of WiFi antennas, but the only type you need to care about is the common “rubber duck” antenna, which is an electrically short monopole antenna that consists of a springy wire in the shape of a narrow helix, sealed in a rubber or plastic jacket to protect the antenna.

Such antennas use the same RP-SMA connector, and there are many different models available on Amazon and other online stores. Some even come with a handy extension cable that allows you to place the antenna farther away from your router to achieve optimal signal distribution.

 

To boost the WiFi signal, you need to purchase an antenna with more gain than your current one. The gain of an antenna system relative to an isotropic radiator at radio frequencies is expressed in dBi, or decibels relative to isotropic. Most home routers come with small antennas, whose gain tends to be between 4–5 dBi. Replacing such antenna with a 9 dBi antenna should provide an excellent signal boost.

Get_a_Stronger_Antenna

 

4. Cut Off WiFi Leeches

 

An encrypted, password-protected WiFi is a must in this day and age. With more people than ever relying on WiFi, the hunger for open, fast WiFi networks is real. Don’t think that your neighbors won’t use your WiFi network just because they have their own — they will.

You should encrypt your WiFi and protect it with a strong password that can’t be easily guessed. A strong password should:

  • Include a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers.
  • Don’t use common passwords, such as 123456, qwerty, and so on. You can find a list of the most common passwords here.
  • Make sure the password is at least 8 characters long. Short passwords can be easily guessed with brute force.
  • Don’t include any personal information in the password, such as your name, the name of your pet, or your telephone number.
  • Use a unique password and don’t write it on a piece of paper. If you can’t remember it, use a password manager.If you have lots of guests, create a separate guest network and either significantly limit its range or protect it with a different password and change the password on a regular basis.

5. Buy a WiFi Repeater/ Booster/ Extender

 

Even though they are referred to by many names, WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are basically the same thing.

WiFi repeaters are relatively simple devices that take an existing signal from your WiFi router and rebroadcast it as a new network. This new network is just an extension of your main network, and all data that go through it also go through the main network.

WiFi boosters and extenders are very similar, but they also amplify the existing signal before rebroadcasting it to create a second network. Because WiFi boosters typically have greater range than WiFi repeaters, they make sense in situations where the original signal is very weak.

 

A good repeater or booster costs less than $100, and it can be installed in a few minutes by anyone since the installation process usually involves only the press of the WPS button.

To achieve the best performance when using a WiFi repeater or booster, it’s a good idea to use a WiFi booster app to analyze existing WiFi coverage and determine the optimal way how to extend the existing WiFi network.

 

6. Switch to a Different WiFi Channel

 

Just like lanes on the highway, there are multiple WiFi channels on which a WiFi router can broadcast. Even though most countries have six non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11, and 14), many users leave their router set on the default channel, which is usually either Channel 1 or Channel 6.

This results in a WiFi traffic jam as too many packets are trying to drive on the same line. The solution is simple: find out which channel is occupied the least and switch to it. This can be done with the help of NetSpot, a professional and easy-to-use WiFi analysis and surveillance tool.

 

With a new channel selected, you need to tell your WiFi router to use it:

  1. Log in to your router as admin.
  2. Go to Settings and look for Wireless Settings.
  3. You should see an option called Channel. The chances are that it will be set to Auto.
  4. Select the desired channel.
  5. Save the new settings and wait for your router to restart.

You can now verify that your router is broadcasting on the new channel using a WiFi network analyzer like NetSpot.

 

7. Control Bandwidth-Hungry Applications and Clients

It takes just one bandwidth-hungry application or a client to make download and upload speeds come to a crawl for everyone else on the same WiFi network. Luckily, modern routers support services like QoS (Quality of Service), which allow users to prioritize certain applications over others. With QoS, your online gaming session won’t ever be interrupted again by a person watching a 1440p video on YouTube or downloading a huge Linux distribution from the Internet.

To change your router’s QoS settings:

  1. Log in to your router as admin.
  2. Go to Settings and open the Wireless Settings tab.
  3. Locate the QoS Settings.
  4. Configure your QoS rules.
  5. Save the new settings and wait for your router to restart.

Some routers make it very easy to configure QoS settings, while other routers are far from intuitive. When in doubt, consult the manufacturer of your router.

8. Use the Latest WiFi Technologies

The newest wireless technology, IEEE 802.11ac, offers superior download and upload speeds as well as improved range compared to older WiFi technologies, such as IEEE 802.11b, g, and others. To take advantage of the latest WiFi technologies to boost home WiFi, you need to make sure that both your home router and your WiFi-enabled devices, such as smartphones and laptops, support them.

When selecting a new WiFi router with support for IEEE 802.11ac, don’t pick the most affordable model you can find. Unless your budget is very strict, it’s always worth spending extra to purchase a router with excellent range and modern features such as MU-MIMO, Quality of Service, guest networks, gigabit Ethernet ports, and replaceable external antennas.

9. Switch to 5 GHz

The 5 GHz wireless frequency provides faster data rates at shorter distances and is typically much less busy than the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. If your router supports it, consider switching to it for an instant short-range speed boost.

How to boost your WiFi by switching your router to 5 GHz:

  1. Log in to your router as admin.
  2. Go to Settings and open the Wireless Settings tab.
  3. Change the 802.11 band from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz.
  4. Click apply.
  5. Restart your router to apply the new settings.

10. Don’t Forget to Reboot

The timeless IT advice, “If it doesn’t work, try switching it on and off”, also applies to WiFi routers. A simple reboot is often enough to considerably improve your WiFi speeds.

A reboot clears the router’s memory and allows updates to install.

Reference: https://www.netspotapp.com/top-10-ways-to-boost-wifi.html

fiber-vs-wireless-internet

Fiber vs. Wireless Internet

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Fiber vs. Wireless Internet: Evaluating the Best Option

In 2013, SanDisk found that slow Internet connections cost employees “one week per year of productivity.” Multiply this by your employee count, and you’ve highlighted a huge opportunity to increase your efficiency.

Still, high Internet speeds often come with a high Internet bill, and for some, that may not be necessary. What’s important is that your network isn’t the source of limited productivity.

There’s a lot of work that comes along with planning your business Internet service. By looking at requirements from your business internet access providers and weighing their importance, you’ll be able to make a more educated decision.

Once you know your requirements, use the list below to help you understand the possibilities of fiber and wireless Internet so you can make the best choice for your company.

Pros and Cons of Fiber Internet

Fiber Internet is the wired choice of our present times. It has replaced traditional copper-based facilities such as T-1, DSL and Ethernet over Copper. With high speeds and extremely reliable service, we have found that our customer are only choosing copper when fiber isn’t available or too expensive to obtain.

Pro #1: Connection Quality

The top benefit of fiber optic Internet is the quality of your connection. Unlike other wired connections, and especially wireless, fiber’s signal barely degrades the further it moves from the source of the connection. For example, copper has a distance limitation that can’t even be addressed adequatly with repeaters. At a certain distance, you simply run out of signal.

Additionally, fiber has a significantly higher resistance to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio-frequency interference (RFI), meaning the signal won’t be disturbed by things that carry an electrical signal, like power lines or your building’s physical infrastructure.

Since environmental factors have little effect on fiber, it can reach speeds anywhere from 50 Mbps to 100Gbps. This speed is unmatched by competing technologies.

Pro #2: Security

Another advantage for fiber is its ability to maintain a more secure network. With DDoS attacks on the rise, it’s essential to keep your business safe in any manner possible. The only way to disrupt fiber optic Internet is to cut a cable. If a fiber cable is compromised, the entire system is impacted due to a disrupted signal, allowing you to identify breaches more rapidly and react accordingly. This is as opposed to copper circuits which can be tapped and data can be intercepted without you knowing it.

Since there are no signals radiated externally from the cable, it also makes it impossible for others to “listen in” on your transmission, further securing your network.

Pro #3: Scalability

Optical fibers are five times smaller and twenty times lighter than copper wires making them easier to install than other options. They also allow for easy upgrades of equipment since new cables can be laid over the original fiber. This makes it a great solution for growing businesses or those looking for network expansion.

Since fibers can be turned on or off as required, businesses can install fiber optic cables in preparation for future growth and route their service until it’s required.

Pro #4: Overall Cost

While the initial cost may be higher (more on this later), the overall cost of using fiber optic Internet is lower than other methods.

Fiber cables require less for maintenance costs as they’re resistant to corrosion, making their connection much more reliable. This makes them the leading option in areas where other wires may be exposed to elements and require replacement over time.

A study by Grand View Research forecasts a consistent growth in fiber usage. As it becomes more popular on the market, prices will continue to reach competitive levels, making it, even more, cost-effective for businesses.

Con #1: Risk of Damage

While there are benefits of fiber optic cables being light and thin, they’re also at a higher risk to physical damage. If unprotected, it is significantly easier to damage these cables during rewiring or renovations to your infrastructure. It’s important to hire companies that understand how to work with fiber cables when installing as cables can be damaged, especially around corners.

With the higher risk of these cables being physically damaged, it also leads to the potential of more people being affected. Since more employees are using the same cable, an outage could lead to a larger disruption in productivity throughout your business.

Con #2: Initial Cost

With lower overall costs, compared to other traditional methods of connectivity, there’s still an initial setup cost that may raise some red flags with your CFO. Along with the cost of the cables comes the installation fees, permits, the connection nexuses and fiber endpoints, as well as the specialized tools for setup and testing. Many of these costs can be mitigated or dropped completely if your building is already wired for fiber.

Pros and Cons of Wireless Internet

Wireless, whether is uses licensed or unlicensed spectrum, has been around for years. I first setup a customer with a wireless connection to the Internet in 1998! The technology has progressed dramatically since that time and bandwidth of a 1000 Mbps or more are possible, at short distances. It provides a low-cost entry to getting your company on a network and the freedom to move about, but it’s limited bandwidth and security risks may be enough to point you in another direction.

Pro #1: Initial Cost

Wireless networks offer a solution to fiber-optic’s high initial cost in places where fiber is not already built out. Much of the installation fees are diminished as wireless networks don’t require as extensive an operation as fiber. For a short-term fix, wireless could be the best option for your company. You’d only need an antenna and network access that the antenna connects to.

Pro #2: Quick Installation

With wireless Internet connectivity, it is possible to setup a connection in a day, if antenna is available. There is no digging required and no reliance on a third party such as the phone company or a fiber carrier. I had a customer in a downtown Washington DC townhouse that we setup on a 100 Mbps wireless connection in less than a week.

Pro #3: Hot Spots

Depending on your type of business, having the ability for customers to access hot spots within your network could be a great benefit. This could be separate from the network your employees use, providing a bit more security for your internal use.

Con #1: Signal Strength

One of the largest issues with wireless Internet is that signal strength degrades the further you move from a broadcast station. Fiber optics mitigate this through a wired network, but wireless, even at its best, isn’t able to provide the same high-speeds to your company.

Con #2: Security

Maintaining security with wireless networks is far more demanding than with a fiber optic network. Where a fiber optic cable must be cut for access, anyone with the right skills can access a wireless network. There are also limited ways for them to be tracked. It’s harder to crack when using licensed spectrum, but with wi-fi, security risks may result in use just for general use transmission rather than data that really should be protected from compromise.

If maintaining a secure network is of extreme importance to your business, using wireless Internet connectivity, especially unlicensed specture, may not be the right choice for you.

Fiber vs. Wireless Internet: Which is Best for Your Business?

While the decision comes down to your business’s goals and future plans, nothing says you can’t have the best of both worlds.

A wireless network is a great backup solution in case your fiber optic Internet goes down. The two can, and should, complement each other, providing the speed and reliability of fiber, with the mobility of wireless. It also has utility for rural locations where it is prohibitively expensive to run fiber. If transmitting any kind of sensitive data, it is available to use licensed spectrum so you’re not using public frequencies which are vulnerable to compromise.

For those in an urban area, where fiber optic cables have, more than likely, already been run, consider adding them to your own infrastructure and making use of the fastest Internet speeds on the market.

While you’re making your decision, you should check out our Insider’s Guide to Fiber Connectivity. It has everything you need for understanding the capabilities of fiber and how to get started with high speed internet in your company.

 

Source: https://www.atlantech.net

IPv6

Six Benefits Of IPv6

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With IPv6, everything from appliances to automobiles can be interconnected. But an increased number of IT addresses isn’t the only advantage of IPv6 over IPv4. In honor of World IPv6 Day, here are six more good reasons to make sure your hardware, software, and services support IPv6.

With IPv6, everything from appliances to automobiles can be interconnected. But an increased number of IT addresses isn’t the only advantage of IPv6 over IPv4. In honor of World IPv6 Day, here are six more good reasons to make sure your hardware, software, and services support IPv6.

  1. More Efficient Routing
    IPv6 reduces the size of routing tables and makes routing more efficient and hierarchical. IPv6 allows ISPs to aggregate the prefixes of their customers’ networks into a single prefix and announce this one prefix to the IPv6 Internet. In addition, in IPv6 networks, fragmentation is handled by the source device, rather than the router, using a protocol for discovery of the path’s maximum transmission unit (MTU).
  2. More Efficient Packet Processing
    IPv6’s simplified packet header makes packet processing more efficient. Compared with IPv4, IPv6 contains no IP-level checksum, so the checksum does not need to be recalculated at every router hop. Getting rid of the IP-level checksum was possible because most link-layer technologies already contain checksum and error-control capabilities. In addition, most transport layers, which handle end-to-end connectivity, have a checksum that enables error detection.
  3. Directed Data Flows
    IPv6 supports multicast rather than broadcast. Multicast allows bandwidth-intensive packet flows (like multimedia streams) to be sent to multiple destinations simultaneously, saving network bandwidth. Disinterested hosts no longer must process broadcast packets. In addition, the IPv6 header has a new field, named Flow Label, that can identify packets belonging to the same flow.
  4. Simplified Network Configuration
    Address auto-configuration (address assignment) is built in to IPv6. A router will send the prefix of the local link in its router advertisements. A host can generate its own IP address by appending its link-layer (MAC) address, converted into Extended Universal Identifier (EUI) 64-bit format, to the 64 bits of the local link prefix.
  5. Support For New Services
    By eliminating Network Address Translation (NAT), true end-to-end connectivity at the IP layer is restored, enabling new and valuable services. Peer-to-peer networks are easier to create and maintain, and services such as VoIP and Quality of Service (QoS) become more robust.
  6. Security
    IPSec, which provides confidentiality, authentication and data integrity, is baked into in IPv6. Because of their potential to carry malware, IPv4 ICMP packets are often blocked by corporate firewalls, but ICMPv6, the implementation of the Internet Control Message Protocol for IPv6, may be permitted because IPSec can be applied to the ICMPv6 packets.Ref: http://www.networkcomputing.com/networking/six-benefits-ipv6/1148014746

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