Wi-Fi Tools that Boost Your Network Performance

Dead zones are the ultimate downfall of an otherwise efficient wireless network. You’ve probably experienced a dead zone in your own home at some point. Maybe you were trying to stream the big game in the family room of your home and were met with constant buffering, or you couldn’t get strong enough Wi-Fi in your garage to play your favorite Pandora playlist. The frustration sets in and you’re left with questions: do I need faster Internet speeds from my Internet service provider? Is my router faulty? Why does my Wi-Fi work upstairs but not in the basement?

Wi-Fi Performance

Fast and functional Wi-Fi is essential in today’s connected homes. More devices than ever depend on your home network to work properly. Research from Parks Associates shows that over 30% of computing and entertainment device owners have experienced loss of wireless connectivity. Many of those users identified their home network router to be the source of the issues. How your home network and wireless connection perform depends on a wide variety of factors.

The Top Four Causes of Wi-Fi Dead Spots Include:

1. Distance between your device and your wireless router.
2. The actual construction of your home.
3. Interference from obstructions like large metal objects, shelves and metal walls.
4. Other Wi-Fi networks from nearby neighbors.

Unless you are designing and custom building your home, up to three of these factors are beyond your control. Fortunately, there are easy to install tools available on the market that allow you to take your control of your wireless network and eliminate wireless dead zones, wherever they may be.

Understanding Your Wireless Networking Needs

To create a fully functional home network takes planning, starting with your Internet speed needs. Things to consider include: the number of Wi-Fi devices in your home, the number of streaming devices, your home’s size, and the number of floors in your home. In addition, how you intend to use your Internet plays an important role in determining the Internet speeds you need.

  • For casual web browsing and checking email, 2-4 Mbps download speeds will do the trick. Some web pages and emails with a lot of content or large files may load slowly at these speeds.
  • 4-6 Mbps download speeds offer an improved Internet surfing experience and you may be able to download HD videos over a longer period of time. Netflix recommends 5.0 Mbps download speeds for watching HD quality videos. For streaming with Hulu, you can use Hulu’s auto-select feature to match the best viewing quality for your bandwidth.
  • 6-8 Mbps provides you with an excellent connection for web browsing and is generally enough to stream HD video.
  • 10-20 Mbps is enough to have a fast and reliable streaming experience and fast downloads. Anything above 20 Mbps is great for users who run a lot of Internet applications simultaneously.

By answering 5 simple questions, Actiontec’s Wi-Fi Planner tool can help you calculate the speed you need based on these factors and other helpful tools that can boost your Wi-Fi performance, such as Wi-Fi extenders.

Wi-Fi Tools

Three tools to help eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones:

Router Placement – The location of your router has a significant impact on Wi-Fi signal strength and range. Things like walls, doors, floors and even what your home is made of can impact your router’s performance. To optimize your home network, place your router in a centrally located area in your home, away from home appliances like microwaves and baby monitors that could cause radio interference.

Wi-Fi Extenders – A study conducted by Parks Associates found that 22% of US broadband households have a Wi-Fi extender to target wireless connectivity issues. Wireless network extenders are capable of delivering high speed wireless connections by using the coaxial ports within your home.

Network Adapters – Network adapters help to create a blanket network over your home, using a series of nodes that communicate with your existing router. An adpater can be placed in a room with weak or non-existent Wi-Fi signal to create a channel to the router in another area of the home.

Optimize Your Network for Peak Performance

To truly maximize your home network’s potential, managing all aspects of your home network is essential. Actiontec’s Optim Managed Wi-Fi solution is a managed Wi-Fi service available through select Internet service providers that offers tools to boost your Wi-Fi’s performance. Optim makes managing your entire network easy by providing you with a holistic view of your home network on an easy to navigate dashboard, including your router, network extenders, adapters and devices. Advanced software automatically detects weak Wi-Fi signals and other underperforming network components for easy diagnosis and solutions. If you find yourself struggling to troubleshoot network issues, Optim provides you with a direct line of communication to your Internet service provider’s tech team, saving you from the headache of setting up a house call.

Creating an efficient Wi-Fi network can be complicated and frustrating, especially when you encounter dead spots in your home. By supplementing your router with Wi-Fi boosters, you can create a fast, functional network even in the farthest corners of your home. After optimizing your network, you can kick back and enjoy endless streaming and effortless browsing anywhere in your home.

Are you currently experiencing network issues that have you stumped? You can find more tips on improving your Wi-Fi on Actiontec’s Complete Guide to Wi-Fi Boosters. For the latest in technology and evolving tech trends, check out the Actiontec Blog!

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