Bring your home WiFi dead zones to life

(StatePoint)We've come to expect Wi-Fi to reach into every corner of our houses whether it’s to stream a movie from the bedroom or lock the front door. The reality is there are sad places in many homes called “dead zones" where we can't get a steady Wi-Fi signal or (Gasp) any signal at all.

“Dead zones typically include bathrooms, second and third story bedrooms, attics, basements, garages and back patios -- and they can drive everyone in the house absolutely crazy,” says Jeff Parker, the “Wi-Fi Guru,” and editor of the Milo Wi-Fi Blog, a source for practical advice, new products, and leading-edge technology.
So, given today’s demand for Wi-Fi access, what is the most economical and effective strategy for winning the battle against dead zones? Parker offers five no-cost/low-cost suggestions:

1. Keep your router (the electronic thing that sends out the WiFi signal) away from metal. Objects such as mirrors, televisions, appliances or anything large made primarily of metal (even fish tanks) have the potential to impair your network’s signal strength. If possible, keep such items and your router apart.

2. Switch to a less crowded frequency. In living spaces like apartment buildings, too many broadcasting networks can interfere with each other and impact Wi-Fi quality. Because routers broadcast across two wireless frequency bands, 2.4 and 5 GHz, when one is too crowded it acts like a highway packed with cars. Switch frequencies within your mobile device settings to use a less crowded channel.

3. Reboot regularly. Routers asked to complete many requests can end up slowing down because of the heavy workload. You can think of rebooting your router as basically refreshing it and clearing any memory or stalled tasks.

4. Get the latest hardware. If you’re still using that dinosaur router from the early 2000s, it’s probably time for an upgrade. Outfitting your home with a smarter and more advanced router could be the solution to your Wi-Fi woes. Internet service providers often provide router upgrades by request for no charge.

5. Consider a distributed mesh Wi-Fi system. This consists of a main router connected to a modem and a series of satellite Wi-Fi distribution modules placed throughout the house. Those from Milo provide a strong uninterrupted signal to every Wi-Fi device in the home, from attic to basement.

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