Home Designer Tips

What’s slowing down your internet?

• Router location: Make sure your router is in the central most part of your home and away from windows, aquariums, and appliances such as cordless phones and baby monitors. It should be off the floor as well.

• Plaster and other dense materials: Do you live in an older home? Plaster walls hinder the Wi-Fi signal, so be aware that your signal may be affected. Granite counter tops can also slow the signal, so the kitchen may not be the best place for your router.

• Airwaves clutter: The average home as at least a half dozen devices using the Wi-Fi. Laptops, phones, tablets, speakers, appliances, televisions, security cameras, and more are all using bandwidth and may be slowing down service.

• Outdated router: If your router can’t keep up with your speed plan, it might be time to upgrade to a new device.

It’s spring, and with that many homeowners clean and declutter their homes. If you’re rearranging, be careful where you place your home internet router because, just like real estate, location is key.

“A lot of people like to hide their router under a desk or tucked away in a book shelf. If you have your router tucked away, you may not get a great signal,” said Michelle Gilbert, Vice President of Public Relations for Comcast Cable Heartland Region.

The best location for the router, Gilbert said, is the center of the home and off the floor. Avoid placing the router near windows, because otherwise, the signal may be inadvertently sent outside.

Items in the home can hinder the Wi-Fi signal as well. Other appliances, especially items like baby monitors, microwaves and cordless phones, dense materials like granite countertops, and plaster walls are a few of the common things that may slow down the Wi-Fi. Beware of the home aquarium as well.

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“A place where there is a lot of water is also not the best place due to the water being able to absorb the signal,” said Jim Marangos, General Manager of Operations at Computer Design Solutions (CDS) Inc. in Shelby Township. CDS assists customers with computer and phone problems, including issues with the router and Wi-Fi.

The number of devices on the network may slow it down as well, so Gilbert says it’s important to be aware of what’s using the home’s Wi-Fi. The average household has more than seven active devices on the network each day, with 6 percent of homes having more than 15 active devices.

“There’s no question that the number increases every year. I think 10-12 devices connected is conservative,” Gilbert said.

Some homeowners may think that there’s no way they have up to a dozen devices connected to their home Wi-Fi, but think again.

“Most people start with their laptops, tablets, and their phones and think that’s it,” Gilbert said. “For most of us, that’s not it. We have speakers, a Nest thermostat, a smart TV, some appliances, printers, (and) Blu-ray players.”

When the router is forced to communicate with several devices, including those which are older, the Wi-Fi signal may slow. Gilbert recommends connecting newer devices to the 5 gigahertz band, while putting older devices on the 2.4.

Marangos suggests buying another router and using both. “Adding another router to the one you already have will give more people access, and more access points will give you more range,” he said.

While you’re thinking about your router, it wouldn’t hurt to change the password, especially with recent warnings that foreign hackers may target home routers. “If someone gets into your home internet and they’re sophisticated enough, they could potentially lift private information that you wouldn’t want them to have,” Gilbert said.

At the very least, it’s good to change your password to prevent an outsider from using your precious bandwidth, Gilbert added.

If you still have issues with your Wi-Fi, it might be time to look at your plan. While most customers do well with 50 to 70 megabytes per second, some people may want to opt for a higher plan.

Gilbert suggested visiting an Xfinity store and talking with a professional about individual needs, or calling your internet service provider directly.

Source : http://www.theoaklandpress.com/lifestyle/20180419/experts-offer-tips-on-ways-to-improve-home-internet-functionality-security

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