By: Alex Bracetti
Wi-Fi is basically on par with water and oxygen in terms of basic human needs, so when your Internet starts lagging like it's on a dial-up connection from the days of yore, the situation can get pretty dire. Let that never be the case, ever. Here are 11 Wi-Fi-boosting tips so you can solve your connectivity woes once and for all and get back to streaming Scrotal Recall.
Credit: Flickr/Robert Agthe
Relocate your router
If you've got a massive mess of devices and wires, and your router's caught right in the middle of it, that's Wi-Fi suicide. Metal objects, thick walls, and media-filled cabinets are also a wireless connection's kryptonite. Since placement is key, set up the device in an open area, ideally a few feet off the ground to avoid any electrical interference from other wireless gizmos. Another ideal spot is high on a flat surface like a bookshelf.
Disconnect old devices from your network
Standard protocol when you get a new laptop or that sweet new Apple TV is to link it up with your home Wi-Fi, right? Here's the thing: in order to take full advantage of the router's connection, you need to disable all previous devices from the same network. This is easily done on a MacBook by clicking the Wi-Fi menu icon on the system's menu bar > Turn Wi-FI Off > Enter Admin password (if necessary). Windows users can go to Notifications > Right-click icon > Disable.
Plug in with an Ethernet cable
Looking to Netflix and chill at a much faster pace? Use an Ethernet cable to speed things up. AppleTV, Roku, Amazon TV, and your laptop (duh) all have an Ethernet port where you can plug directly into your router, freeing up the machine for faster speeds and less interference. This also provides an open lane for other Wi-Fi-enabled devices to operate without any lag. Use a Cat6 cable for best results.
Discover hotspots with the Network Analyzer app
Unsurprisingly, your smartphone can also help you find the best wireless locations for your router and troubleshoot connectivity issues. The Network Analyzer app is a great multipurpose tool that can execute an entire LAN scan and ping test to determine Internet speeds. From there, the ping test will discover other devices that are potentially causing network issues and you can either relocate the router or switch to the best channel.
Try the tin-foil hack
What's been considered an urban legend in most tech circles has become a credible formality amongst DIY geeks. Aluminum foil can actually help boost your router's strength. Create a reflector using tin foil you've got laying around in the kitchen, or use a beer or soda can. It will help increase your Wi-Fi signal and make it more directional.
To find out 6 more ways to easily boost your Wi-Fi capabilities, get the full story at Thrillist.com!
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