It’s a typical household scenario nowadays: You and your significant other are trying to burn through your backlog of House of Cards episodes on Netflix™; your son is enjoying a little online gaming; your daughter is Skyping friends on her laptop; and your toddlers are fighting over the iPad™. All this bandwidth-sucking behavior can bring your home network to a screeching halt—unless, that is, your network can take the abuse.
In fact, the home network has never been more important considering almost every device in your home, from speakers to light bulbs to TVs to game consoles to thermostats, is able to connect to the Internet. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep you up and running, despite network traffic.
Go wired where possible
While wiring Ethernet to every possible device is impractical, not to mention messy, wired connections are inherently more reliable and not susceptible to network interference like a wireless network is. Bandwidth-sucking applications like online gaming and 4K Ultra HD streaming can slow your wireless network to a crawl. Wired networks simply don’t have to compete for bandwidth on the extremely crowded wireless airwaves, making them smooth operators for all your multimedia and home control needs.
Get the right router
Of course, we are also realists, and understand the undeniable appeal of wireless everything. No wires, no installation, and the ability to move your devices around make wireless technology popular.
To get the best performance from a wireless system, first and foremost, you need a sturdy router. We recommend a concurrent dual-band router which simultaneously uses two frequencies, 2.4 GHz and the less-crowded 5GHz. Just like a freeway with a carpool lane moves faster, dual-band routers simply have more room to shuttle network traffic around. Because the 5GHz band has less interference, it’s great for things like streaming video, where dropouts are nothing short of annoying.
Get the latest tech
Look for Wi-Fi products that have the latest generation of wireless technology, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac. These products have been tested by the Wi-Fi Alliance and are certified to deliver higher data rates for demanding applications, like the aforementioned 4K Ultra HD video. All single-band Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac products operate in the 5GHz band, though most routers are dual band.
Location is important
For optimal results, don’t locate your router in a corner of the house. Put it in the center for total coverage and avoid surrounding it with Wi-Fi-blocking materials, like metal and concrete.
Extend your range
Are you constantly roaming around with your laptop, looking for a spot that has signal? If so, you may benefit from a Wi-Fi range extender or repeater, which boosts signal to problematic areas of the home for more consistent coverage.
Give us a call
Dealing with your home network (not to mention your Internet Service Provider) can be frustrating. If you’ve tried all these things and aren’t seeing improvements—or if you prefer to leave the home network up to the experts, give us call. We will get you streamlined in time for summer, when kids will be out of school and hogging bandwidth night and day.