How to get better WiFi signal
For starters, I’m fortunate enough to have a great router as the backbone of my home WiFi network. It’s the beefy Linksys WRT1900AC.
This router is the Ferrari of hubs:802.11ac wireless connectivity at 1,900 Mbps, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1 USB 3.0 port and 1 USB 2.0/eSATA port, plus a 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor acting as the brains.
You think with all that power behind my Internet, I wouldn’t have any problems streaming HD video to my Chromecast? Or my phone would be able to play YouTube videos without stuttering? Wrong.
The problem is that I, like many people who live in dense cities, have lots of other WiFi connections battling for airspace.
All my neighbour’s WiFi signals, and my own, were crashing into each other, causing interference that affected the performance. Many people’s WiFi signals were on the same, or similar, channels.
I got a free Android app, WiFi Analyzer, to figure out what the wireless looked like in my home. Sure enough, my network was on Channel 1, along with at least two other people’s networks.
How is this possible, considering my router (like many new ones) is designed to automatically pick the best channel to beam from? Why couldn’t my router have used Channel 3 or 6, which appeared to be empty?
When I used the app in the basement, beside my router, it showed that there were no other networks on the same channel automatically selected by my access point. But upstairs, by the TV and in the bedroom, the WiFi channels were as crowded as pedestrians crossing a scramble intersection.
So, I logged into my router’s admin panel and forced it to use Channel 4 on the 2.4 Ghz band. This was the channel that appeared to be the least crowded from my app analysis.
After changing the channel, I streamed video from my laptop to my TV via Chromecast, and the playback was silky smooth – even at the extreme 720p HD setting.