If you want fast broadband speeds then it’s worth checking your Wi-Fi router’s position without delay. BT has issued some very useful advice about the worst place to pop this flashing black box and a simple change could help to improve your home’s connectivity. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) says that popping the router on a window ledge – which is quite a common practice – is actually a really bad idea.
That’s because the signal which emits from this device can end up going straight through the glass and out in the open air rather than being beamed around the rooms in your property.
Explaining more, BT said: “Move your hub away from the window – your hub broadcasts wi-fi in all directions and half of your signal will go outside, rather than your home.”
The best place for any router is off of the floor but in a central position as this gives it the best chance of filling the whole home with internet access.
Along with finding a better place to put this broadband-supplying gadget, there are some other top tips to consider including upgrading your smartphone, laptop or tablet. That’s because some ageing PCs and phones aren’t able to cope with modern download speeds.
“If your wi-fi isn’t as fast as you expected, it might have nothing to do with your connection, but could be due to the age and power of your device,” said BT.
“Typically the newer it is, the faster the wireless speed it will support. For example, a smartphone from 2013 can handle around half the wi-fi speeds of a modern phone.”
The best way to check the speed coming into a property is to plug in a laptop to the router via an Ethernet cable and then run a speed test. If it differs greatly from other gadgets connected via Wi-Fi you know there’s an issue that’s nothing to do with your ISP.
If you’re Zoom calls are still being hit by annoying stuttering then the next thing that is worth checking is how many people in your home are using the connection.
Broadband is just like a motorway, the more people that are on it, the slower it gets. This means if you have two children both downloading PS5 games, and your partner is streaming Netflix in 4K you won’t get the same speeds as when everyone is out of the house.
“Your speed is also affected by what your broadband is being used for,” BT explained. “For instance, streaming services like Netflix or YouTube, online gaming and video conferencing use more of your broadband speed than checking Facebook, or sending an email.
“And since your connection is shared at home, the number of devices using your broadband at the same time can have an impact on how fast or slow it feels.”
Finally, there’s the age-old trick of turning things off and on again. Yes, flicking the switch, waiting for 30 seconds and then powering things back up can remove errors and bugs. It’s worth doing this at least once every few months.