If your broadband speeds are grinding to a halt on a regular basis, then you might want to take note of some top tips from Google. The US search firm has revealed some very useful advice on how to get the web whizzing around your home a little speedier than before. All the tips are free to try, although Google has released them to coincide with a price cut to its Wi-Fi boosting gadgets, which start from £89.99.
If you weren’t already aware, the Google Wi-Fi replaces the router supplied by your Internet Service Provider and boosts the signal around your property. It also adds handy feature, like the ability to limit internet to younger family member’s gadgets at certain times of day, or prioritise a device over all others (handy if you’re on a Zoom call).
However, even if you’re not interested in buying one of these Google-branded broadband boosters, the Google tips should work with most standard routers and, if your internet is rubbish, it’s worth seeing if any of them help speed things up.
Always, always make your network password-protected
Having an “open network” without a password might seem convenient since there’s no need to remember a complicated and easy to forget password. But be warned. Leaving things protected means strangers can join your Wi-Fi network and compromise it.
When adding protection choose a strong password that’s tough for anyone to guess, but easy for you to remember. Most routers come with passwords enabled straight out of the box but, if you’ve turned it off then it might be time to switch things back on again.
Create a separate Wi-Fi network for guests
If you have kids at home, or just get a lot of guests, chances are you’ve handed out your Wi-Fi password a lot. Setting up a guest network creates a second Wi-Fi network in your home so your guests can have a great experience while your own devices stay secure and private.
Maximise your bandwidth where it matters
Due to the COVID crisis, there’s been a surge in people online with families using the web to watch movies, download games and answer endless Zoom calls. All this means that internet service provider networks are increasingly congested, leading to general internet slowdowns and buffering on your video calls. And if lots of devices and services are demanding bandwidth at the same time this issue can get even worse.
Many modern routers today allow you to see how much bandwidth your devices are using, allowing you to identify the devices and services that are heavy users
Place your router as centrally as possible
Wi-Fi signals get weaker the farther away you go from your router, so if you keep your router by the front door, your videos might load more slowly if you’re trying to watch them by the back door. So if you can, place your router as centrally as possible within your home, though this may not always be possible depending on where your internet provider brings in the connection. And if you don’t mind your router sitting on the work top, keep it out in the open. If you can avoid hiding it by a bookcase or filing cabinet, you can really help boost your Wi-Fi signal.
If your home has dead zones
Consider creating a mesh network. Routers such as the Google Wi-Fi and Nest Wi-Fi communicate with each other and create a seamless single network over a large area.
While network strength varies depending on things like the size of your house and your ISP, the idea is that this system provides consistently strong coverage for all connected devices throughout your home.