Say Goodbye to Dead Spots and Hello to Mesh Wi-Fi
For today’s connected homeowner, those Wi-Fi dead spots with a weak or nonexistent signal are truly a pain. To get the internet everywhere in your home, you may need special equipment and a little troubleshooting.
Help is on the way. By doing some investigating, then installing a mesh Wi-Fi system yourself, you can overcome those dead spots and stay connected to your favorite websites, streaming and applications.
What causes dead spots on a Wi-Fi network?
Every house is different, so do some sleuthing to find out the cause inside your home. Long distances and physical barriers such as drywall, concrete, appliances and furniture could be the culprit.
Wi-Fi signals are airborne, and a clear line of sight between your device and the router is sometimes necessary for the best possible connection. Anything standing in the way—like thick walls—may be preventing you from having the best internet access.
Distance also contributes to dead spots. Wi-Fi signals grow weaker the farther they travel from the router to your device. A router in your home office at one end of your house may not reach every room, making it harder to connect to the network or limiting your signal. Reaching your garage or a backyard home office is also harder the farther away they are from your home’s router. Keep in mind, the slower your Wi-Fi speed, the farther it will travel. So while 5 GHz (gigahertz) is a faster band on your router, it’s coverage will be more limited. (See below for switching your router settings.)
How to fix Wi-Fi dead spots
Whatever the cause, fixing the problem means changing something about your network or adjusting your router. One of these will probably work.
- Check your router – Since it’s fairly simple to check your router, it should always be your first step if you find dead spots. Make sure it’s on, plugged in and working properly. Reboot it. Test your Wi-Fi in a few places in your house.
- Switch your router settings – The frequency bands your Wi-Fi might use are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. If your router is set on 5GHz now, make the switch to 2GHz. It might be a slower path, but it’s probably a more reliable path. See if that helps. To change it, and learn more about channels, check here.
- Change your router location – Moving your router closer to where you use the internet most may be all you need to get online again. Try placing your router in a central location or perhaps closer to your home office.
- Replace your router’s antenna – A bent, unextended or outdated antenna may cause your router to fall short. You may be able to upgrade your antenna– just detach it and shop online for a new one to use.
- Extend your Wi-Fi network – Using a Wi-Fi extender or home Wi-Fi booster, you can amplify your Wi-Fi signal and increase its reach. These devices work with your router to expand your existing signal and aren’t a replacement for your router. Note that while the extender can help, the newly covered area may have a different Wi-Fi password, and you’ll have to make sure you’ve put the passwords into your devices.
- Connect a powerline adapter – Through your home’s electrical wiring, powerline adapters transmit signals through an ethernet connection, providing an alternative that helps your network overcome physical and distance limitations. These systems can be a great solution if you have a single device, such as your work-from-home laptop, that needs coverage in a Wi-Fi dead spot where you’ve set up your home office.
- Commit to a mesh system – By bringing your main router together with mesh routers, you’ll have better coverage with a single password. Mesh Wi-Fi provides multiple access points and therefore provides an ideal way to extend and optimize your internet signal in your home.
Invest in the best mesh Wi-Fi system to eliminate dead spots
Mesh is the easiest way to eliminate dead spots. Mesh extends your Wi-Fi signal by using satellite routers to broadcast the signal created by your main router. The Wi-Fi mesh network blankets your home with a responsive Wi-Fi connection that knows where the internet traffic is and can adjust accordingly. As a result, you get a better Wi-Fi experience. Keep in mind, a mesh system doesn’t provide the fastest speed and can, in some cases, significantly reduce your Wi-Fi speed—but you will have Wi-Fi.
Use a Wi-Fi dead spot finder to know where to place mesh satellites
Walking through your home and guessing at dead spots isn’t too efficient. Many internet service providers (ISPs) will check your home network for any dead zones when they install or service your network, then recommend the best solution. Ask your ISP if they provide this service.
There are also a few apps to find dead spots on your own. Wi-Fi SweetSpots is an iOS app that helps you find the fastest and slowest Wi-Fi spots in your home. Using this app, you can plan your router and mesh satellite placements and decide where to set up your devices. NetSpot is available for Mac or Windows, creating a heatmap showing your Wi-Fi strength throughout your house using a color-coded map.
Can Frontier fiber gig speeds give life to dead Wi-Fi?
Mesh networks are the simplest DIY solution for Wi-Fi coverage, even if they do take a bite out of your Wi-Fi speed. The best way to ensure you’ll have the fastest speed possible is to start with a Frontier® fiber connection. The speeds to your home come fast as a gig (and getting faster). Ready to see when you can bring fiber home? Check to see when it will be available at your address.
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