Having a strong and reliable home network is beneficial for the entire family. However, over time your network might become noticeably slow and become a real inconvenience. If you regularly share the login credentials with guests and neighbors, it might compromise the network's security. What measures can you take to avoid this possibility?
5 Pro Tips for Increasing Your Home Network Speed in 2020
You’ll have the best result if you place your router in a central location without any obstruction. The wireless access point should also be as high as possible to guarantee optimum coverage. You can also improve its performance by replacing its in-built antenna with a stronger omnidirectional one, if possible.
2. Upgrade Your Router & Associated Network Equipment
The older a router is, the more unlikely it is to accommodate more devices. You’ll also have a harder time accessing websites that require fast connectivity, such as video streaming and gaming portals. Most routers automatically update their firmware, which also seals any security loopholes.
The latest routers from your carrier operate under the 802.11ac standard, which supports speeds above 3Gbps. They also have backward compatibility with past wireless standards. The 802.11ax standard has even more advanced capabilities, even though most devices are not yet compatible. For the best experience, update all devices that connect to your router.
3. Purchase a Wi-Fi Extender
Wi-Fi extenders are plug-in devices that increase your home network's signal coverage. A more thorough solution involves setting up a mesh Wi-Fi system. It's a collection of various units that are all manageable through an app. This setup improves your network’s signal throughout the house. Its component devices can either communicate wirelessly or through Ethernet cables.
In large homes, you might need to install several access points connected to a PoE switch. These APs can also be part of the mesh system, with a third radio to backhaul signals from satellites to your primary access point or router.
4. Increase Your Bandwidth
Sometimes, the solution is as easy as upgrading to a higher bandwidth plan. The more devices connect to your router, the slower it will be because they're all sharing the same bandwidth allocation. Perform an online speed test to know exactly how fast your current plan is.
5. Change Channels
Wi-Fi has more channels in a 5Ghz range than in a 2.4Ghz alternative. If you're the only one in your immediate area (no other neighbors competing for the same channel), you can pick any channel you wish. The more neighbors competing for the same channel, the more its performance is affected. You can use various solutions to scan your wireless network for free channels. This feature is readily available in Macs. For iOS and Android devices, you can download apps to perform this function.
Make Your Home Network More Secure with These Expert Tips
(i) Use Strong Passwords
While not the most foolproof solution, it helps prevent strangers from accessing your system. The longer a password is, the better it will work. Include special characters to make it harder to guess. Make a habit of regularly changing it to lock out any unwanted users that might be hogging your bandwidth.
(ii) Disable Remote Router Access
Remote access allows you to manage your router from any location, but it also has some downsides. If another person with malicious intent gains access, they could lock you out or inject malware into your network. Turning off remote access means your router console is only accessible by devices connected to your network.
(iii) Change Your SSID
Changing your home network's name makes it harder for hackers to figure out the kind of router you use. It might also discourage them because they know you've taken some security measures. Avoid names that challenge hackers to try to access your network. Political or offensive names are also a bad idea since they might single you out.
Disabling SSID broadcast is a more concrete security measure. It prevents your network from being displayed among "Available Wireless Connections" on other people's devices. Hackers won't be interested in accessing your Wi-Fi if they can't see it in the first place.
(iv) Activate WPA2 Network Encryption
Encryption isn't a default setting in most routers. Enable it by clicking on Wireless--> Wireless Security and assign it a strong password. WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) is currently the most popular and secure solution. WPA2 AES is another standard encryption system that's compatible with all wireless networks.
WPA3 will have significant security improvements over WPA2, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. It'll include individualized data encryption, protection from brute force attacks, and blocking network access after some password guesses.
(v) Turn Off the Network When Not in Use
This simple measure denies bad actors the opportunity to access your system when it's not in use. As a bonus, your network devices are better protected against potential power surges.
Boost Your Home’s Network Speed and Security Today
At Hummingbird Networks, we provide the latest IT products and solutions. We have routers, switches, wireless access points, firewalls, and all the products required for a blazing fast and secure home network. Other than selling, we offer installation, maintenance, and consultation services. For more information on our full range of IT solutions, contact us today.