– Sara Jo Walker, Director of Public Relations, Comcast
According to the Consumer Electronics Association, about 65% of Americans are planning to buy technology-related gifts this year – and many of those items, will rely on the Wi-Fi in your home. If your Wi-Fi router isn’t set up correctly, you may not be getting the speeds you need or are paying for. Additionally, more Wi-Fi-enabled devices, whether they are new gifts or those of your holiday guests, may impact your Wi-Fi performance.
On behalf of Comcast South, I would like to offer a few quick and simple ways to improve your home Wi-Fi signal during the holidays and throughout the year. Here are five tips to make sure your Wi-Fi is set up to give you the best signal strength and speed.
- “The Router on the Shelf” One of the most important tips for making the most of your in-home Wi-Fi is to keep your wireless router in the center of your home. Make sure that your router is off the ground (at least five feet if possible) and in a central location. Be sure to avoid corners, closets, cabinets, basements, and rooms surrounded by windows, a portion of your signal will go outside for the birds to enjoy. Finally, don’t hide your router under stairs or on a shelf in the furthest room of the house. It can restrict how far the signal can travel.
- “You’ll Shoot Your Wi-Fi Out Kid” There are many household electronics, devices and appliances that might be interfering with your Wi-Fi and affecting its performance. One of the most common causes for interference is having your router behind or next to your television. Other household appliances that may affect Wi-Fi performance include microwaves, cordless home phones, gaming systems and remotes, baby monitors and Bluetooth devices. Additionally, certain materials, such as steel siding and concrete, can degrade wireless performance. Understanding what may be impacting your Internet speeds can help you place your equipment in a more ideal location.
- “The Grinch Who Stole Your Signal” Holiday gifts aren’t like they used to be. These days, many holiday must-haves require an in-home Wi-Fi connection including tablets, portable Bluetooth speakers, video game consoles, smartphones, smart televisions and event smart toys! The number of devices connected at the same time and how they’re being used play critical roles in performance. If your Internet doesn’t seem to be working at its maximum potential, you may need to talk to your provider to assess your wireless device and your Internet plans.
- “Home Not-Alone” If you’re planning to host family and friends for the holidays, your guests will want to get online for social media, sports applications, online gaming, shopping, streaming, and more, so it’s important to make sure your Wi-Fi is up to speed. Most newer wireless routers have two frequencies – 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz. Most devices connect to 2.4 GHz by default, meaning the 5 GHz spectrum is generally less crowded and faster. It’s also better for applications requiring high bandwidth like streaming video. If your Wireless Gateway has both wireless radio bands, tell your visitors to set their devices to 5 GHz in the Wi-Fi Settings menu.
- “Should Old Equipment Be Forgot” Can your modem and router support the speeds your Internet service provider is delivering? If your wireless equipment is more than a few years’ old, it might be time for an upgrade. If you rent equipment from your provider, give the company a call to determine whether your modem and wireless router need to be swapped out. Another important tip is to restart your router every four to six weeks. Chances are, regardless of who your Internet service provider is, the company is constantly making updates to your service. To take advantage of these upgrades, you will need to restart your router and modem.
Sara Jo Walker is the Director of Public Relations for Comcast. To learn more about Comcast South, visit ComcastSouth.com or follow @ComcastSouth on Twitter and Instagram.