In today’s On Demand environment, no one has time for slow Wi-Fi, nor the dreaded dead zone. But what can I do without having to spend a nickel. One of the easiest ways to improve your Wi-Fi coverage, which can also increase throughput, is to better position your wireless access point. Another option is to choose a less congested wireless channel. Alternatively choosing to use a different band. What does it all mean?
First let’s discuss optimum location for your access point. Your WAP (Wireless Access Point), is emitting wireless signals on the frequency of 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bands. There are quite a few household items that also share or are close to the 2.4 GHz band. Things such as cordless phones, Bluetooth enabled devices, and your kitchen microwave. To get the best coverage, you want to eliminate the amount of interference from those types of devices. Work to position your WAP as far away and out of range of these devices as possible. Obviously you will not completely be able to avoid interference, unless of course you live in a farad cage.
Now that your WAP is placed in the right place, let’s make sure we are not competing for the same channel space as our neighboring devices. There are lots of tools you can use from smart phone apps, programs for your laptop, as well as hand held devices. I personally use Xirrus or inSSIDer. What you are looking for is to find what other channels are being utilized around you. If everyone is using channel 1, you should choose a higher channel in the band. Most all WAPs will allow you to choose the channel, with Auto being the default. Auto however only selects the best channel when the access points boots up.
Another alternative way to tune in performance of your device is to possibly move to using the 5 GHz band. You will need a WAP that is dual band. You will have far less interference as there are a lot more channels and less types of devices in this frequency band. The down side of this frequency band is you will not get the same amount of coverage compared to 2.4 GHz. If you live in a smaller apartment or you demand the higher performance and throughput this maybe a good option.