Wi-Fi has become very common in homes, offices and even public places these days. Wi-Fi is wireless local area network which is used by several devices including smartphones. These devices can connect to the internet through the wireless network access points called hotspots. The range of these Wi-Fi hotspots depends on various factors such as the power of transmission, type of antenna, location and the environment.
Today, millions of people in the world are using Wi-Fi and wish to have fast internet speeds and long range. However many of them face performance issues with their Wi-Fi networks due to either the poor performance of the router or the poor WI-Fi antenna of their smartphone. There are several reasons for poor connectivity such as the position of the router or what is sitting near the router or even the materials used in the walls. Fortunately, there are many ways to strengthen it too.
There are many Wi-Fi optimizer apps available on the net but all are not reliable. So instead of wasting time in checking them one by one to see if they are effective, you can adopt the following sure shot way for getting a good Wi-Fi signal on your smartphone at home or at work. The best part is that this method works on any smartphone you have – Android, iOS, Windows Phone or any other.
Here are the steps you need to follow:
1. Access your router’s web interface
For accessing your router’s web interface, you need to type in the router’s local IP address into the browser’s address bar. It is usually 192.168.0.1 but sometimes the default gateway may be slightly different say 192.168.1.1 or even 192.168.2.1.
You can find it out easily on your Windows computer if it has the same network connection as the router. Click the start button located on the bottom left hand side of the window and type cmd and then click on cmd.exe. If it is a higher Windows version, you can find it on the sliding panel on the right side.
2. Find the default gateway
When the cmd.exe loads, a black rectangular window will appear. Type in ipconfig in it and among other things, your default gateway will appear. This is your router’s local IP address which you can note down.
3. Accessing router’s settings
You can now switch over to your smartphone. Open the browser and enter the router’s IP address. You will get a pop up window for entering User Name and Password. The User Name is usually admin and the password is either admin or password. However, if it doesn’t work, you can easily find it through Google search once you give the router’s make. Once you type out the correct User name and Password combo, you will be able to log in.
4. Going to wireless settings
After logging in, you will see a web interface which is different for routers of different brands. There you will find the option wireless, then go to wireless settings or something similar. The image below shows the interface for TP-Link router.
5. Wireless channel
Once you go to wireless settings, you will find the channel option. This will show you the frequency at which the router is transmitting the Wi-Fi signal. You can speed up the Wi-Fi signal by changing your router’s channel. You will have to choose the channel with least interference to get a better signal.
6. Choosing the right channel
If many nearby networks are using the same channel, there will be more interference and the signal will be weak. To analyze the interference, you can use Wi-Fi Analyser for Android or inSSIDer utility for Windows. It will scan the nearby networks and find out the best channel that will give you minimum interference.
The most commonly used router is the old 2.4GHz one which has up to 14 channels to choose from depending on your area. Each channel is separated only by 5MHz of spectrum so there is a lot of overlap between nearby networks. You will have to choose the best one out of them which gives you the optimum signal strength.