By Matt Grant
02/06/18 · Last Updated 10/12/20 · 4 minutes to read
Slow Wi-Fi is incredibly frustrating. When Wi-Fi isn’t running at optimal levels, it impedes business conducted from home offices, slows down streaming services, kills phone calls, and interrupts your video chats with loved ones.
Every day, more smart devices hit the market that promise greater home automation. These also take up a lot of Wi-Fi power. Since we are now more dependent on technology than ever before, it is vital to ensure we have a strong Wi-Fi connection. Many home systems are not equipped with the sufficient Wi-Fi coverage that they need.
Why isn’t my Wi-Fi as good as it could be?
Most home Wi-Fi systems can benefit from a boost, but what type of boost can be determined by many factors. Many small to medium homes have basic Wi-Fi and can get away with service provider gateways, like Comcast or AT&T. These systems work for smaller square footage dwellings with a minimal amount of devices connecting. However, as a home increases in size or more people/devices need to connect you will notice your Wi-Fi start to struggle.
It is important to decide whether you need basic or advanced Wi-Fi coverage in your home. To determine how to to get better Wi-Fi throughout your home you need to look at a few factors.
Number of Connected Devices
With basic Wi-Fi, the more connected devices there are the more likely your connection will be slow. Think about how many devices in your home connect and how often they use Wi-Fi. Phones, gaming systems, smart TVs, individuals running multiple devices for personal use, and in-home businesses are only some of the demands being made on your network. If you are on a video call, while teenagers are on their tablets and throw in smart home amenities like connected appliances or security systems, you’re putting a lot of strain on your basic Wi-Fi connections. Increased traffic means decreased speed and lower quality coverage.
Size of the Home
If you only have one router in your home, it is solely responsible for feeding the Wi-Fi connection to the entire house. So the larger the home, the farther away you could be from the router and the weaker the connection. Or in some cases, there may be no connection at all. Large homes need advanced Wi-Fi systems to ensure strong connectivity throughout the whole area.
Advanced Wi-Fi users do not always live in large dwellings, however. Any home that has additional structures like barns, workshops, in-law quarters, or other guest homes that require uninterrupted connectivity need more than what basic systems have to offer. Small homes can be highly automated smart homes, too. These days, it is not unheard of for an 1800-square-foot home to have multiple Alexa or Google Home devices for voice control, Sonos streaming music, smart lights, and thermostats that are operating alongside the usual phones and tablets.
An aspect of your Wi-Fi that is often overlooked is its security. You want to make sure your Wi-Fi is secure and proper firewalls are in place to protect you and your
family while connected. Professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and entertainers who work with confidential materials and need enterprise grade firewall and data encryption, fall into the advanced user category. Their Wi-Fi needs to pack a big security punch in addition to high speeds to ensure reliability, speed and to follow confidentiality laws.
Once you have identified the problem areas you have with your Wi-Fi and determined the type of coverage you need there are different solutions to try.
How can I boost my flagging Wi-Fi connectivity?
There is a range of options for improving Wi-Fi coverage, from basic fixes to professional-grade services.
Do it Yourself Wi-Fi Fixes
Basic fixes are those that you can pick up from your local tech store and install yourself like a new router or a signal booster. A newer or more powerful router might improve transmission to your devices, but it might not handle the multitude of devices that require a constant connection, or it may become a conflict with your service providers gateway unless professionally configured.
For greater range and coverage, signal boosters can be placed throughout the home where there are Wi-Fi dead spots. This may work when you sit in one place, but moving around the home as you work or make calls can cause a drop between devices. This is most common when Wi-Fi calling is enabled and there is no seamless transition from one booster to the next resulting in dropped connections and leaving you frustrated.
These might get you temporary results but are not enough to handle the long-term strain of modern connected homes. These fixes are affordable and accessible but are less likely to deliver high-quality results.
Wireless mesh networks, such as Eero or Luma, are intermediate options that can help with coverage. Wireless mesh uses one access point that is plugged in, while other access points throughout the home serve as boosters. It creates a network that is better than your basic cable network solution, but not as good or quality as a professional network where each access point is hard-wired and has a wireless controller to manage the handoff from one access point to another.
Professional Grade Services
Professionally installed Wi-Fi solutions ensure higher quality and the most effective coverage throughout your home. You receive solutions customized to fit your home’s needs. Systems installed with the ACT advantage connects every access point in the system and configures your Wi-Fi to communicate seamlessly through all points in your network.
The professionally installed wireless manager (which can be cloud-based or hardware-based) creates a roaming Wi-Fi network throughout the home, flawlessly communicating with all devices on the system. Think of this advanced Wi-Fi system as a “Wi-Fi bubble”. A properly configured advanced roaming Wi-Fi network creates a Whole Home Network that allows devices to roam from one end of the home to another without interruption. It is the ultimate for seamless control of your streaming services, and home automation system.
This Wi-Fi functions like your mobile provider’s cell towers do, allowing you to jump from spot to spot within your Wi-Fi bubble without skipping a connectivity beat. The connectivity points within the bubble share your information and devices like a track relay team, passing the Wi-Fi baton with ease. This decreases your frustration and ensures quality coverage.
Professionally installed systems fully integrate all of the hand-offs and access points for ease and functionality in even the most connected and encrypted home networks. You are guaranteed a system that is hard-wired, intelligent and seamless.
If you think you are ready to enter the world of advanced Wi-Fi connectivity, ACT is ready to help! We would love to talk to you about the best solutions for your home and professional situations and get you the highest quality and most secure Wi-Fi your life requires.