Maybe you’re worn out of paying the cable company and want to get your movies and other entertainment from the internet. Naturally you’ll want to watch those shows on your TV with the aid of an Apple TV, Roku box or similar device. increasingly people are doing that, and in the event you want to join the crowd, you’ve got to be positive you’re home web network is up to the challenge.
Connected TVs are an utter drag without a hasty network. Squeezing the most out performance out of your network is called optimizing, and it isn’t very hard, and it doesn’t must be all that pricey.
Here are two ways to make your home network so nice you’ll be able to say farewell to your cable company.
But first, let me warn you about one thing: Your wireless network basically can’t run any faster than your web connection. in the event you’ve reason to think your network isn’t jogging as hasty as it used to (or as hasty as it ought to, given your hardware) go to Speedtest.net and check your download and upload speeds and compare them to what your provider says you’re getting. Obviously you want to check the speed on a wired connection first to rule out (or identify) your ISP as the culprit.
Move the router
Let’s start with the very simplest technique to optimize your wireless network. I do know this sounds simpleminded, but trust me: think about moving your router to a more central location, or to a room that doesn’t have thick walls or lots of other equipment that might cause interference. The router broadcasts a signal that spreads in a sphere, so if it’s centered on the back of the house, or in the basement, the signal might not make it to all the rooms where you’d like to connect a device to the internet.
Your cordless phone
Cordless phones may cause interference since a quantity of them broadcast on the same channel that your router does. in the event you think it’s an issue for you, try changing channels on the phone and see if that cleans up your connection.
Let’s say your largest issue is extending the range of your network, and moving the router is basically not practical. One way to go is to buy a range extender. there’s a selection on the marketplace for under $100. However, you’ll pay a performance penalty since extenders degrade the strength of the signal. That might not matter if you’re surfing the internet, but if you’re a serious online gamer, they’re not. Nor are they a great way to hook up the new generation of televisions and boxes that stream movies and video in to your TV.
Buy and install an extender
in the event you want to stream video over your home network, here’s a better alternative to wireless: Take advantage of the wiring in your home. You do that by purchasing a product that complies with standards set by the Homeplug Powerline Alliance. there’s over 120 companies that sell Powerline gear, but in general, all of them work about the same way.
than broadcast a Wi-Fi signal, Powerline products move the signal over existing wiring in your home or office. usually, what you’ll do is connect one Powerline adapter to your broadband modem or router, and then connect it to a wall socket (not a surge protector or power strip). Plug a second adapter in to a socket in the room where the device you want to connect to the internet is located, and connect the device to the adapter with an Ethernet cable. That’s it. You’re done. and you’ve probably spent about $125 for the networking gear. Be positive that any adapter kit you buy comes with at least four adapters, the maximum for creating a network.
Older wiring can be a concern. Some homes have older wiring that basically won’t support Powerline networking because it isn’t “clean” . That is, there’s interference on the line. Protect yourself by being positive you are able to return the networking kit if it doesn’t work in your home.
because you’re using Powerline technology in one room, doesn’t mean you can’t use Wi-Fi in another. Combining the four technologies could give you a hasty network over a large area without much hassle.
change your network hardware
in the event you want to speed up your existing Wi-Fi network and you’ve tried moving the router around without much improvement it might be time to upgrade your networking hardware. The slowest part of your network will set the pace for the remainder of it.
Wi-Fi standards have changed and speed up over the years. The elderly ones, like 802.11a and 802.11b are hopeless antiquated. The latest standard, 802.11n is where where you want to be.
If your laptop computer is new, it most likely has 802.11n built in. If that’s the case, check your router and extenders if you’re using them. It’s cheaper and simpler to upgrade a router (in this case, upgrade means replace) than to upgrade the networking hardware inside your laptop computer.
I’ve installed lots of routers over the years, and I’ve had to make lots of calls to company help centers. Some routers, like Cisco’s Valet home router, are surprisingly easy to set up. Though they may lack some advanced features, they are fine for most home networks.