"Why is the internet so slow?" How many times have you heard that in the office? The internet is an amazing tool and most businesses rely heavily on it. So when the internet slows down it will affect productivity.
So what causes the internet to go slow? Your business WiFi could be the problem. To help you here are seven tips to improve your business WiFi
Find the best spot
WiFi is at its most effective when there's a clear space between the router and the device you are using. Ideally, that means no walls, no ceilings, no cupboards, nothing that can block the signal.
Of course, that isn't practical for a business but there are ways to improve your business WiFi signal by placing your router strategically.
Position your router in a central location
By putting your router in a central location you'll reduce the number of walls affecting your signal. Your router can send your WiFi signal out in all directions, so you get better WiFi performance in more places by putting it centrally.
Find a central room that will allow your router to reach the whole of your premises. If you have multiple floors the router needs to be on the middle floor (and you will need to use access points to boost the signal).
Don't put it near a window
If you put your router by a window half of your signal is going outside. That is only useful if you want to connect to your WiFi outside of the office. To maximise your signal move it away from a window so you're not sending as much signal outside.
Don't put it away
Of course, you want your office to look neat and tidy but by putting your router way in a cupboard will weaken the signal. The loss of signal is not as bad as going through a wall but it will still hamper your speed and reduce the range of your signal.
Avoid putting your router away in cabinets, cupboards, or other obstructions. They are all extra obstacles your signal will need to penetrate.
Don’t put your router on the floor
WiFi signal travels in a 360-degree range from your router. If you put it on the floor you're sending the signal straight through the floor. So you also don't want to stick in on the ceiling for the same reason.
Avoid anything electrical or metal
Routers are affected by electrical interference. When placing your router make sure to put it at least five feet away from electrical equipment such as monitors, TV's, speakers and desk lamps.
A metal container can severely weaken your signal. The metal acts as a Faraday cage greatly reducing your WiFi performance.
When using all these tips you want to find a location for your router that is as central as possible and clear of obstruction. Surround your device with as much empty space as possible to achieve the best signal strength.
Boost your WiFi range
Even finding the perfect spot by following all those location tips you might still lack the coverage you need. Business premises are big spaces and the common range of a router is 600 - 900 feet making many buildings too big for one router.
A repeater, range extender or access points can overcome this problem. They extend the signal of your router and increase your WiFi range. Follow the same rules for placing your router when placing repeaters and extenders.
Give your router a break
Sometimes you can boost performance by giving your a router a little rest. Turn the router off for a few seconds and then switch it back on. To maintain a level of strong WiFi performance you may find you need to reset your router occasionally.
Sharing your WiFI
Your performance will diminish with the more devices you add to your network. Where possible connect devices via an Ethernet cable. This gives you the best connection and speed while strengthening the WiFi signal for devices connected wirelessly.
You only have access to so much data per second (that is your bandwidth). Sometimes you can find a different provider who can offer you more data per second. Before you go down that route check to see what is eating into your bandwidth.
Two things can use up your bandwidth. Users and Apps. Controlling the users on your WiFi starts with good security. Make your WiFi password strong and encrypt it to keep unauthorised users off your network.
If you want to offer your WiFi to customers then use two different networks. Have a guest access network that is kept separate from your main business network. That way having lots of guests in the building won't affect your WiFi performance for the rest of the business.
Try Different Channels
Most businesses are surrounded by other businesses. Those businesses will also have WiFi and they might be using the same channel as you. This will reduce the performance of your business WiFi. But it has an easy fix.
WiFi routers have lots of different channels. Cycle through them and you should be able to find a channel not being used in a building nearby.
Check Your IT Provider
If you have followed all the tips here and are still struggling with your WiFi performance speak to your IT support provider. They can talk to your internet provider and look at more advanced options to improve your WiFi performance.
You can find help with your home WiFi here
Best practices can only go so far. Sometimes there are more technical solutions needed to fix the problem of poor WiFi performance. Let your IT support provider deal with the problem for you (it should be something they can fix easily).
These changes can make a big difference in the performance of your business WiFi. Give them a try and see if they make a difference. If they don't then get in touch and we can discuss ways to improve your business WiFi. Contact us here, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01634 52 52 52.