Computer 101 – Understand your wifi

Janis Weber

Do you know exactly which devices are using your connection? If your Wi-Fi isn’t password protected, you need to fix that. If your password is easy to guess someone can mooch your internet. If you use Buckeye, for example, you can call them and have them reset your password.

Using a router that’s years old? It might be hamstringing your connection and putting your security at risk. There’s also the matter of where to put your router. Don’t stick it on the floor in a closet or far away from where most internet use happens. Try to put your router near the center of the room to have the fastest speeds. It would be best if you also placed it as high as possible, on a shelf or even mounted on the wall. If your router has antennas, point them in different directions. Other devices can impact your router, too. Keep it away from cordless phones, Bluetooth speakers, microwave ovens and baby monitors. Consider a wifi booster or replacing your old school router with perhaps a mesh system.

You may not require blazing internet speeds, depending on how much you do at home. You’ll be OK with lower speeds if you’re streaming content on one device and primarily checking email and social media from your phone. If your home is full of smart and connected devices, you need enough bandwidth to support them.

Here are some general guidelines to get started: If you only have a few devices connected to your Wi-Fi and use your network primarily for web browsing, a plan with 10 Mbps should be enough. If you watch many videos and download tons of media, 25 Mbps should be good for you. For lots of high-quality streaming and online gaming, you’ll need 100 Mbps or more. You’ll do well with 500 Mbps for simultaneous streaming, online gaming, and downloads on many devices. Keep an eye on your data cap. Your ISP may throttle your speed or even charge you for exceeding the cap if you go over it. Consider unlimited data from your supplier. If you are using WiFi all day then it may cost you more in overage fees.

Change Your Router Channel

Your computer is preset to a channel that most of your neighbors are using. Moving to a different channel for your router is an easy tweak to up your speed. This step is beneficial if you’re tuned to that 2.4GHz frequency. Moving from one channel to a less crowded one may help speed things up. Try using a Wi-Fi scanner to check the optimum 2.4GHz channel for your area or the least used channel.

For Macs, Apple provides the free tool, Wireless Diagnostics. Hold the Option key while clicking on the Wi-Fi icon on the right-hand side of the menu bar, then choose Open Wireless Diagnostics. For Windows, download NetSpot Wi-Fi Analyzer. Similar to the Mac’s Scan tool, this application will instantly give you information about the Wi-Fi signals in your area, including the channels they utilize.

Find your channel selection and the ability to change it by asking a search engine (Google for example) how to change your brand’s router channel. You may even find the ability to change its password as well.

Definition of the Day

A BROWSER is an application program that provides a way to look at and interact with all the information on the web. There are lot of competitors including Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Brave and Safari. Consider these vehicles to cruise the internet.

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