What can affect a Wi-Fi signal?
The router transmits a signal, like a radio wave, that can be picked up by your mobile devices. Several factors can make the signal weaker:
- Distance: the signal gets weaker the further away you are from the gateway.
- The age and quality of the devices connected to the network.
A number of things can also interfere with the signal. The main sources of interference are:
- Physical obstacles, such as walls. The thickness and location of walls, and the number of objects in the network’s path may limit reception. Metal and concrete are some of the materials that produce the most interference.
- Shared antenna time, meaning the number of devices connected to the network at any given time.
- Other nearby Wi-Fi networks.
- Devices that also use a 2.4-GHz or 5-GHz.
Where is the best place to put the router?
Given the performance factors and sources of interference, the best place to put the router is:
- In an open area.
- In as central a place as possible, preferably on the main floor, in an open room (avoid the basement or the upper floors).
- Off the floor, about a metre from the ground.
- Away from any solid surfaces (e.g., concrete walls, furniture, metal surfaces).
- Away from large sources of water (e.g., aquarium, water heater).
- Away from devices that cause interference (e.g., baby monitors, wireless phones, microwave ovens, refrigerators, and Bluetooth devices).
During installation, the technician will take into account your reality to determine the best location for the router.
Find the right wireless channel
Find the right wireless channel. Your neighbours’ wireless channel may interfere with yours. Here’s how to change channels:
- Connect your device to your router.
- Go to Wireless Settings and select the Manual Setup option for your Internet connection.
- Uncheck the box marked Activate Automatic Channel Scan and select the wireless channel you want.
How to improve the performance of your Wi-Fi network?
If your Wi-Fi network's performance is slower or poorer than usual, fix the problem by checking the factors that may be affecting your devices’ connectivity.
Restart your devices regularly
Restart your gateway or router frequently to extend its lifespan and improve the quality of your Wi-Fi. Restarting the device allows it to update its software, which improves connectivity and makes the service faster.
Check the other factors that may be slowing down the connection
Here are other things to check when your network speed isn't up to par:
- Older devices or obsolete operating systems may not have the appropriate capacities for the connection.
- Your devices may be too far from your Helix Fi gateway or router.
- Some of the programs on your devices may be using a large amount of bandwidth and slowing down your network (e.g., P2P software such as µTorrent).
- Your Internet plan may not meet your usage needs, causing congestion and slowing down the network.
- Using a virtual private network (VPN) feature like Apple’s iCloud Private Relay means that your Internet requests no longer go through a network route optimized to display information as quickly as possible, which can cause your connection to slow down.