Here’s the info you need to make your Wi-Fi network strong and stable.
What can affect a Wi-Fi signal?
Your Helix Fi gateway or 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. 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 frequency band, like speakers, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, or microwave ovens.
Where is the best place to put my Helix Fi gateway or my router?
Given the performance factors and sources of interference, the best place to put your Helix Fi gateway or 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 the installation, the technician will advise you on the best place to put the gateway or router.
Choosing the right frequency
With the Helix Fi gateway
Your Helix Fi gateway is smart: it will automatically choose the most appropriate radio frequency (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz). Each frequency has its benefits.
- The 2.4-GHz frequency provides better coverage and can easily travel through matter (e.g., walls or large obstacles).
- The 5-GHz frequency is less affected by interference, which can be caused by things like microwaves. It's also up to three times faster than the 2.4-GHz frequency.
With a router
See which frequency to choose based on your Wi-Fi usage
Good to know
If you use a router, the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz networks operate independently. You must select the network of your choice manually, based on your needs.
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.
You want to extend your Wi-Fi network’s coverage? If you’re a Helix customer, get one or more Wi-Fi pods to increase the stability and performance of your signal. Learn more about Wi-Fi pods.
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.
Connect devices using an Ethernet cable
If you're using a stationary device for bandwidth-heavy activities (e.g., playing online games or streaming movies or shows), your best bet is to hardwire the device to the network with an Ethernet cable. You’ll get a more stable connection on your stationary devices and better performance. It will also free up the Wi-Fi for other uses.
Good to know
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.
Use our speed test to learn more about what might be influencing the performance of your Internet connection.
Good to know
Don't forget to protect your Wi-Fi network with a strong password. This will prevent neighbours from connecting on the sly, which affects your network’s performance and, more importantly, creates a major security breach!