We recently detailed a few solutions for bad wi-fi household coverage, and our commenters had a lot of experience, knowledge, and work-arounds of their own to share. Here's how Lifehacker readers got around shoddy wireless coverage in their own homes and offices.
Image via osde8info.
Get Far Away from Channel InterferenceWe alluded to the salvation of changing your router's Wi-Fi channel to escape interference from neighboring routers. Most routers default to channel 6, but changing to 7 won't help you much, as channels next to or nearby each other can still interfere.
As was meted out in the comments, you're trying to get at least five channels away from the other nearby Wi-Fi uses, so channels 1 or 11 can usually help you out. If you use a Wi-Fi analyzer and find other devices using one of those channels, try to get as many channel numbers as possible away from the strongest interference. Most Wi-Fi analysis apps, like the web/Java-based Meraki Wi-Fi Stumbler, can show you where to turn. The setting for changing a router channel is usually on the first screen of the setup page, or just inside the "Wireless" tab.
Cut Out Cordless Phone and Microwave Interference
Some microwaves, and many cordless phones, operate in and around the same frequency range as some Wi-Fi channels. If you can, try moving your router or phone apart from each other, such that the router has a more clear shot at rooms where you'd be accessing the internet.
Commenter Joshua Bardwell, having designed wireless layouts for hospitals, states that the real solution is to buy a phone labeled as using DECT 6.0, so that it operates in the range around 1.9 GHz. He also suggests that microwaves tend to interfere more with channel 11, if you suspect that your internet drops out every time it's a Lean Cuisine lunch.
Try an Attic Router in Short or One-Story HomesA central position in the house is the best spot for a router to go, but commenter Live N Learn suggests an attic or top-floor placement, at least in single-story or shorter houses.
I discovered this when I lived in a house that had plaster walls. I could get a low signal one room away but that was it. Then I realized...DUH! Always make it one room away. Since then, it's worked like a charm in every house I've lived in...well, all of three.Image via Infrogmation.
Try a HomePlug/Powerline Adapter
Many commenters suggested that when walls, obstructions, or other challenges made universal coverage from one Wi-Fi router simply impossible, the HomePlug products worked as a clever upgrade.
Products with the HomePlug certification use your home's power lines as a carrier for internet signal. Plug the base station into an outlet while connected to your main router, and adapter plugs you fit into sockets around your home can then serve as either wired Ethernet ports, or as tiny wireless broadcast points. Your mileage will certainly vary with your home's wiring, but it's an option worth looking into, as reported by our readers.
We're pretty geeked out on wireless waves, as you've seen, but we're always up to hear other solutions, success stories, or unique problems. Tell us about your own adventures in Wi-Fi in the comments.
Send an email to Kevin Purdy, the author of this post, at email@example.com.