There is nothing worse than taking time out of work to do the dreaded router reboot. We have all tried the off-and-on technique with little effect. Below, we have outlined 11 of the best ways to boost the wireless signal in your office to ensure that you don’t have any unwelcome downtime.
Do Not Store Your Router in a Cupboard
Many offices store their router in a cupboard or behind a closed door to save from unsightly wires in the office. However, putting a physical barrier between you and your router will affect its signal strength right from the get-go. Your router will have maximum strength when it isn’t barricaded by doors and walls.
Place Your Router Centrally
If your computers and laptop are connected to the office network via Ethernet cables you will not need to worry about this step. However, if you all work wirelessly, make sure your router is centrally located. It is often forgotten that routers emit signal equally in every direction.
Have Your Router Elevated
Just like radios, routers broadcast their signal in a downward angle, as well as outwards. Placing your router near the ground will prevent some members of staff from receiving a strong signal so the best solution is to not only have your router centrally located, but elevated too. Whilst it may be an eyesore, you will receive a much better signal.
Keep Your Router Away from Electronics
Another benefit of having your router elevated is that it will rarely be affected by devices that could absorb your all-important wireless connection. Furthermore, it may be convenient for you to store your router with your cable modem and server but, did you know that this could also be crippling your WiFi strength? Avoid, as much as possible, placing your router next to anything with an internal motor or wiring.
Utilise Router Tools
Although usually an unassuming VHS-sized piece of plastic, your router is a mini computer and should be treated as such to get the most from it. Your router will have specific settings and programs that can be run to ensure everything is working smoothly.
Routers are made to work straight out of the box but, if you are suffering with complications, get to grips with the physical and internal settings that can be adjusted to improve wireless capabilities.
Adjust Router Antennas
Like your radio at home, tweaking the antenna of your router can enhance performance. It may seem glaringly obvious but pointing your wireless antenna to where it is most needed can increase signal strength to the devices in operation. You will notice most routers come with two antennas, allowing you to cover a wider range.
Use an Uncongested Wireless Channel
Chances are, your office is located in a building within which a number of businesses are also hooked up to their own router. This means that your building is saturated with signals and networks running on different channels.
Usually, your router will automatically select a channel that will become congested later in the day as each router in the building auto-selects the same channel. Using tools such as WiFi Stumbler, you can physically see which channel suffers from the least congestion, and you man manually set-up your router to log on to this channel.
Password Protect Your Router
Never have an open wireless connection in your office area. Chances are, there will be many in your building using your WiFi for free and affecting your broadband. Most routers come we a predetermined password, but it is imperative that this is changed as soon as possible.
An extra layer of protection is using a WPA2 password which should not be shared with anyone outside of your business.
Make the Most of Guest WiFi
Not only is it common courtesy to provide your guests with reliable WiFi access, it also stops your networks from being bogged down. However, you should edit the guest network settings and router priority. Guest activities should be limited to email and internet access. Furthermore, you should put bandwidth limits in place so the office network is not negatively impacted by guest users.
Prevent Network Congestion
Everyone deserves a five-minute break whilst in the office, but do you suspect members of staff may be affecting the wireless connectivity through watching too many YouTube videos? Network congestion can slowdown productivity so tinkering with the Quality of Service (often shown as QoS) settings on newer routers can help eliminate this.
Adjusting the priority for certain types of content, such as basic internet and file transfer, can allow staff to get on with their day, and leave the video watchers only able to fulfil their needs when there is ample access.
Upgrade Your Router
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your router has just grown tired. The ‘top of the line’ routers are always changing as technology is so rapidly advancing in the industry and, due to this, a number of routers have become out-dated. If you fear this is the case, consult your IT department or service provider and discuss getting a new router for the office to boost the WiFi network, signal strength, and speeds.