Your wireless router is one of the most important pieces of technology in your home, because it allows you to connect quickly and easily to the network with any of your devices no matter where you are in the house. To that end, you should want to get as much functionality out of it as possible. While you could simply remove the router from the box, plug it in, and be ready to go, you should consider going farther than that. There are a number of methods you can use that will enhance the experience you get from using your wifi router, and they’re well worth investigating. If you don’t feel technologically savvy, don’t worry. Experimenting with your router to boost its functionality is a great way to learn in a safe environment.
Make Sure You’ve Selected a Good Location
Take a walk around your house and look at all the areas where you think you’ll probably be trying to connect to your wireless network the most, whether it’s a desktop computer, a laptop, or even just your tablet or smartphone. Are these areas located far away from your Internet modem? Will you need to use your devices upstairs? Deciding on where to put your router is the most important step you can take. It will need to be close enough to the modem to physically connect to it, but you’ll also want to be sure the signal it broadcasts can reach across your entire home. You don’t want to end up with dead zones where there’s no signal at all. What happens if you get no signal in your kitchen but you need to check on a recipe quickly? Be certain that your router is in a good position.
Consider Installing Custom Firmware
Custom firmware, like DD-WRT, will allow you to really boost the abilities of your router. It will give you full control over the device, and not just the features the manufacture included. For example, the biggest advantage to using custom firmware is the ability to tweak the strength of the signal manually. If your router is confined to an unfortunate place in your home, this means you can manually boost the power of your router in a way you otherwise wouldn’t be able to, in order to extend the range of your router. Custom firmware will allow you much greater latitude in troubleshooting any issues you encounter as well.
Take Care of the Little Things
Be certain that your router has encryption set up on it, so that no unauthorized users can access your network and take your Internet connection for a joyride. Stick to WPA encryption, and be sure that you’ve come up with a good, strong password you can remember so that when friends come over, you can tell them the password, too. If you’re having problems with interference and your signal, consider changing the channel (usually a number from 1 to 9) of the wireless signal from within the firmware as well. Taking care of these little things will ensure you have a great experience operating your router.