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How to improve poor internet speeds and WiFi range in your home

With remote working and learning the norm again, many people may be finding their internet speeds...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.58 25 Jan 2021


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How to improve poor internet s...

How to improve poor internet speeds and WiFi range in your home

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

10.58 25 Jan 2021


Share this article


With remote working and learning the norm again, many people may be finding their internet speeds aren't quite as fast as they'd like.

Even with fast broadband connections, you might not be getting the advertised speeds - especially if you're sharing a WiFi connection with others in the house.

Others will likely find that the wireless signal isn't quite strong enough to give full speeds in the home office or bedroom where the computer or laptop is set up.

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On today's Newstalk Breakfast, technology correspondent Jess Kelly had a few tips and tricks for those trying to get the most out of their existing internet package.

How to improve poor internet speeds and WiFi range in your home

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She explained: “When you sign up to a particular broadband contract, it will say you can get certain speeds - but you need to read the fine print. Very often, next to the big number… it may say ‘up to’.

“So just because you’re signed up to a certain speed, doesn’t mean you’ll actually get it inside your home.”

However, there are things you can do to improve the situation - and the first thing to consider is where your internet router is placed.

Jess explained: “They always say never have the modem installed in the kitchen behind a microwave or near the fridge… anything that could interrupt or block the signal in any way, shape or form.

“Make sure you have it in a very central part of your home.

“Other things to consider are do you live in an old house where perhaps the wiring needs to be updated? If you’re getting high speed broadband brought into the home but then it’s trying to travel around on telephone cable, you will struggle.”

Extending the signal

Meanwhile, there are devices you can get to improve the situation if a number of people within the house all need the internet at the same time, or if you’ve found ‘dead zones’ in the house where the WiFi just isn’t up to scratch.

Jess said: “There’s a company called TP-Link, and they make these home plug solutions. You can plug one in next to your modem, and you plug [another] in upstairs and that will try to stretch the signal up to try to ensure everyone gets a good signal.

“There are also new things called WiFi mesh systems.

"Depending on the size of house or apartment… you get these two ports that kind of look like tennis ball cans, and you place them in different parts of your home.

“Not only does it stretch the signal - similar to the TP-Link - but it also then bounces it out. So you’re actually getting a full radius of coverage from that: if you’re someone who perhaps has an attic office you’re trying to work from or just some of the bedrooms, it’s definitely worth looking out for.”

There are a number of brands selling these mesh systems, but Jess recommends the Tenda Nova systems, which start at less than €100.

Meanwhile, an ethernet cable can be used to directly with many devices - such as smart TVs - to ensure a strong, consistent wired connection.

However, Jess noted that many modern laptops do not come with an ethernet port.

She said: “You can buy adaptors if you so wish to try to do that.

"But if you do have a laptop that has an ethernet port on it, that is a way to go as well.”

For those waiting for fast broadband in the first place, work is continuing on the rollout of the National Broadband plan - with the first families now getting hooked up to the network.

Main image: File photo. Picture by: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images

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