Wifi signal strength, quality, speed throughput improvements

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Wifi signal strength, quality, speed throughput improvements

Post by embleton » Fri Jul 10, 2015 2:13 am

Sky Hubs and routers are all rather pathetic for wifi performance and to this end I'll identify how you can improve performance throughtout your premises by installing additional equipment to improve the overall setup of more complex environments. These environments will have several client devices; watching streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and using high demand services throughout the premises over wifi or other means, and the aim of this article is to show you how to improve this drastically throughout your premises for the wifi and local area network.

Unfortunately the only solution for attempting to improve the situation with Sky Hubs is to change the wifi channel that the Sky Hub uses, as this can improve things so it suffers little interference from other wifi networks in your surrounding area, but improving the speed above 26-30Mbps throughput is unlikely without adding equipment, for the Sky Hubs only work on the 2.4Ghz band. And the Sky Hub is restricted to 16 wifi clients currently. I do assume that those attempting to improve the speed over their network throughout their premises are on hybrid fibre, as standard ADSL2+ is unlikely to saturate wifi unless your premises covers a great area or is solid brick/concrete in construction, as the latter will block and weaken wifi signal strength throughout those areas.

Whatever you do don't buy wifi repeaters, they don't really improve the situation for poor signal strength for it isn't only strength that is important but quality of signal also is very important in improving throughput speed. In smaller premises investing in a router that supports the 5Ghz wifi band will usually be the only thing you'll need to do as long as the client equipment you use supports that wifi frequency band. The Apple Airport Express will support up to 10 devices and is a cheap option in smaller settings, for larger setting the Airport Extreme supports up to 50 clients; both these wifi routers are dual band and work very well are easy to setup and reliable in operation. The Airport Express is an 802.11n dual frequency band router/access point and will operate upto realistically about 70-80Mbps throughput speed. The Airport Extreme is an 802.11ac dual frequency band router, and will operate at approximately 350Mbps throughput speed realistically with sharing the bandwidth between multiple clients, so single client devices will operate below the maximum speed obtainable advertised for these wifi routers because of this with this wifi router/access point 802.11ac standard.

If you have base station computers within your setup and cannot run an Ethernet cable to them directly then invest in Ethernet home plugs, they perform well in the majority of environments and will operate well above the speed of the hybrid fibre connection. If you need wifi at alternative locations where the signal and speed is poor at the the base station computer(s) or elsewhere then buying Ethernet home plugs that include a wifi hotspot is the way to go or alternatively run another wifi router in access point mode plugged into the home plug. Ethernet home plugs work by transferring the signal throughout your premises by the mains electrical cable already installed and operational throughout, it's a very clean method of distribution an Ethernet network, without running additional long cables. In all these environments running alternative wifi access points, then run them in bridge mode; and setup them with the same broadcast SSID, encryption and password, this will ensure your smart phones, tablets and such client devices hop to the correct access point whenever they move around your home.

Its important to note, that if you are using VoIP or/and video calling then you should fix the wifi channel statically; especially important if you are using multiple wifi access points around the premises, as it will ensure that a wifi access point doesn't interfere with the call quality and hop to a different channel whilst calls are in progress and cause interruptions, breakup or loss of the picture for approximely 5 or so seconds. With the 5Ghz band on 802.11n routers set the channel manually on one router and automatic on the other 5Ghz 802.11n router, this seems the best for performance in my experience on these dual band routers when you have more than one in the premises. For 802.11ac routers then set them all with automatic channel selection on the 5Ghz band, for the 2.4Ghz band always set them manually.

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