Our kids are virtual learning. We’re spending more time at home. No doubt your home internet connection is being tested more than ever. If you find that it can’t keep up. There are solutions. There are ways to improve your home WiFi network.
We have partnered with Comcast Xfinity to learn how we and others can make our home WiFi connections stronger and better and to share that information with you. During a recent Zoom meeting, Comcast associates and Xfinity technicians shared with us how Comcast subscribers and others with a home WiFi network can improve the speed of their home WiFi connections.
It doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be expensive. There are easy ways to make your home WiFi better. Take a look.
15 Cheap Ways to Improve Your Home WiFi
Location, location, location
Where is your router located in your home? If it’s in a garage, a bedroom in the corner of the house, or the basement, that could be the problem. Make sure your Xfinity router/modem is located in the center of your home or central to where most users will use it.
Windows are meant for sunshine, not WiFi
Do you want to improve the home WiFi for your family or the squirrels? ;-) While that windowsill in the kitchen or living room might seem like a central place to put your Xfinity router, it’s not. Placing your gateway next to a window broadcasts your signal outside rather than inside your home.
Check the cables
Overtime moisture in the air can affect the cables connected to our router and devices. Check that the cables are tight! A loose connection can have a big impact on the performance of your home WiFi network. Make sure the cable going into your gateways, modems, routers and set-top boxes are finger tight.
Keep it free
In addition to having your router, in a central location, to improve your home Wifi, you also want to make sure there are no obstacles around it. Don’t put it behind furniture, in a stereo cabinet behind doors, or in a closet or spot where it’s surrounded by walls, piping, or other items.
Running Zoom, Google Meets, livestreaming, and other resource-draining games not only puts a big demand on your device it asks a lot of your home WiFi as well. When you or a family member needs to be on online, for an activity that requires a powerful WiFi connection, do it as close to the router as possible. Believe it or not the closer the device is to the router the better the WiFi connection will be.
Hardwire when possible
Do you tend to use your computers and devices in the same location? Are you a mom, like me, working from a computer in the kitchen? Are the kids working from Chromebooks in their rooms? Consider hardwiring those devices into your home internet. It’s not as difficult as it seems and it makes a big difference. The less devices relying on the wireless WiFi the more powerful it will be for those needing it.
Being hardwired in also doesn’t need to be a permanent thing. Your children can connect to the internet by plugging in the wire when in their rooms. But then disconnect if they want to bring their laptop back downstairs to be with the family.
How old are your devices?
When it comes to devices, age matters. Older devices just can’t deliver WiFi as fast or as efficient as newer ones. If you’ve had your devices for more than 3 years look into the possibility of getting newer ones.
If you’re working with older school-issued Chromebooks and iPads have your child work on them as close to the router as possible.
Not every spot is a hot spot
Homes have walls, internal piping, etc. We don’t always know what could be interfering with our home WiFi. But we can use the Xfinity xFi app to improve how we connect to our home Wifi. With the app you can run tests and see the coverage and speed of your WiFi throughout your home. You’ll be able to determine the best places to work or play on your devices and the places you should avoid.
During our online meetup with the Comcast Xfinity team, we all had a mind-blowing moment when we learned WiFi can not travel through water. That means your router and your devices should avoid being near sources of water. Don’t hide that router near your hot water heater. And while you may have a gorgeous zen-inducing fish tank, sit and watch it with your device from the opposite end of the room, not next to it.
We can be on our computers or devices without needing to be connected to the home WiFi at all times. We can be ON our devices without having to be ON the home WiFi. Consider pausing gaming or streaming while others in the household are on important video calls or in live classes. Most devices have a spot to turn off the WiFi. You can also pause the Wifi connection to one or more devices by using the Xfinity xFi app.
Did you or the kids connect something to the WiFi that you’re not really using? The streaming device that your child left on in the basement might have streamed multiple seasons of their favorite show without anyone watching. Maybe there’s a toy connected to the WiFi but no one’s playing it. Maybe in the kitchen there’s a smart device, you use once a week, that’s pulling on your home WiFi. Turn them off when not in use.
It’s a really good idea to keep tabs on what devices are connected to your network, and how much they are being used. Xfinity Internet customers can monitor the devices using their home network with xFi.
In addition to, or in place of, pausing the home WiFi to certain devices see if you and the members of your home can stagger your use of the WiFi or the demands you place on it. For example, I know my 6th grader has his virtual classes for Google Meets at the same time every day. It’s a back-to-back 3 hour block of time. So I avoid being in Zoom meetings or doing any livestreaming at the time.
When my older two are home from high school this December, they’ll have to adjust their gaming time as well because their little brother will still have his virtual classes. We can all work together and schedule accordingly to improve our home WiFi.
Reboot from time to time
Just like we may reboot our computers and devices to allow them to reset, sometimes our routers could use the same kind of attention. Your router sometimes needs to download updates from the internet. It’s good practice to power cycle this equipment every so often. Simply unplug your router from the electrical outlet, wait one minute, and then plug it back in. While it boots back up, it may download and install updates.
Plug in some pods to improve your home WiFi
If the sudden demand for everyone to be online in classes at the same time has driven you all to separate corners of your house, away from the router, you probably could benefit from Xfinity WiFi extenders. A WiFi extender expands the Wi-Fi signal to those harder-to-reach areas. Comcast recently introduced the next-generation of its Xfinity xFi Pod – a mesh networking solution that can deliver reliably fast speeds and improve your home Wi-Fi coverage.
Ask for help?
If you’ve tried all these solutions to improve your home WiFi and you’re still not seeing the improvement you wanted, talk to Xfinity. You can call them at 1-800-XFINITY, chat with tech support online at xfinity.com or visit a Xfinity store. Click to find an Xfinity store near you.
An Xfinity rep can look at the bandwidth for your internet package to determine whether it’s sufficient for your needs. They can also offer additional tips and ideas to improve your home WiFi based on how your family is using it.
With these tips to improve your home WiFi, I’m sure you’ll find it easy and inexpensive to make your home internet work better.
More helpful articles for you
- Over 100 New Jersey Zoom Backgrounds for Kids
- Free Perks for Comcast Xfinity Subscribers & Others
- Affordable Internet Access for NJ Families
- 50+ Xfinity Voice Commands for Moms
- How to use Xfinity Parental Controls
- Family Time Made Amazing & Easy with Comcast XFinity Services
- Comcast Makes the Internet Accessible for People with Disabilities