TL:DR – If you’re not getting the super slick internet experience you’re expecting, it could be your Wi-Fi setup. Test your speed using an ethernet connection, find your Wi-Fi dead spots and consider using a meshing system to extend your coverage.
Picture this: it’s been a long week, but you’ve made it to Friday – YES! Partying is not on the agenda this weekend, it’s all about some well-deserved couch time. You turn on your Smart TV, select the latest addition to Stan and...
BUF. FER. ING.
We know – your first instinct is to curse your ISP. :-( But did you know that your Wi-Fi is just as likely to be a factor? Wi-Fi can be affected by many things, including other nearby networks, cordless phones and even your fridge!
What is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi uses radio waves to provide high-speed internet and network connections. The cornerstone of any wireless network is an access point, a device which broadcasts a wireless signal that devices can detect and connect to.
FUN FACT: it’s been reported that Wi-Fi is short for wireless fidelity, but that’s not true. According to Wi-Fi Alliance founding member Phil Belanger, the company needed a catchy name because “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence” just didn’t cut it. An advertising agency came up with the term Wi-Fi instead!
How does my Wi-Fi work?
In theory, WiFi signals are capable of passing through walls and other obstacles relatively easily. Materials such as drywall, plywood, other kinds of wood and glass can be easily penetrated by wireless signals. Generally, walls made of more substantial material; brick, stone or even reinforced concrete will dramatically affect the radio signals between your router and Wi-Fi device, and can cause slow speeds or intermittent connection problems.
What do the different numbers mean on my Wi-Fi list?
The 2.4 GHz band provides coverage at a longer range but transmits data at slower speeds.
The 5 GHz band transmits data at faster speeds but the signal often degrades quickly beyond a room or two.
Should I use Ethernet or Wi-Fi?
For critical applications including gaming, 4K or 8K streaming, office applications and vital connections, we strongly recommend using Ethernet Cat5/6 cables. You should always SpeedTest using ethernet too, so we can eliminate any issues with Wi-Fi while testing your speeds.
As long as you’re using the right hardware, your Wi-Fi should work just fine for normal definition streaming, browsing, and everyday usage.
Finding & fixing your Wi-Fi dead zone
Not sure where your Wi-Fi sucks the most? Simply pick up your connected wireless device and walk around your building, apartment, or office. Pay attention to the Wi-Fi signal indicator on your device. If signal strength drops to zero, you've found a dead spot.
When you’ve found that spot with little to no signal, you may choose to put a Wi-Fi extender nearby to rebroadcast your signal and extend your WiFi signal range. Extenders can connect to your existing router— via Ethernet or WiFi— and create a separate network for your wireless devices to use for the stronger WiFi signal.
Alternatively, we recommend creating a mesh network – a plug-and-play WiFi system like the AmpliFi, typically including several devices that are spread out throughout your home, acting as individual nodes. Each node, such as the AmpliFi Mesh Extender, communicates with one another to amplify your home's Wi-Fi signal and to extend coverage.
We're happy to help
Our team are experienced in optimising your internet connection for home and business, and we’re always happy to talk you through your options! Call Pentanet HQ on (08) 9466 2670, or use our live chat below to connect.