The Best Ways to Boost Your Wifi Signal for Free

The Best Ways to Boost Your Wifi Signal for Free
Photo: Teerasan Phutthigorn, Shutterstock

If you’re hitting your internet plan’s top speeds, but things still aren’t fast enough for you, upgrading your plan might be your best bet. However, if you test your connection and see you’re nowhere near the speeds your plan should be capable of, you don’t always need to pay to improve your performance. There are ways to boost your wifi signal absolutely free.

Are there paid solutions to your wifi problems? Absolutely. You can throw more money at your ISP, or you can buy a new and improved router. Of course, those methods will cost you, so first you should see if you can speed up your digital life without spending a dime.

Move your router into an open space

One of the best things you can do for your wifi performance is to move your router out in the open. It’s tempting to hide the router away somewhere no one will see, since who wants to stare at a boring, blinking box? But, the truth is, your devices want to be free.

Your router is responsible for sending out your wifi signal, and that signal is only as good as its environment; if it runs to any interference, the signal isn’t as effective. Interference can come from physical elements in your home like walls and doors, or other electronic signals coming from devices like microwaves and wireless phones.

Keeping that in mind, try to move your router somewhere free from those types of interferences. If you can elevate the router, such as putting it on an open shelf, all the better. As a result, your connected devices will receive a stronger signal than they would if your router was hidden behind walls, doors, and microwaves.

Stay close to the router

In a similar vein, try to use your devices as close to your router as possible. There’s no need to sit directly next to your router on your laptop or force your PlayStation and router to be attached at the hip, but if you’re looking for your wifi signal to be the best it can be, you’ll want to stay within sight.

Don’t run multiple devices at once on the network

You might be used to doing a lot on the internet at once, like streaming a 4K show on Netflix while playing games online with your friends, all the while downloading a series to your iPad. All this multitasking is wonderful, but it puts a strain on your overall internet speeds.

If you’re looking to boost wifi speeds and performance for something in particular, say to download a file as fast as possible, you don’t want other internet-intensive tasks running in tandem. For these times, make every effort to pause those other tasks. If you live with other people, that might involve politely asking friends and family to pause their favourite shows for a bit, or to stop streaming to Twitch (apologies to the fans).

The ol’ classic, turn-the-router-off-and-on-again move

Routers follow the same rules that all electronics do: If something’s wrong, turn it off and on again. If your internet is acting up and you’re not sure why, toggling the power on your router is one way to get things back to where they should be.

Log in to comment on this story!