No one wants to have to sit next to their router to use their WiFi, but sometimes the signal just isn't strong enough. There are a few options if you want to boost the strength of your WiFi in those hard to reach places.
Try moving your router
A central location is best, or closest to the areas you require a strong signal, like an office or living room. Uncluttered areas are ideal too, rather than inside a cupboard or drawer.
Update your firmware
Often you can make a few downloads to bring your router up to speed if it's a little dated. Check the manual for your router for instructions, or get in touch with your service provider for a walkthrough.
Try using a wired connection
While it might not be the ideal set up, an Ethernet cable connection will offer a stronger signal than wireless, so perhaps consider this if want to avoid buffering while streaming or gaming online.
Contact your service provider
Your provider might be able to replace your router for you if it's outdated, or advise you on how to increase your speeds.
As well as these troubleshooting tips, there are a few gadgets you can purchase to boost your signal strength across your home.
These act as something like a second router, plugged into the mains somewhere between the main router and the hard to reach part of your home. The box will collect the slightly weakened WiFi signal and rebroadcast it at a higher strength.
They do need to receive a good quality signal in the first place, so you'll have to ensure your router is operating properly before investing in one of these which you can do by troubleshooting your broadband.
These harness your home's electrical system to carry broadband signals around the home. This works by allowing the WiFi data to “piggyback” on your electrical system between your router and a hard to reach area.
This is only a solution in areas on the same electrical network. If the place you need to reach is on another network, such as in an outbuilding, then an adapter will not work.
Mesh router network
A mesh router network replaces the single router signal with several, positioned at different points around your home. They can be very useful in multi-storey buildings or large houses. These systems can be fairly pricey, but are one of the best solutions for strong signal coverage across large areas.
If all of these steps fail it may be the case that your broadband provider does not have a strong enough signal in your area. Use our comparison tool to find out which network has the best broadband in your area at the best price.