Startup Plume is looking to improve Wi-Fi networks at home by replacing old-fashioned routers with palm-sized, cloud-based pods that will increase the reach and strength of Wi-Fi signals.
While the concept is a great one, it will set back families for $234 for the system with six Pods, which the company says is perfect for a two- to three-bedroom house. At that price though, the Wi-Fi management system could be out of reach for most consumers.
For those experiencing slowdowns in their Wi-Fi connections at home, perhaps you can try out these tips first on your home's router to see if there would be any improvements.
Find The Perfect Spot
Routers may not look as pretty as figurines, but that does not mean that they should be hidden. Routers should be located in a wide open space with few walls and obstructions surrounding it. The ideal position for a router would be on a flat, elevated open space, such as the top of a cabinet, and for the best reach, should also be in the center of the house.
Alternatively, routers can also be placed nearby the devices that will be using the Wi-Fi network the most, such as on top of the desktop computer's rack or beside the couch where family members usually lounge around to use the network on their mobile devices.
Wi-Fi signals can run into different kinds of interference, including the signals of the networks of neighbors, and so it would be best to switch to a different and uncrowded channel. There are different tools that can be used to choose the perfect channel for a home's Wi-Fi network, and changing channels is an easy procedure that involves getting into the router's Wi-Fi settings.
Appliances such as microwave ovens, baby monitors and wireless phones can also disrupt Wi-Fi signals. The best solution would be to purchase a dual-band router to decrease such interference, but moving the router away from such appliances would also do the trick.
Control Bandwidth Hungry Apps
Some family members may be using up the bandwidth of a Wi-Fi network in data heavy activities such as streaming HD videos or downloading massive files. To solve this, such activities should only be done during times when nobody is actively using the network, such as at night when everyone else is asleep.
Improve Network Security
If not family members, perhaps other people are using up the network's bandwidth, be it neighbors or other people in the vicinity. To shut out these unwanted Wi-Fi users, families should improve the security of their networks by changing passwords every once in a while and, of course, not sharing these passwords with people outside the family.
Utilize Wi-Fi Repeaters
If all these tips do not help, setting up a Wi-Fi repeater could be the solution. Such devices extend the range of Wi-Fi signals inside a home so that all rooms will be able to gain a good connection. New repeaters can be pricey though, but fortunately there is a way to turn old routers that may be lying around into extenders using the DD-WRT firmware.