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Troubleshooting wireless broadband signal problems

While the inconvenience of needing to hang up your phone in order to get on the internet is thankfully a thing of the past, technical issues can still encumber you internet access. As with any technology, broadband can be subject to a number of things that can go wrong and impact your signal or the service itself. Troubleshooting broadband issues is nowadays easy thanks to the improved design of the equipment, and there are some straightforward things to check if you are having trouble.

This is particularly the case for the wireless routers most people have, since there are simple things that can impact the service that can be alleviated easily.

Keeping the signal optimum

The easiest thing to check if your signal is not working as it should is for interference from ther electronics, such as computers, sound systems, and more importantly other devices with a separate internet connection. For example, if you have your wifi router on your desk beside a cordless phone and a satellite set top box, move the set top box and don’t keep the phone placed beside it and you’ll get better signal straight away.

The same is the case for fixtures and building features. Thick walls, doors and other obstructions can hamper the signal, so keep the router close to where the broadband is used. It is also a good idea to keep the router higher up since there will be less obstruction with things on the floor.

Security

Old routers use either WEP or WPA technology to secure the connection, but the newer models use WPA2 which is much harder to hack. If your router uses the older technology, then someone could be stealing your internet if you have slower speeds than expected. Upgrading could be a solution if this is the case.

Settings and hardware

Broadcast types range from “a/b” to “n” and the higher the letter the more modern the setting is. If you aren’t getting good enough signal then upgrading your network card and router to “n” will speed things up.

You can also manually check which of the channels used by your broadband is best for signal. It defaults to what should be the strongest signal of the 13 channels available (which are numbered), but it can be worthwhile to experiment with different channels to see if another is better. This can be done from the configuration page of your broadband service.