How to increase wifi range and keep your smart home connected

Family of kids sitting in front of a white sofa on a beige rug all looking at smartphones, tablets or laptops

So, you’ve got Hive and you’re enjoying the simplicity and convenience of a smart home. Heating, lighting, home security – everything is so easy to control from your app.

But the more you connect the devices in your home, the more you rely on your wifi signal. And sometimes that can vary quite a lot from room to room.

Patchy wifi can be a real pain – especially if you’re lucky enough to live in a big property with lots of rooms.

That’s why we’ve put together this troubleshooting guide. If you’ve discovered annoying ‘wifi blackspots’ in your home, one of these fixes should help put things right.

So why is my wifi patchy?

If your wifi gets weaker in different areas of the home, it’s probably caused by distance from the router, something blocking the signal – or a combination of both those things.

Wifi uses radio waves, just like a TV or a mobile phone. That means the signal travels in a straight line. It gets weaker the further it goes, and it can also be blocked by different materials.

Thick walls, concrete, steel girders – they can all get in the way of your wifi signal.

Wifi fix #1: check your router position

The first thing to try is moving your router to a new position.

Most of us tuck our router away in a corner somewhere, or even hide it inside a cupboard. But that can stop you getting a good signal everywhere in your home.

The best place is near the middle of the property, so the signal can reach everywhere equally. And the router will work best if it is out in the open too, rather than hidden behind something.

So before investing in any new kit, experiment with a few different places to put the router. You might find that sorts things out straight away.

Wifi fix #2: check the age of your router

Router technology has come a long way recently. So if your router is more than four or five years old, it might be time for a new one.

If your router was supplied by your broadband provider, check which model is being offered to new customers. Try contacting the company, explaining your problem and seeing if you can get a free upgrade to something more up to date.

Wifi fix #3: get a wifi repeater/extender

A repeater like the Hive Signal Booster is the simplest and cheapest way to get better wifi range at home. Sometimes these devices are called extenders.

You just plug it into an electric socket between your router and the area you want to reach. The repeater gets the wifi signal from the router, copies it, and then rebroadcasts it.

The repeater only copies exactly what it receives though. If it only gets a weak signal, that’s what it will send out. So you might need to try a few locations to find the right spot in your home.

With the Signal Booster, we recommend placing it halfway between your router and wherever your connection is weak.

Wifi fix #4: use powerline adapters

This is a clever way of using the electric cables in your house to extend your wifi.

You get two units that plug into electric sockets. The first goes near your router. It picks up the wifi signal and sends it through the electric wiring to the second unit, which you put in the area that needs a boosted signal.

Unlike a repeater or extender, the signal won’t lose strength as it travels, so it’s a great way of fixing wifi issues in a large property.

But they only work if your home only has one electric circuit – if you have separate circuits for different zones or floors, powerline adapters won’t solve your wifi problems.

Wifi fix #5: create a mesh network

This is the best fix – and it’s only a little bit more expensive than repeaters or powerline adapters.

A mesh network uses three or more ‘nodes’. You put them around your home to create a network for your wifi. Each node acts like a router and gives you strong, dependable wifi within its zone.

If you have a large property, or if you need to do data-heavy computing in all areas of the house, a mesh network is probably the way to go.

So, there you have it – five simple ways to increase your wifi range and keep your smart home properly connected. Why not find out more about getting the most from your smart home?

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