Top 10 Tips to Maximize Your Home WiFi Performance

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Get the most out of your Home WiFi service

Your Internet and Home WiFi experience is defined by several factors, and there are several things you can do to get the best out of your service.

There are two primary choices and tradeoffs on where you and your technician set up your WiFi-enabled Internet modem.

  • If you use WiFi equally throughout the house, the WiFi-enabled Internet modem should be placed as close to the middle of your home as possible. This helps provide the best possible WiFi signal throughout.
  • If there is a primary media room where you use WiFi the most, the WiFi-enabled Internet modem should be placed there. This allows you to wire devices that require more bandwidth, such as streaming video or gaming systems, directly into your modem and minimize the wireless needs from these devices. If your media room isn’t in the middle of your home, the WiFi signal strength for other devices could be impacted the farther you move from the WiFi-enabled Internet modem.

Don’t block your WiFi-enabled Internet modem's signal.

  • Avoid placing it in a closet or cabinet or putting it behind something (such as a TV, aquarium or staircase) that might weaken the WiFi signal.
  • Don’t place it on the floor or low to the ground.
  • Don’t place it next to windows.
  • Open any doors to the room where you’ve placed the WiFi-enabled Internet modem.

It’s important to provide a clear “path” for your WiFi-enabled Internet modem.

Items that can interfere with WiFi signals Potential for interference
Wood Low
Plaster Low
Synthetic material Low
Tinted glass Low/Medium
Water Medium
Bricks Medium
Marble Medium
Cordless Phone (2.4GHz) Medium/High
Concrete High
Microwave Medium/High (up to 15 feet)
Metal Very High

 

As fast as our Home WiFi may be, wireless connections aren't as fast as wired connections. Devices such as streaming video players (e.g. Roku, Amazon Fire) or gaming systems (e.g. Xbox, PlayStation) need lots of bandwidth. Whenever possible, connect these devices to your WiFi-enabled Internet modem via a wired Ethernet connection.

All WiFi-enabled devices are built to 802.11 WiFi standards. Most new WiFi devices support 802.11g/n and often the latest 802.11ac standards, which all allow for greater throughput speed. Older standards, such as 802.11b, however, can slow down your WiFi experience. Check your older WiFi devices and potentially upgrade any that support only 802.11b. Once you no longer need the 802.11b standard, sign in to your WiFi-enabled Internet modem and set your broadcast standard to include only 802.11g/n/. This will lead to improved WiFi performance.

Whenever possible, do not run more than one WiFi network in your home using other routers. Devices that connect to more than one network may have trouble keeping a constant connection, and the networks will interfere with one another. Having other wireless routers isn’t the only challenge. Baby monitors, cordless phones and even microwave ovens can also cause interference. Try to ensure that monitors and phones run on separate channels from the 2.4 and 5GHz channels that your WiFi-enabled Internet modem uses and, if possible, turn off those networks when not in use.

Our latest WiFi-enabled Internet modem are all able to broadcast on both the 2.4GHz and a 5GHz channels, allowing the greatest number of devices to connect. The 5GHz channel is faster, but it might have slightly less range. If your home needs less range (e.g. smaller homes, townhomes, apartments) and you’re using mostly newer devices supporting 802.11n or 802.11ac, then try broadcasting only on the 5GHz channel to get faster speeds on all your devices.

To use only the 5GHz channel, sign in to your WiFi-enabled Internet modem and turn off the broadcast of your 2.4GHz channel.

Not all devices are the same when it comes to WiFi speed. When using our TWC Speed Test, check the WiFi speeds on all your devices when you are near your WiFi-enabled Internet modem. Note which devices may have lower speeds and might not perform effectively when they are farther from the WiFi-enabled Internet modem.

For homes that have lots of neighbors nearby (e.g. apartments or townhomes) who all have their own WiFi networks, you might experience some WiFi interference. If your WiFi devices have trouble connecting in these situations, you may want to limit the channel width on your WiFi-enabled Internet modem. To limit the channel width, sign in to your WiFi-enabled Internet modem and minimize the channel width to 20Mhz for your 2.4 GHz network and 20/40 for your 5GHz network. This may assist in minimizing the WiFi “noise” for your devices.

Even with TWC’s WiFi-enabled Internet modem using the latest in WiFi technology, you might have lower WiFi speeds in certain parts of your house.

Watch your WiFi ‘”bars” as you walk through your home. The farther you are from your modem, the fewer bars you’ll see. If you want to see even more detail, you can do some of your own testing by using free apps and walk around your house to review the changing WiFi strength in various rooms. Tools will show a bar measuring actual signal strength in dBms; the higher the score approaching -30 dBm, the better. Signal strength lower than -70 dBm may result in poor WiFi performance.

This feedback will help you determine the best rooms for using your WiFi-enabled devices, especially those requiring high bandwidth, such as streaming video or gaming systems.

Like any software, it’s beneficial to occasionally reboot your WiFi-enabled Internet modem. One great benefit is that the Auto Channel Selection will run and update if it sees any changes to your home’s WiFi environment. This helps to make sure you have the best possible WiFi speeds. Simply unplug your Internet modem, wait a moment, and plug it back in. All your devices should automatically reconnect.