By Paul Routledge, Country Manager D-Link UK
There’s a good chance that you’re reading this over a Wi-Fi connection. And if you are, it’s quite likely that from time to time, your Wi-Fi network doesn’t perform as well as you’d like.
Wi-Fi is one of the most important developments in the evolution of the internet’no one wants to be chained to a desktop’but it’s also one of the most frustrating when it isn’t performing well or seamlessly stretching its powers into all the corners of your house.
New research from D-Link has found that nearly a quarter of us (22%) suffer from a bad Wi-Fi connection in our homes. The research – which surveyed more than 7,200 people in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Sweden – shows that an overwhelming majority (95%) of Europeans can’t be without a quality internet connection at home for a week. Italians are least prepared to give up their home Wi-Fi connection, admitted by 97.3% of people, closely trailed by those in the UK (97.2%) and in Spain (96.7%).
In addition, D-Link also discovered that over one-in-five Europeans (21%) experience regular blackouts to their Wi-Fi connection at home. The research found that, on average, this happens to people across Europe more than three times per week, and one in nine people (11%) also claimed that they experience issues with their Wi-Fi connection at home at least once a day.
Everyone relies greatly on having a quality connection at home, and with the growing number of connected devices we’re using – this is more important than ever. It’s clear that people value a good Wi-Fi connection, though the research suggests that a large number of us aren’t getting the best possible service that we’re paying for. So what’s the answer?
We often think of Wi-Fi networks as virtual, uniform fields that fill our living spaces. In fact, they’re very physical signals that can be blocked or scattered by walls, other electronics, and even people! But it’s hard to know what the issue is. Do you need to upgrade your router – or simply extend your Wi-Fi coverage?
If you’re still using an older 802.11g or 802.11n router ‘“Wireless G” or “Wireless N,” as they’re commonly known’it’s time to upgrade to something new. One of the best ways to make sure your network is as fast and reliable as possible is to use up-to-date hardware. Switch to an 802.11ac router and you should get faster performance. An 802.11ac router might not give you more range than an 802.11n router, but it will give you stronger performance for 802.11ac devices farther out.
If you’re having trouble getting a strong Wi-Fi signal across your home the best thing to do is to use a mesh solution which is an almost foolproof way to extend your coverage.
In your average Wi-Fi setup, you have a router and a modem. You plug this into the wall where the signal comes in (either ADSL or cable, most likely) and the router spreads the signal as far as it can within your house. Every wall, carpet, door and other obstacles will weaken the signal, which means that some rooms will provide better coverage than others.
This is where mesh networks come in: extra boxes sit in your house, such as the D-Link Covr, and treat the internet in your house like a relay race: picking up the internet signal and taking it deeper into your abode, including places that were impossible to reach before.
If you’re sick to death of poor Wi-Fi coverage, opting for mesh Wi-Fi is the way to go. By taking the signal from your modem or existing router and distributing it around a series of “nodes” or satellite devices, mesh systems eradicate black spots while also maintaining a much higher level of throughput than a single router can maintain.
If you’ve got a large area to cover, or your existing wireless network has trouble penetrating thick walls and spanning multiple floors, you’ve got a good case for making the switch to mesh. If your network signal is weak even when you’re close to the router, or you get frequent Wi-Fi dropouts where you cannot connect at all, mesh Wi-Fi will help. The only downside to mesh systems can be the cost since mesh wireless router systems are still breaking through in terms of widespread appeal. Fortunately, heavy hitters like Google are pushing the technology forward and driving the price down for consumers.
Remember, a gadget is only as good as its internet connection. Upgrading your router and deploying a mesh solution is super simple, affordable and requires no hand tools.
What are you waiting for?!