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11 DIY Ways to Solve Common Wi-Fi Problems

11 DIY Ways to Solve Common Wi-Fi Problems

Wi-Fi gives you the freedom to enjoy the Web without being bound by a hardwire connection. It’s a convenience most of us consider more necessity than luxury, so it’s frustrating when it doesn’t work as it should. Thankfully, you don’t have to be an IT mastermind to fix most wireless Internet problems. From slow Wi-Fi to no Wi-Fi, here are 11 ways you can fix most of your Wi-Fi woes on your own.

Problem: No Wi-Fi signal

If a Wi-Fi signal is available but your device isn’t picking it up, try these troubleshooting tactics.

1. Press the Wi-Fi button on your device

Some laptops have an on/off switch for Wi-Fi. Look on the side of your device (or on the keyboard) for a button or switch labeled with a wireless router icon. If you find one, press it. This may allow your device to detect Wi-Fi signals again and allow you to get connected.

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2. Reboot your device and your wireless router

Rebooting can fix possible software or firmware problems with your computer or router. If rebooting doesn’t work, unplug your router, wait 30 seconds, and plug it back in. This should restore your wireless network and allow you to connect to Wi-Fi.

3. Power off your equipment

If your Wi-Fi stops working while you’re using it, power off your computer, then turn off your router and modem. Note: you may have an all-in-one modem/router. Check to make sure all cables and power plugs are fully engaged. Turn your devices back on, starting with your modem, then your router, and finally your computer. Allow each device to turn on completely before powering up the next one — the lights on the device will stop flashing when they have finished booting up.

4. Restore your router to its factory settings

If your device still doesn’t identify your Wi-Fi network, press and hold the small reset button on the back of the router for at least 10 seconds. This will restore your router to its factory defaults, which may make it detectable again. Unfortunately, this will also delete your settings, so you’ll need to re-secure your Wi-Fi and reconfigure your Internet connections.

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Problem: Slow Wi-Fi

Slow Wi-Fi can be more frustrating than no Wi-Fi at all. Fortunately, sluggish Wi-Fi is usually easy to remedy.

5. Secure your Wi-Fi network

If your wireless router isn’t protected by a robust password, anyone can mooch off it. Not only does this make your personal data vulnerable to cyber criminals, it can also slow down your Wi-Fi. Change your Wi-Fi network’s default password to one that’s more difficult to crack. For extra protection, turn off the router’s Service Set Identifier (SSID) broadcasting option. This prevents other people from seeing your network in the first place.

6. Update your router’s firmware

Fixing slow Wi-Fi may be as easy as updating the router’s firmware. Periodically check the router manufacturer’s website to determine if a free update is available.

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7. Switch your wireless router’s channel

If your router is set to a congested channel it can slow down your Wi-Fi connection. Try switching your router to channels that tend to be less crowded, like 1, 6, or 11, to dodge interference with other Wi-Fi networks.

8. Upgrade your router

If your router is several years old or damaged in any way, replacing it with a new one may be the answer to faster Wi-Fi.

Problem: Limited Wi-Fi range

Weak signal strength is a classic Wi-Fi issue. Try these tips to strengthen your wireless router’s signal.

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9. Relocate your router

For better or worse, the location of your Wi-Fi router can affect its signal strength. To get the strongest signal possible, place the router close to the center of your home and keep it out in the open. Don’t hide it in a drawer, TV console, or anywhere that may restrict signal transmission. Make sure the router is at least 10 feet away from devices that may interfere with it, such as a baby monitor, microwave, or cordless phone.

10. Replace your router’s Wi-Fi antenna

The antenna your router came with may not be strong enough to send a signal throughout your home or to penetrate hard-to-reach areas. Replacing your router antenna with a high-gain or booster antenna can extend and strengthen your router’s signal, and may provide the coverage you need. There are two types of antennas: omnidirectional and directional. Typically, a household router has an omnidirectional antenna, which broadcasts the signal in all directions. But a directional antenna, which sends the signal just one way, can be helpful if you’re having trouble getting Wi-Fi in a specific area of your home.

11. Buy a Wi-Fi extender

Also called a repeater, a Wi-Fi extender rebroadcasts your router’s signal and can further improve the signal’s range and speed. You can use an extender with or without a high-gain antenna.

If your Wi-Fi is being problematic, try these DIY tips. There’s a good chance you can get your Wi-Fi running up to speed without the help (or expense) of a professional.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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