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Boost Your Wifi At Home With These 8 Tips

Boost Your Wifi At Home With These 8 Tips

WiFi is an almost essential utility in today’s society. Everyone is connected to the web and it’s more important than ever to have that vital internet available in your house. Getting it to work well in your house may take some effort so here are some tips on how you can get WiFi to work better at home.

1. Buy a better router

WiFI Home

    I can’t tell you how many people I’ve helped out with WiFi problems that have had routers from the internet’s dark ages. Generally speaking, routers can last a long, long time and that makes it hard to justify upgrading them. What they don’t tell you is that newer routers have better range, stronger signal, and support for WiFi standards. If your router is more than five years old, simply giving it an upgrade will likely help fix many of your signal and disconnection problems.

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    2. Put your router in a better spot

    wifi home

      Setting up a router is much like buying a home. It’s all about location, location, location. If you put your router on the second story of a two story home then the basement is going to get terrible signal. Put it in the basement and the second story of your home will probably have low signal that potentially drops out. When you set up your router, identify which parts in the house need WiFi the most. If putting it on one side means the garage doesn’t get WiFi and your office does then that’s a sacrifice you’ll have to make.

      3. Get a router extender

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      wifi home

        There is equipment out there that can make your WiFi signal stronger. Here’s how it works. You buy an extender and plug it in between your router and the part of your house that doesn’t get any signal. Once it’s been connected it will take your router’s WiFi signal and amplify it in that area and effectively increase your WiFi range. This is a good solution for large or oddly shaped houses where a router may not get to everything. If you bought a new router and still have your old one, you can set up your old router as a WiFi extender. It’s a little complicated but it can solve a lot of wireless problems by pumping out a stronger signal to more parts of the house.

        4. Find the right wireless channel

          WiFi is broadcast on a channel. Usually there are 11 channels (1 through 11). On your Android or iOS device, go to your app store and search for “WiFi Analyzer”. Then connect your device to your WiFi and run the app. The app will tell you what channel you’re on and what channel everyone else in your area is on. Then, using your router’s manual (or Google), change your router to the channel where no one else is. If you’re on channel six and two other routers nearby are on channel six, you essentially have three routers broadcasting on the same channel. A good analogy for this is imagining what it would sound like if you tried broadcasting three radio stations on the same station. Changing the channel to an empty one will help your internet cut out less and broadcast further.

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          5. Move your router away from the interference

          wifi home

            Routers aren’t the only things casting a signal in your house. Microwaves, TVs, cordless telephones, cell phones, and practically everything else that makes a beep or a bloop can cause interference. The best (and cheapest) way to deal with this is to move your router away from any of these appliances if you have it sitting near them. I’ve seen people put routers in the entertainment stands right along with their game systems, set top boxes, and TV. That’s a really bad idea. Your router should be all by itself for best performance.

            6. Reboot your router on a regular basis

            When a router runs for long enough, it can do some funky things. It’ll cut out, maybe slow down a bit, and sometimes just do crazy things all on its own. The best way to reel in an out of control router is to unplug it for about 30 seconds every couple of days. It sounds tedious but rebooting it lets the system restart itself and freshen up a bit. Trust me, it works. One reason routers do go nuts is overheating, so make sure you dust it occasionally and don’t stack anything on top of it so it can vent hot air.

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            7. Update your router firmware

            wifi home

              There is a reason router manufacturers push out updates. It is to fix bugs, issues, and increase performance on their products. If they go through the trouble of fixing things, you should definitely go through the trouble of applying the update. Different brands of routers are accessed differently so your best bet is to visit the manufacturer website or consult your user manual to learn how to access your router settings on your computer. Once there, check for updates. You would be shocked how much a good, solid software update can fix things on a buggy router.

              8. Make sure your computer’s hardware is not broken

              A lot of times the problem isn’t the router, it’s the computer itself! Wireless adapters on computers and in laptops can go bad. If you’ve been tinkering with your router and you just can’t figure out the problem, check and make sure it’s not your computer. These days households have multiple devices that connect to the internet. If your computer is messing up, use your mobile device, tablet, or another laptop or computer to double check and make sure the internet is truly messed up. If everything works but one device, the problem may very well be that one device.

              The worst thing about WiFi is that it’s really obnoxious to trouble shoot a problem. There are just so many things that could be going wrong. Your internet service provider could be down, your router could be broken, your computer could be broken, there could be interference, or your router may just need a reboot. I once had a dog that chewed through a cable and I didn’t find it for almost two hours. Just remember that you’re not the only one who has trouble with WiFi connections. Even professionally trained network administrators get stumped sometimes. Just relax and keep at it!

              Featured photo credit: Ultra Downloads Wallpaper via wallpaper.ultradownloads.com.br

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              Joseph Hindy

              A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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              Published on September 25, 2020

              10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

              10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

              When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

              VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

              How to Choose a VPN

              • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
              • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
              • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
              • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
              • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

              Why You Should Trust Us

              Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

              Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

              1. NordVPN

              The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

              Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

              NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

              In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

              NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

              Buy this VPN.

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              2. ExpressVPN

              ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

              Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

              Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

              Buy this VPN.

              3. Surf Shark

              With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

              Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

              The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

              Buy this VPN.

              4. CyberGhost

              Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

              The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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              What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

              Buy this VPN.

              5. IPVanish

              IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

              IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

              Buy this VPN.

              6. Private Internet Access

              Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

              One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

              In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

              These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

              Buy this VPN.

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              7. Hotspot Shield

              Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

              Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

              Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

              Buy this VPN.

              8. TunnelBear

              As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

              The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

              Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

              Buy this VPN.

              9. Norton

              Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

              As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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              Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

              Buy this VPN.

              10. StrongVPN

              The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

              StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

              As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

              Buy this VPN.

              Bottom Line

              Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

              With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

              We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

              Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

              Reference

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