What is Wi-Fi and how does it work?
Wi-Fi is a technology that uses two-way radio waves to connect devices to a network. Your Wi-Fi connection is established when a network’s signal is transmitted via router and picked up by various devices, such as computers, tablets or mobile phones. Wi-Fi signals become weaker the further they travel and when objects obstruct their path. The closer your device is to the router, the stronger the signal is, improving network connectivity and performance.
Below is some information regarding the different Wi-Fi standards that exist:
- 802.11ac – Fastest. This is the latest Wi-Fi standard (2013). It uses the 5.0Ghz frequency. 802.11ac is backwards compatible to 802.11n/g/b/a.
- 802.11n – Faster. This is an older Wi-Fi standard (2009) predating 802.11ac. 802.11n uses the 2.4Ghz frequency. Some 802.11n routers and devices may also use the 5.0Ghz frequency. 802.11n is backwards compatible to 802.11g/b/a.
- 802.11g/b – 802.11g (2003) at 54Mbps and 802.11b (1999) at 11Mbps use the 2.4Ghz frequency.
- 802.11a – Not as fast as 802.11n or 802.11ac. This is also an older Wi-Fi standard (1999). 802.11a (54Mbps) uses the 5.0Ghz frequency.
What type of Wi-Fi frequencies are there?
Most of today’s routers use dual frequencies; 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. They are called Dual Band routers.
This frequency offers a better range and coverage as it can pass through matter more easily compared with the 5 GHz. However, its actual functioning range may be diminished due to crowding and congestion. It remains though the most widely used frequency.
This frequency has a harder time passing through matter therefore offers less coverage than the 2.4 GHz. Because it is used less, it is not exposed to interference from other appliances or electronics. It does offer more bandwidth, therefore allowing a higher transfer speed.
- The 2.4 GHz frequency has slightly greater range than the 5.0 GHz frequency
- 5.0 GHz may provide higher functional range due to 2.4 GHz crowding and congestion.
Where Can I properly install my Wi-Fi router?
Place your router:
- in a central location
- in an open area when possible
- elevated from the floor, and away from glass or metal objects, mirrors and water sources that often block or deflect signal.
Reduce the possibility of interference on your router by keeping it away from electronic wireless devices operating in the 2.4 GHz range, such as:
- wireless phones
- baby monitors
What can I do if a I am having problems connecting to my Wi-Fi network?
- Make sure your router and modem are plugged in and that both devices are properly connected to each other with an Ethernet cable.
- Make sure both router and modem are plugged in to a power source.
- If equipped with one, make sure the “detect Wi-Fi” button on the router is pushed in so that your Wi-Fi network is detectable.
- Verify that your modem's "online" and "power" lights are on. If they are not, turn on or simply power cycle your modem.
Check whether you can connect another device to the Wi-Fi network.
If yes, the issue may be with the device you are trying to connect. Try to reset the device you are using.
Wait a few minutes for the indicators to return to normal.
If none of your devices will connect to the Internet, reset your router by unplugging it, waiting about 10 seconds,
then plugging it back in.
- You can also check the router connection by plugging your device to the router using an Ethernet cable.
- If you cannot connect to the internet with any of your devices, or if your devices cannot to Wi-Fi, reset your Wi-Fi router by unplugging it, waiting about 10 seconds, then plugging it back in.
How can I test my Wi-Fi performance?
The following steps can be used to measure your Wi-Fi performance:
- Use a Wi-Fi enabled laptop (preferably one that is less than 3 years old) and place it within 8 meters of your Wi-Fi modem.
- Make sure all other Wi-Fi devices in your home are powered off or have their Wi-Fi connection disabled.
- Ensure there are no programs that require an internet connection running in the background.
- Open a browser and visit www.speedtest.net to see if your internet is performing as well as it should be.
How can I create a strong and safe password for my Wi-Fi network?
- Choose a unique, hard-to-guess password. Avoid re-using the same password.
- Avoid the use of obvious words, like family member’s name, pet’s name or your birthdate. Avoid commonly used ones such as: password, 123456.
- Chose one with at least 12 characters long, containing numbers with lower and uppercase letters, symbols.
- Avoid using words you see in a dictionary