Awesome Blog

Tips, Tricks (& Culprits) on Your WiFi Home Network

Posted by Brianna Hansen on Feb 17, 2021 4:45:45 PM

As a Customer Service Champion for WhyFly, I field all sorts of troubleshooting calls throughout the day. More often than not, it’s a rather simple in-home solution that’s been overlooked.

You’d be surprised to know how frequently cats or kids are the culprits for a dropped connection! But your furry friend or tumultuous toddler knocking a cord loose is just one of many simple things that can go awry…

Did you know that you could be competing with your neighbor’s WiFi network?

That routers can work even when they’re plugged in backwards?

Or that you can get a signal through a non-compatible router? (Albeit a poor one.)

Before frustration sets in, take a minute to get to know your WiFi network - this will ensure the best experience possible. Empower yourself and your network with this list of tips, tricks and troubleshooting to help diagnose and optimize your WhyFly home network:

 

Troubleshooting Your WiFi Network
Click here to jump to tips & tricks for optimization

Hardware connected? Seems obvious, but you have to start here…

Did someone or something accidentally knock a cord loose? Follow the connections from beginning to end and make sure everything’s firmly in place, looking for nicks or kinks in the wires (this is where the hungry puppies, cats or squirrels come into play).

Baby Kitty Villain to WhyFly

^^^This kit is a serious cord culprit.

Powered? Are the lights on top of your router and/or power injector lit up?

If the cords are all in place but your devices aren’t powering, try a different outlet. If you’re plugged into a power strip...is the switch on? 

If everything checks out but the lights aren’t coming on, it could be a bad power supply.

Power cycled? Unplug your router (and power injector, if you have one) for about 15 seconds from power and then plug back in...Sometimes just a drain of the juice is all it needs to feel right as rain.

Plugged into the correct port? One of the most common causes of dropped connections or sluggish performance is your supplying ethernet cable being plugged into the wrong port. Yes, it still works there...just terribly!

The ethernet cable supplying your connection should be plugged into a port marked WAN, Internet, or with the little globe icon.

For Minim GL Mesh users, this is the far right port on the back of your router, next to the power supply cord. 

For black Ubiquiti AirCube and white Ubiquiti AmpliFi routers, this is the BLUE port on the top right corner of the back panel.

Not sure? Text (844-4-WhyFly) or email a Whyfly Customer Champion with your router model...We’re happy to help!

Router compatible with our network? Does your router have a coax cable port on the back and you’re plugged into a port marked LAN? If so, you’re likely using a cable modem router which is not compatible with our network. Switch it out for an ethernet-only dual band router (like our WhyFly Mesh Router w/ SmartFly app) and watch your speeds skyrocket and your stability instantly improve. 

Seriously, do it now.

 SMARTFLY ROUTER WhyFly


Optimizing Your WhyFly Home WiFi Network

Know Your Enemies. A lot can physically interfere with a home WiFi signal including large appliances, metal objects, and even the construction materials of your home. Every time a signal passes through a physical object, it weakens. A well-constructed brick home with thick, insulated walls and floors is quick death to a WiFi signal. 

It’s important to analyze these physical factors before deciding where to place your router and whether or not one router is enough to cover your entire home. A standard home router covers 800-1200 sq ft on average. 

Does your signal travel through an end table, two ceilings and a bed before it reaches your son’s XBox? It might be time to hard wire or consider an extender.

But first, make sure your router is located in a central point for the devices you’ll commonly use and set it up in an area where it’s got some room to breathe. 

Change your channels. Your router broadcasts two different frequencies within the home (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and each frequency sits on its own channel. Noise from your neighbor’s devices (or either devices in your home) caused by overlapping channels, or too much traffic, is one of the major reasons your home WiFi network could be less than Awesome. 

It’s recommended that you put your 2.4 network on channels 1, 6 or 11 to avoid overlap. 

For your 5 GHz network, channels 36, 40, 44, 48, 149 or 161.

If you notice brief but frequent drops in your connection, try changing the channels through your router’s management panel (it’s super easy with the SmartFly app for WhyFly’s Mesh Router!). If you own an Android, you can even download radio frequency scanner tools like WiFiMan to analyze your neighboring devices.  

Split Your Networks. Certain frequencies deliver a more stable connection in certain environments and the specs of the devices trying to connect can play a part too. If you have problems with a specific device, or frequent drop issues you can’t otherwise solve, it might not hurt to split your network radios out into two different network names. This allows you to actively choose between your 2.4 and 5 GHz connections and see if one provides a more stable performance. 

Though there are a few exceptions, most common routers will allow you to do this easily under the router’s Wireless Network settings in the management panel (and again, it’s super easy with WhyFly’s SmartFly app for our Mesh Routers). 

Boosters, extenders and mesh points are only as good as the signal they’re getting. WiFi extenders, mesh points and boosters are great tools for eliminating dead spots within your home network but only when they’re placed properly.

If you’re having trouble with a device in another part of the house, you want to place the extender device somewhere between the router and the dead zone, where the device will still get a strong signal from the router. 

An extender is only as good as its own connection. A common mistake is to place the extender near the remote device, but this will only re-broadcast the weak signal the device is already receiving (and having trouble with)!

If you have our WhyFly Mesh Router, it can be easily paired with additional units. The TP-Link AC-750 is another great extender option that works well with any router. And the Google Nest system is an Awesome full-home solution for larger coverage areas.

Finally, it’s important to remember that conferencing and streaming servers are overloaded these days with everyone working and playing from home. Sometimes factors completely out of our control are at play, so don’t feel discouraged, you’re not the only one occasionally freezing up on a Zoom call. 

And while wireless technology is great, nothing will ever beat the speed and reliability of a hard-wired connection. Have an important Zoom meeting or live stream? Plug in! 

This all may seem like a lot to take into consideration, but once your Awesome home network is optimized, it’ll be set and ready to provide you great coverage throughout the entire house with minimal  maintenance. 

Need help? WhyFly Customer Champions are here to assist. Let’s build something Awesome together.

Topics: wifi

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