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Top tips and tweaks to fix your Wi-Fi

Solve dropped signals and other wireless annoyances

Your old Wi-Fi network can't cut it anymore? Here are some fixes for everything from dropped signals to choppy music and video.

Try hybrid home networking

If multimedia and coverage issues persist, consider adding a wired component to your network. Although I wouldn't ever want to give up the convenience of Wi-Fi for portable devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, there's no compelling reason to prefer wireless connections for equipment that stays in place, such as home entertainment gear or a desktop PC.

A couple of years ago I added HomePlug AV powerline-networking support to my Wi-Fi network, and I've never looked back. It's particularly useful in my home entertainment center, where I have four networked devices connected via ethernet to a four-port HomePlug AV switch plugged into a wall outlet.

I enabled the powerline network by plugging a HomePlug AV adapter into a free ethernet port on my Wi-Fi router at one end, and into a wall outlet on the other. But a couple of vendors are starting to ship hybrid routers that support both Wi-Fi and HomePlug AV, out of the box.

HomePlug AV powerline isn't as good as gigabit ethernet, but in general it has proved more reliable than even 5GHz Wi-Fi for streaming media. Unless the electrical circuitry in your home is really old, it can be a great substitute - and of course, it doesn't require running new cables behind walls.

  1. Don't put up with dropping signal
  2. Extend your Wi-Fi signal
  3. Implement streaming media solutions
  4. Try hybrid home networking
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