7 tips to improve your Wi-Fi so you can work from home better

If you’re working from home, here are some tips on how to tweak your home setup to ensure you’re getting the best Wi-Fi speed and coverage possible so you can make the most out of your internet connection.
Michele Garra · 25 March 2020 · 6 minute read

From research we’ve conducted with a nationally representative sample, we’ve found that sluggish and underperforming Wi-Fi is common amongst Australians.

Almost half of Aussies say they aren’t happy with the performance of their Wi-Fi at home.

Furthermore, one in two Aussies have told us there are certain rooms at home that have such poor Wi-Fi coverage they’re a no-go technology zone.

A quarter of those Aussies have up to three rooms in their home where connectivity is non-existent.

Thankfully, in most cases, you won’t have to get a technician to visit in order to get it fixed. Often, it’s a matter of streamlining your home for better connectivity overall or purchasing a simple Wi-Fi booster if your house is big.

As more of your family work and study from home, a good Wi-Fi connection will become an even more important thing to consider for your home. You can trust us to continue to innovate our wireless network offerings to help you better work, play, communicate, and be entertained.

Here are our tips for better Wi-Fi that won’t take you all day to fix.

1. Find your router

Do you know where your router is right now? You might have forgotten since you moved in and plugged it in around the pantry, laundry or bedroom. It’s worth tracking it down, because it could be the difference between average and excellent Wi-Fi coverage in your house.

Ideally, you want to set up your Smart Modem Gen 2 in a central location where you will use your wireless devices. If you have it at the far end of your home away from your television, laptop, or smartphone, you’re likely going to experience poor connectivity and slow speeds (even if it is connected).

Wi-Fi signals have a tougher time travelling through dense objects, so it’s best to achieve a clear line of sight between the modem and your devices. Check that your furniture, television, or even cupboards aren’t in between the modem and your device.

2. Look for interference

There are many sources of radio interference in the home, from appliances to reflective surfaces. Fortunately, minimising the impact of this interference is easy.

Some appliances, such as microwaves and cordless phones, operate on the 2.4GHz spectrum when active. You may notice your connection stability degrades when you’re heating up leftovers for lunch. Ensure your modem isn’t set up next to these devices.

Fridges and other appliances made of metal, such as your stove, reflect radio waves and can cause issues. Try to place the modem so that the Wi-Fi can travel to as much of your house as possible without passing through the kitchen at all.

Bear in mind that mirrors have a thin layer of metal inside of them. As tempting as it can be to keep your modem out of sight, avoid setting it up inside a mirrored wardrobe.

3. Maintain good security

More connections often mean a slower network. The Smart Modem Gen 2 is set up to handle a range of devices in your home, but if you start sharing your password with your neighbours, or even have poor security that allows them to connect without a password, you may notice a slower experience. It’s best to keep your network passwords safe and secure for the best experience.

4. Opt for a wired connection for some devices

Wired network connections will typically work faster than those sent wirelessly, but that doesn’t mean you have to fill your house with metres of cable!

If you’re someone who likes to game online or stream ultra-high-definition 4K content to your TV, it may be worth connecting these devices to your router via a wired connection. There are four LAN ports on the back of your Smart Modem Gen 2, making it easy to connect the devices you want to perform the fastest.

This way, you can have both a wired network set up for the fastest stationary devices, and a wireless network working to keep the mobile devices connected in your home.

5. Ensure you’re up to date

Keeping your devices up to date – from your smartphone, tablet, laptop right through to the Smart Modem itself – is vital. Updates not only bring critical security patches to keep you safe, but also occasional performance improvements from the manufacturer. These efficiencies can further optimise your home Wi-Fi experience.

6. Booster hardware to extend your Wi-Fi signal

We see that some WiFi issues that our customers have are due to their residence. The house might be built of brick – which blocks WiFi signals – or are larger in size than an average house or apartment. This problem is easy to solve for our customers as they can purchase the Smart Wi-Fi Booster Gen 2. It is specifically designed to work together with the Smart Modem Gen 2 to improve in-home Wi-Fi. With a simple two-button setup, the single booster will pair directly to the modem and boost wireless coverage, helping to reduce or resolve black spots and extending wireless coverage from the modem’s base.

7. Avoiding dropouts

Unfortunately, outages sometimes happen. Thankfully, the Smart Modem Gen 2 has a dedicated voice and data back-up – a 4G SIM card that automatically fails over when it detects your primary internet service has failed.

That means during a network outage, you’ll still be connected to Australia’s best 4G network so you can still read your emails, access your social media, and make conference calls. And best of all, data sent over the 4G connection during an outage comes at no extra charge, making the Smart Modem Gen 2 the most reliable connection for your work-from-home needs.

Things you should know

The Telstra Smart Modem mobile network backup service is limited to download/upload speeds of 6/1 Mbps. You will need to be in a 4G coverage area to use this feature. 

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By Michele Garra

Connected Home & Business Executive

Michele is a senior executive with 25 years’ experience in the content industry, across strategic and commercial roles in Australia, Asia and the United States. She is a senior marketing leader with experience launching new, high definition and digital home technology platforms. Her career spans a variety of content, sales, marketing and product organisations including Virgin Australia, Microsoft and Sony Pictures. Prior to Telstra, Michele was Vice President Retail at Optus Telecommunications (SingTel), accountable for more than $2.9 billion revenue and the telco’s primary channels to market, including 370 branded stores. Michele joined Telstra in 2016, leading the Media division – launched the Telstra TV and revamped the AFL, NRL and netball sports apps. Then moved into Innovation and Strategy, developing the 5G Launch strategy and led the strategy redesign for the Consumer & Small Business unit. Michele now heads up the Connected Home & Business unit, including all broadband, voice and connected home and business services for consumer and small business customers.

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