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    Getting the best WiFi (wireless) signal

    Here's how to get the strongest signal possible from your WiFi network.

    Here's how to get the strongest signal possible from your WiFi network. They're just some general suggestions, so if any don't work, stick with the ones that work best for you.

    This can be a bit tricky, because there's two things you need to keep in mind. Where's best for both your broadband and your WiFi signal. Here are some tips to help you decide.

    Best for your broadband signal

    First of all, find your master telephone socket. This is the best socket to connect your router to. It's usually closest to where the telephone line comes into your home or office. You don't have to connect your router to this one. But you'll get the best broadband performance from it, especially if you have a poor quality or long line.

    If you find your broadband works just as well in other sockets, go ahead and use them instead. But if you're having problems, like connection dropping regularly, use the master socket whilst you're sorting it out.

    Best for WiFi signal

    For the strongest connection, it's best to put your router:

    • out in an open space in your home or office, that's not on the floor
    • close to your computer (somewhere central in your home or office is best)
    • away from any thick walls, metal objects or electrical appliances

    Don't worry if you can't do them all, but do as many as you can.

    Your router uses radio signals, which can be interrupted by other electrical appliances in your home. Microwaves, Bluetooth devices, cordless phones, fridges and baby monitors are some of the most common culprits. So try and keep your router away from them.

    If you're getting a lot of problems when you use a cordless phone, you might need to get one that broadcasts on a higher frequency. Before you buy one, tell the retailer about the problem you're having, so they can advise you on the best phone.

    Most modern WiFi routers work across two frequency bands - 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

    The 2.4GHz band is good for coverage as it can 'reach' further than the 5GHz band. It’s slower than 5GHz and there’s more chance of interference from things like competing WiFi networks, Bluetooth devices and microwave ovens. Almost all WiFi devices have support for 2.4GHz WiFi networks.

    The 5GHz band can't reach quite as far as 2.4GHz so works better over shorter distances. It has much higher speeds and there’s less chance of interference.

    Some older, WiFi-enabled devices don’t support 5GHz WiFi networks, so can only connect to the 2.4GHz band.

    As a general rule, the 5GHz network is better, unless you’re too far away from your router to obtain a reliable signal, or you’re using an older device that doesn’t have 5GHz.

    The Plusnet Hub Zero and Technicolor 582n only operates on the 2.4GHz band and doesn’t have support for 5GHz.

    Newer Plusnet Hubs are 'dual band' so the decision on which band to connect to is left to the device. If your device is close to your router then it should prefer the 5GHz band as it offers the best speed. As you move a device further away from the router and the 5GHz signal becomes weaker, it will switch across to the 2.4GHz band to keep you connected.

    If you want a device to connect to a particular band, you can disable either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz radio via your router settings. This will force all devices to only connect to the active band.

    Some routers also provide the capability to 'split' the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands so each has its own WiFi network name or SSID (Service Set Identifier). This lets you control which device to connect to which wireless band.

    Our handy table provides a comparison of the main features of each hub, including those supporting split WiFi bands.

    Router features
      Plusnet Hub Two Plusnet Hub One Plusnet Hub Zero Technicolor 582n
    Number of antennas 7 5 2 2
    WiFi bands Dual band WiFi 4/5 Dual band WiFi 4/5 Single band WiFi 4 Single band WiFi 4
    2.4GHz WiFi band 3x3 802.11b/g/n 2x2 802.11b/g/n 2x2 802.11 b/g/n 2x2 802.11b/g/n
    5GHz WiFi band 4x4 802.11a/n/ac 3x3 802.11a/n/ac - -
    Split WiFi bands/SSID No Yes - -
    Connections 3 x GigE LAN
    1 x GigE WAN
    4 x GigE LAN
    1 x GigE WAN
    4 x 10/100 LAN 4 x 10/100 LAN
    USB port 1 x USB 2.0 1 x USB 2.0 - -
    On/off light control Yes No No No
    Removable password card Yes Yes No No

    Both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands are further split into separate chunks called channels.

    Your Plusnet router is designed to select the best performing channel for both the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands. All of your connected devices will communicate over the channel that’s chosen.

    The 2.4GHz band operates best on channels 1, 6 or 11. This is because they don’t 'overlap' with each other. Using a different channel can increase the chances of interference or congestion which will affect your WiFi connectivity.

    Most routers will allow you to manually select the WiFi channel. We don’t recommend this approach as your wireless environment can change from one day to the next. What might work well now could cause problems in the future.  Instead, look for an option in your router settings to refresh or rescan your channel selection. This should automatically move you to a more reliable channel.

    Alternatively check our general guide on How to improve WiFi signal.

    For more information about our routers see our router guides.

    Got a more detailed question? Check out the router help from the Plusnet Community - they’re a friendly bunch and will always try to help.

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