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Improve your Wi-Fi in 5 minutes

Improve your Wi-Fi in 5 minutes
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Wi-Fi is now a staple in most offices. It's easier to place computers where you need them, it's a good bonus for visitors, and employees like a way to use smartphones and tablets without burning up their data plans.

Unfortunately, when you're trying to cover any building with Wi-Fi, you'll have areas with a weak signal or no signal. There are ways to get around this, including an option that costs $50 or less. However, before you spend money, try these three things that take less than a minute.

1. Put the router in the best place

It's important to remember that your Wi-Fi antenna is omnidirectional, i.e. the signal goes every direction. In other words, if you put your router along an outside wall, you're sending half your signal outside. That's fine if you run a coffee shop with a patio, but not great if your workers and visitors are indoors.

For the best all-around signal inside, place your router as close as possible to the middle of the office. You should also pay attention to what's around the router. You might be tempted to tuck it away so it doesn't ruin the decor, but it's better to have it out in the open.

Putting it next to a wall or inside a bookcase can partially block the signal. And definitely keep it away from metal since that can absorb the signal. So, don't set it next to a metal filing cabinet or support beam.

You'll also want to keep it away from a microwave or a cordless telephone. Those put out 2.4 gigahertz frequencies, which is one of the main frequencies routers use. That causes interference, which can cause signal problems. If you have a newer router, you can turn on the 5GHz network, which will have less interference, although it doesn't go through walls and objects as well.

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