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Tech tips

Weak signal? How to get better Wi-Fi on your Android

The digital age got a shot in the arm (pardon the pun) when the pandemic forced us to move our everyday activities online. Remote work and education, shopping, video chats and conferencing have become more common than ever.

You’re probably using your connected devices more than usual, and that can unearth some issues like malware and hardware failure. It helps to give your tech a checkup now and then to avoid more severe and costly problems later on. Tap or click here for six ways to get started.

What’s more frustrating than lousy Wi-Fi when you’re trying to get something done? Your Android phone loses much of its functionality without a solid network connection. The problem could be coming from several sources, and we’re here to help you narrow them down and get your internet back on track.

Sometimes the easiest solution is the best solution

Have you heard of restarting your computer to fix some troublesome issues? This can also help to give your Android phone a nudge in the right direction. Turn off your phone and wait for about 30 seconds, then turn it on again.

You can also try turning your Wi-Fi off then on again. Depending on your phone model, you’ll find Wi-Fi options under Connections or Wireless & Networks (or something similar to these) or simply Wi-Fi. Toggle your phone’s Wi-Fi off, wait a few seconds, then turn it on again.

Turning Airplane Mode on and off can help. Go to Settings, then Wireless & Networks or Network & Internet (or something like these) and toggle Airplane mode on. Wait a few seconds, then turn it off.

Update your Android phone

Updating your Android phone may fix your network issues while also providing the latest security updates, bug fixes and features. Go to System > System update and follow the onscreen instructions.

Drop, then add the faulty network

Removing your phone from a network then adding it back can help fix your connection issues. You’ll need to have the password to get back into the network.

Go to Settings and you’ll find Network & Internet or something of the like or simply a Wi-Fi setting. Find the network you want to remove, press and hold or tap the gear icon, then select Forget. Wait a few seconds, then connect to the network.

Related: 8 proven ways cheap people lower their monthly internet, cable, and streaming bills

Reset your network settings

If the above steps fail, you can reset your phone’s network settings. Note that not only will you need to re-enter your Wi-Fi password, but you may also have to reconnect your Bluetooth devices and set up your VPN again if you’re using one.

Go to Settings, then General management or System. Tap Reset or Reset options, then Reset network settings. You’ll need a passcode or other form of authentication to proceed.

Reset your router

If your phone isn’t the issue, your router likely is. You can reset it by using its power button or simply unplugging the power supply. Wait half a minute before turning it back on.

Move your router

How far away are you typically from your router? If you have a habit of doomscrolling in bed, it helps to have your router close to the bedroom. At the very least, it should be on the same floor where you spend most of your time. Your walls, appliances and furniture all affect the network signal between your phone and router.

Find a central location with lots of open space and mount your router up high for an even better signal. If you live in a large home with multiple floors, a mesh network can solve many of your router issues. Tap or click here to see how it works.

Update your router

Almost any connected device can be updated, including your router. This can fix your Wi-Fi while also providing you with security patches. No matter which router you have, the first step is to access your router admin page. You can go to routeripaddress.com for a list of default passwords for router brands.

Following this, open your router admin page and go to a section called Advanced or Management to update your router.

Change your DNS server

Think of DNS as a road map of the internet. Your ISP automatically assigns you one, though this may not be the fastest or most efficient route. You can try out other DNS servers that work better. Tap or click here for step-by-step instructions to change your DNS settings, including screenshots

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