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Find and fix dead spots in your home Wi-Fi

The joy of Wi-Fi is that you can use your gadgets anywhere in your house. Want to browse the Internet on your couch with a tablet? Sure. Want to download the latest recipes on your laptop in the kitchen? Great.

Of course, like any tech, it isn't perfect. You'll often find that there are spots in the house the Wi-Fi signal doesn't quite reach. Or if it does, it's so inconsistent that you really can't get anything done. Fortunately, there are several ways to boost a Wi-Fi signal and eliminate dead spots, and most of them are free.

But first ...

Before you can take some of these steps to boost your signal, however, you need to know where it's weak. You might already think you do; after all you can't connect in a certain room. However, you might have other spots with a weaker signal you don't know about.

As you're trying to improve your coverage in your current dead spots, there could be new dead spots. It could turn into a game of Whack-a-mole where the mole is invisible. That's why it might be a good idea to make a heatmap of your home's Wi-Fi.

There are computer programs that can help you do this. Simply install them on your laptop and move around the house. They'll map out where the Wi-Fi is strong and weak. HeatMapper is an option for PC, and Netspot works for Macs.

You can also use an app like the free Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android that has a real-time signal strength meter. While it doesn't create a map automatically, you can use it to make your own map.

Once you know where your dead spots are and where potential ones could be, it's time to start making changes to your network.

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