1. Use the Latest Wi-Fi Technologies
One of the best ways to make sure your network is as fast and reliable as possible is to use up-to-date hardware. The main thing you need to know: Wireless A, B, and G are old and slow, and wireless N will give you the fastest speeds around. Note, that you'll need both a wireless N router and a wireless N card in your computer if you want the full speed boost. Also look out for the new AC standard that will become common soon.
2. Find the Perfect Spot for Your Router
Routers may be ugly, but that doesn't mean you should hide them behind the TV cabinet. If you want the best signal, you'll need it out in the open, free of any walls and obstructions. Point the antennas vertically, and elevate the router if you can (one reader found that his attic was the perfect spot). Lastly, make sure it's in the center of your house, so you have the best coverage possible throughout your home.
3. Find the Right Wireless Channel
If you have neighbors, their routers may be interfering with yours and causing the signal to degrade. Wireless routers can operate on a number of different channels, and you want yours on a channel with as little interference as possible. Use a tool like Wi-Fi Stumbler or Wi-Fi Analyzer to find the perfect channel in your house.
4. Get Rid of Interference from Other Appliances
Other routers aren't the only thing that can cause interference. Cordless phones, microwaves, and other appliances can muck with your signal as well. Buying a dual band router can help with this, but you can also buy cordless phones on other bands too. If you don't want to buy new hardware, you can always try moving your router further away from interfering appliances, too.
5. Thwart Wi-Fi Thieves with Better Security
Even if your router has a password, it can be really easy to hack. There are easy ways to find out if someone is stealing your Wi-Fi, but the best thing to do is just lock them out with better security. Using a WPA password is absolutely essential, the older standard WEP can be hacked in minutes.
Daragh O'Higgins, has lived in Thailand for over eight years and has over 15 years of experience in smart home technology. Have a question? Email Daragh at firstname.lastname@example.org
This column originally appeared in the October 17, 2014 edition of The Phuket News – Technology section in Life & Style.