A wireless router can be the difference between an enjoyable online experience and one that brings frustration and disappointment, but these devices are far from maintenance-free. Even the best routers need to be looked after in order to run smoothly, so here are five steps you can take to keep your wireless router in top condition so you get the best performance possible from it.
1) Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines
Many wireless routers have a schedule for rebooting or resetting.
Check your manual—if you can’t find it, try searching online—to see if you need to restart your router on a regular basis. Some routers are more susceptible than others, so be sure to check with people who own other brands if you aren’t sure whether yours needs maintenance.
If possible, pick a day of week and time of day (early morning is ideal) when other people aren’t using their wireless connections as much. That way, when yours kicks into gear they won’t be bombarded by requests at once and your access won’t be interrupted by slow speeds.
2) Update regularly
Make sure you download and install all available firmware updates, which can fix bugs, improve security or add new features.
To do so, open your router’s configuration page by entering its IP address into a web browser. Check for an option that says Firmware Update and follow any instructions provided.
For example, many models will ask you to press a button on your router for several seconds; when released, it will connect with a server and upload new files. You may also be able to upgrade firmware through an automated software update function.
3) Install securely
Mount your router securely on a wall or other flat surface. Make sure it’s not lying directly on a flammable surface, such as carpet. Make sure that it is positioned so that it cannot be knocked over accidentally. Laptops are particularly prone to being moved and jostled around, so make sure they can’t bump into—or knock over—your wireless router. (Even if you’re using a wireless network switch).
If possible, install it at least five feet away from any fluorescent light fixture or large metal object—these objects can interfere with your wireless signal, either disrupting its operation entirely or causing periodic connectivity problems. Don’t place anything between your wireless router and your computer or laptop; doing so will decrease reception quality.
4) Clean regularly
Keeping your wireless router free of debris and dirt will help increase its longevity. If you’re using a small box or something similar as a housing for your router, be sure to open it up every once in a while and give it a good cleaning.
You can even take apart some of your components (like the antenna) and wipe them down with a clean cloth. Keeping things clean is always important when dealing with electronics, but it’s especially vital for wireless routers because dust can interfere with connectivity (especially if you live in an area that has frequent dust storms). This is why many routers come with removable components so they can be quickly cleaned; not all do, however, so keep an eye out for those pieces if you plan on purchasing one.
5) Unplug when not in use
A wireless router is a convenient way to increase your internet’s reach—and, therefore, its signal. When not in use, simply unplug it from power; you’ll still be able to send and receive data for devices like game consoles and smart TVs that use Ethernet connections.
This simple step can save you money by eliminating any phantom energy drain on your utility bill. All told, if your router uses 1 kilowatt per hour (kWh) of energy when it’s fully charged, you could save anywhere from $50-$75 a year by unplugging when not in use.
The average lifespan of a wireless router is about four years, with some lasting much longer than that. The bottom line: Taking care of your router can keep it running efficiently and smoothly—and save you money on replacement costs.
In case you are facing issues with dead zones, a can easily solve the problem. Talk to the Excel Wireless experts to know more.