The Internet , that heterogeneous group of networks that offers us an almost endless collection of services and content, connecting our work, leisure or personal communication teams, is embodied for almost all of us in a “clunker” more at home: the router . That device that usually hides behind a closet, accumulates dust on the music system, or inhabits inaccessible corners, is in charge of staying connected to the Internet, usually through a copper cable (ADSL) or a fiber optic cable. The quality of the operation of the router depends on the chosen telephone company, but the signal that we obtain from it in our devices is our problem sinceWe do not always achieve adequate transmission of the wireless signal in all rooms of the house .
Let’s review some basic concepts. There are two common ways to connect to a router: through a wireless connection (Wifi) or through a network cable (LAN). Connecting by cable to the router is undoubtedly the best option , it will provide us with a stable connection, but it is also uncomfortable and supposes the appearance of one more cable . In any case, if we have a smartTV this is the best way to connect it to maintain adequate quality in the display of videos. Since this option is cumbersome, and even impractical on many mobile devices that lack a network connector, the inevitable solution is Wi-Fi. But let’s see first how to know the connection status.
The lights on our router
Normally the lights of the router will allow us to know the status of our Internet connection, and it will be a mandatory question from the technical service if we call to report a fault. They will tell us if it is on, if it is offering a Wi-Fi signal, if it has a connection (ADSL or fiber) and if it is connected to the Internet; In case of connecting some equipment by cable, a light will also come on indicating it.
The problem with accessing the router through its Wi-Fi network is that it does not access all the rooms in the house with the same force. Some devices may have problems in the areas furthest from the router, or separated from it by walls. It is frequent that in certain spaces of the house you cannot watch a video smoothly or that you experience cuts in the signal.
In these cases we can take some actions that allow us to improve the signal that reaches the devices. The first is to better position the router so that the signal is better distributed throughout the house. The second possible action is to try to improve the signal by placing signal boosting elements that allow us to capture wireless signals from the router, even if they are weak, amplifying them for devices that come within its radius of action.
For those fixed devices with a PC, desktop or laptop network connection, we can use a PLC connection. This type of connection allows the electrical wiring of the house to be used to transmit the signal from the router to the PC.
Diagram of a PLC connection, the router connects to a socket through the PLC device using an ethernet cable, the device (PC for example) connects to another device of the same type; the signal is transported using the electrical installation of the house.
Another solution is to install a Wifi amplifier that works as a wireless repeater, extending the signal range in our home. They are usually assembled by connecting them directly to the electrical network as we can see in the image, it shows a typical model from the TP-LINK company , the TL-WA854RE, which illustrates the usual design of this type of apparatus. Its installation is simple and almost automatic, although better benefits are obtained if we configure it through the website that these devices incorporate.
The usual operation is to connect to the Wifi network that the repeater itself generates from a PC and from our usual browser (Firefox or Chrome recommended) enter the Web page. The address and connection user are given in the instruction leaflets that these devices carry (D-Link, TP-Link, Netgear, Cisco, etc.). Once on the Web page, we generally find a quick configurator that allows us not to have to make decisions, the standard configuration is effective for almost all situations, and in domestic installations they are rarely ineffective. During this process, the repeater will discover our home Wifi, which is the one we will choose (it will ask for the password of our router). The signal repeater will extend this Wifi using the same network name and the same password,
Basic Router Placement Tips
We cannot finish this first approach to the router, the central element of our domestic access to the Internet without pointing out some details:
- Place the router as centrally as possible inside the house and in an open space.
- If it is not possible to place the router in an optimal location, consider installing Wifi repeaters to reach remote rooms.
- The smartTV connects it to the cable router, if it is not possible by location, consider using a PLC.
- For certain non-moving equipment such as desktop PCs, multimedia disks or network printers for example, the PLC option can improve the efficiency of our network.