With more and more people abandoning cable television in favor of streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, having a reliable internet connection is more important than ever. However, as much as technology has improved in recent years, many people across the nation still have poor WiFi reception in their homes.

There are ways to improve your home WiFi reception that you may not be aware of. There are also many common mistakes that homeowners make in setting up their routers that might cause them connectivity and reception issues.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the reasons your home WiFi might not be performing as well as you’d like, and how to address those problems so you can stream and download at higher rates with better quality.

Testing your internet speed

Before we start diagnosing your internet problems, it’s a good idea to find out how your reception compares to others in your area. While there are a few good online resources to do this, one of the most respected tools is the free Speedtest by Ookla.

You can take this speed test on your laptop, desktop, cell phone, and any other decides that you connect to your router. You can also move your devices to different parts of the home to determine if your issue is a matter of reach.

If all of your devices perform poorly, try plugging your computer directly into your cable modem and taking the speed test. This will help you determine if your router is possibly malfunctioning.

Update firmware and devices

If you have an older router, it may need to be updated. To do this, you’ll need to login to your router’s administrator interface. Find out how to do this by visiting the router manufacturer’s website.

Once you’ve ensured that your device is updated, it’s a good idea to diagnose your devices. If you have one device that is performing worse than others, you may have to do software updates or maintenance to that device.

Change the placement of your router

Sometimes poor WiFi reception is simply a matter of the location of your router. Wireless routers should be elevated off of the ground and away from any large appliances that may interfere with reception.

Change your router channel

Just like radios, routers work on wireless frequencies or “channels.” This means that they can sometimes interfere with one another. If possible, switching your router to the 5GHz band can improve your connection and limit the amount of interference from other routers. Then, experiment with different channels to determine which one gives you the best reception.

Upgrade your hardware

If none of those quick fixes did the job, you might need to consider upgrading your wireless hardware. This includes purchasing a newer router, a range extender, or a mesh router system. Since newer homes tend to be larger, a mesh router system is a way to ensure coverage throughout your home via multiple access points.

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Old New England homes are rich in history and character. The style of many modern houses in the region is heavily influenced by English colonial homes of the early 1700s. It was in colonial times when lead pigment was first used.

By the 1920s lead paint usage was at its peak. The paint was strong, it covered a lot of surface area, and it made vibrant colors, all very appealing to home homeowners at the time.

The health hazards of lead paint are many. Although, unlike other home hazards like fire or carbon monoxide, they reveal themselves slowly over many years, making them especially dangerous for children. According to WebMD, high levels of lead paint exposure can cause the following:

  • Damage to the brain and nervous system
  • Kidney damage
  • Behavior and learning problems, such as hyperactivity
  • Slowed growth
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Hearing problems
  • Headaches
  • Bone marrow problems

Scary stuff, right? But don’t panic…

Here’s what you need to know about detecting and eliminating lead paint in your home.

If your house was built before 1978, there’s a chance it has lead paint. It was in 1978 that the federal government banned the consumer use of lead paints. Since usage reached its peak in the 1920s, the older your house the higher the likelihood of it having lead paint. This puts old New England homes at greater risk.

To test for lead paint you should seek out a licensed inspector. Most state websites have resources for locating an inspector near you (mass.gov for example). Inspection can cost anywhere from $150-$400 and will depend on the size of your home, rates in your area, and other factors.

Once tested, you will be given options and a risk assessment and can then decide how you’d like to proceed. Some ill-advised homeowners take the situation into their own hands, scraping paint and mopping up the dust. This is exactly what NOT to do. Dispersing all of those lead particles into the air will contaminate your home and yard, seeping into the ground outside.

Many people share anecdotal stories about removing lead paint themselves, insisting, “I did it myself and I’m still alive.” It’s important to remember, however, that those who are truly at risk are the children who will grow up in that house facing longterm exposure to lead.

Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead poisoning for three reasons:

  1. Toddlers tend to put objects into their mouths such as paint chips or other objects that may have traces of lead. This causes a high level of lead absorption
  2. Children’s bodies are developing rapidly and absorb lead faster than adults
  3. They can spend decades in a home, developing the symptoms listed above that can then become chronic, lifelong illnesses

To completely remove the lead from your home you’ll need to seek out a lead abatement contractor. View the Lead Safe List for your area to find contractors and receive quotes.

If you have attempted to remove lead yourself, or performed recent renovations that may have dispersed lead paint and are worried that your children may have been exposed you should bring them to their pediatrician. Testing for high levels of lead can be detected by a simple blood test.

 

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