For many people, the home is a place to rest after the day’s stress. Over the years, smart appliances have significantly improved the comfort and convenience we experience at home.
Meanwhile, smart home appliances need stable and reliable internet for proper functioning.
If you’re using a lot of smart appliances it can make sense to use a warranty service like Cinch Home Services, to reduce the cost of home appliance repairs and maintenance.
However, there are ways to ensure a strong WiFi connection without sacrificing your smart home privacy.
Proper Positioning Of The Router
For broader coverage and stronger internet, position your router at a central, elevated area in your home.
You should avoid placing your router behind walls for a stronger connection. WiFi uses radio frequencies to send signals between connected devices.
A WiFi signal can typically pass through walls, but thick walls can attenuate it. Wall attenuation is the absorption of radio frequency by wall materials.
A WiFi extender or repeater can help increase signal strength when the need to place the router far away or behind a wall is inevitable.
Also, avoid placing the router in places like the kitchen. As routers use radio frequencies, metallic objects in the kitchen can disrupt the signals.
Similarly, appliances like the microwave use a 2.4 gHz channel like many WiFi routers; hence, they can actively compete with the signal whenever they are placed close to each other.
Other things that can interfere with and block your Wi-Fi signal include;
- Baby monitors
- Fish tanks
- Neighbor’s WiFi
Use Strong Password
Protecting your Wi-Fi access with encrypted and complex passwords can make it faster and, at the same time, protect your privacy.
Every WiFi router and internet service has a maximum upload and download speed they can handle. Leaving your WiFi router unsecured makes it possible for anyone to connect their device.
Internet service is not free, so even if your neighbor has their own WiFi, do not think they would not attempt to use yours.
Many people will connect to public WiFi networks when they do not have a cellular connection, according to a survey conducted by Forbes.
Multiple connections on your WiFi router can significantly reduce the internet speed of your smart home appliances.
Your WiFi is also like a digital entry into your home. You want to avoid giving hackers entrance.
Below are some ways to protect your WiFi against hackers and other authorized access;
- Change default SSID and password: SSID is the WiFi network name. By default, manufacturers may use the model or brand name. The danger of retaining the name and password is that there are common passwords for specific brands of routers. To reduce hackers’ attempts, change the name to something unrelated to the model or brand. The new password should contain letters, figures, and special characters.
- Use WPA2/WPA3: Your WiFI settings offer different encryption methods for its security. Choose either WPA2 or WPA3, depending on the options available on your model. However, WPA3 is the best.
- Set up a guest network: Instead of sharing your WiFi password with guests, create a Guest WiFi network with reduced egress and ingress bandwidth. This will reduce the maximum bandwidth usable by the guest and ensure the connection of your smart appliances remains strong. Also, turn off the option for the guest network to access the local network. This will prevent your guests from controlling your appliances.
Always Update Firmware
Firmware is an operating system designed to control the WiFi router the way the manufacturer prefers.
Router manufacturers usually release new firmware versions with improved security and performance features.
Some routers automatically update their firmware. Check your router’s firmware and compare it with the latest update for the hardware on the manufacturer’s website.
Updating your router’s firmware can improve its network strength and connection security.
Adjust Default Settings
Smart devices come with lots of features. Manufacturers enable most of these features by default with the notion that every homeowner will prefer them. Meanwhile, you may seldom need these features, if at all.
They can increase the stress on your network while other appliances suffer. Some features may also expose your network to malicious attacks and tracking.
Check your product manual to see things you need and turn off others you do not need. You can always enable them when needed.
Use A VPN
Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a security and privacy tool for your home network and devices. It will mask your public IP address and prevent the smart appliance from tracking your usage activities.
Some manufacturers program their products to gather data on usage and, without your knowledge, send the collected data to the company.
You can check the router manufacturer’s website on how to install VPN on it.