Tech editor provides tips to improving your home WiFi signal

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Has the advice to stay at home reveal something troubling about your family's technology?

With so many people online at the same time, it doesn't take long to feel the frustration of a crummy Wi-Fi signal.

What's worse, many of us have no idea how to fix these problems. Consumer Reports tech editor Nicholas De Leon can help.

His first tip: Locate your router and understand what it does.

"Think of a router as an electronic traffic cop," said Leon. "What it does is it directs the internet connection from your internet service provider throughout your home in the form of Wi-Fi."

However, there's a lot more to getting a good signal than just buying a good router Leon explains.

"For the best results, you should place your Wi-Fi router in the center of your home, so the signal can reach as much of your home as possible," he adds.

It's also helpful to know which items in your house can act as a Wi-Fi roadblock, other than brick walls, floors and closed doors.

"That includes refrigerators, microwaves or other appliances where the Wi-Fi signal may bounce off and not pass through."

Leon suggests that's not all to look for when trying to improve your home Wi-Fi.

"Water absorbs radiation, so your Wi-Fi may have trouble near pools, tubs, and even a fish tank."

If these tips don't help, or if you've got a house full of newer devices, it may be time to consider a new router, especially if your current model is more than three years old.

If you live in a smaller space and don't have many obstructions, CR recommends a model from Synology for around $200.

It has automatic firmware updating and testers say it's easy to set up.

If you live in a larger home or just can't quite reach the far corners where you need Wi-Fi the most, consider a Mesh Network-style router that works with a hub and satellite units. To spread the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home.

Consumer Reports recommends the eero Home WiFi, a CR Best Buy at about $250. It has automatic firmware updating and can be set up easily using an app on your phone.
Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.