Wireless security is a great option for homes and businesses. However, with anything that uses the Internet, it’s only as good as the Wi-Fi connection. Our wireless security experts are sharing their tips and tricks from the best location for a wireless router to how to extend your Wi-Fi range. Use this advice to get the best coverage from your wireless security system.
The main obstacles to any wireless connection are the distance to and from the router, obstructions, and interference. Network performance and speed can decline if the signal needs to travel over a large area, around corners, and penetrate walls or doors. Interference from other wireless networks and electronics can also impact speed and performance. Below are a handful of tips to help you improve and optimize your home wireless network speed.
#1. Location of Your Router Matters
Routers can be considered an eyesore, which tempts many to hide them away in a cabinet or behind other items, but this can adversely impact the performance of your wireless network. As wireless signals can only travel so far, router placement is a crucial factor of your wireless performance. The best place for a router is in a central area with minimal walls and obstructions. When determining where to place your wireless router, consider the following:
- Can you see the router from where you are installing the security camera? If not, that means the signal has to overcome various obstacles.
- Wall material – brick or concrete walls are a more significant barrier.
- Most obstructions (to the wireless signal) are near the ground. As such it’s recommended to locate your router as high up as possible.
- Avoid placing the router near metal surfaces such as mirrors and metal file cabinets. Objects made out of metal can obstruct the wireless signal.
- Position your router at least 3 feet away from other appliances which send wireless signals to minimize interference. (Examples of these appliances include microwaves and baby monitors).
- Avoid placing it next to a window.
- Avoid placing the router near aquariums or other large bodies of water. Water is very disruptive of high-frequency signals and will create a massive obstruction for your Wi-Fi signal.
#2. Overcome Interference & Find the Right Wireless Channel
Neighbors’ routers and other wireless devices may be causing interference with your router, resulting in a degraded wireless signal. Many people do not know that wireless routers can operate on several different channels and that by selecting the ideal channel, you can reduce the amount of interference and improve your signal. To do so, you will need a dual band router and a wireless security system that will allow you to connect to lesser used channels. For example, Swann’s wire-free security camera allows you choose the lesser used 5GHz band to reduce interference on your wireless security to boost performance.
#3. Use Wi-Fi Extenders to Boost Your Range
The further away from your router, the more your signal and wireless connection will degrade. To combat this, you can use Wi-Fi range extenders throughout your property. As the name implies, Wi-Fi extenders increase the distance your Wi-Fi signal can travel. Whether you need to place security cameras far from the router such as outside or if you’re connecting multiple security cameras, Wi-Fi range extenders will help to bridge the gaps between your cameras and router. It’s important to note that not all wireless security systems are compatible with wi-fi range extenders. Hub-based security systems are a wireless system with Wi-Fi range limitations.
#4. Make Sure Your Firmware is Up-to-Date
Make sure that you are using the most updated firmware and that your hardware is up-to-date to ensure your wireless network is as reliable and fast as possible. Follow any update notifications in the app.
#5. Secure Your Wi-Fi Connection
Utilizing proper password protection on your Wi-Fi connection can also keep neighbors and hackers out of your network. When setting up your router you should immediately change the default username and password and opt for WPA2 password protection as it is encrypted, making your network more secure. Note, a number of new routers will use a unique generated Wi-Fi key to prevent default password issues.
As we’ve discussed one of the most important aspects of wireless security is its dependence on the Wi-Fi signal strength. However, you can easily increase the Wi-Fi range to get the best coverage from your wireless security system.
Wireless Security Basics
Wireless security is a good alternative to a wired security system and is much easier to setup, take down, and relocate than a traditional wired security system. Although wireless security systems can be connected to the Internet wirelessly or using an ethernet cable, they still require wired power. When choosing a security system, it’s important to understand the differences between wired and wireless security systems. These differences will determine what type of cameras and recorder you will need.