Top 5 expert tips from Dr Huiling Zhu from EDA for improving your home Wi-Fi

Since working from home (WFH) has become a national circumstance over the past few weeks, many have found themselves depending on their home Wi-Fi to complete their work, at times discovering the signal cutting out midway through a video conference call or a document not saving to an online system.

Dr Huiling Zhu is a wireless communications expert from the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, and she has given her top 5 tips for improving your Wi-Fi for working from home.

  1. The main issue people are unknowingly facing is the softening effect that walls and floors/ceilings have on Wi-Fi strength. To fix this, you should place the Wi-Fi router in a place as close as possible to the centre of the house and not to cover or block it behind a concrete wall. This will optimise the Wi-Fi signal strength throughout the whole building.
  2. The strength of the Wi-Fi can also depend on how close you are to it. You wouldn’t expect to pick up your home Wi-Fi from several streets away, and this same logic works within the home. Simply put, generally, the closer your work station is to the router, the stronger the signal will be.
  3. Strong interference may come from neighbour’s wireless routers. If so, either remove that router from your device or try not to have your device close to your neighbour’s side. With that kind of proximity to the neighbouring router, your device may start to compare the signal strength from two different routers, which affects the connection.
  4. Turn off all other operations your Wi-Fi is trying to cope with. The Wi-Fi doesn’t know to prioritise the video conference call to your boss over the Netflix show everyone has quietly running in the background. If you’re working on a laptop/pc, then turn off your phone’s connection to the Wi-Fi, and video game consoles too. All of these put a demand on your Wi-Fi and it may struggle to supply to them all at peak times. Save the more luxurious uses of the Internet, e.g. video streaming, to when you don’t need it for work.
  5. Some people have reported that their microwave oven affects their Wi-Fi.  It’s possible, as they use the same frequencies, but microwave ovens should be well-shielded.  If this happens, you should probably get your microwave checked.