A powerful but simple new app launched by Ofcom allows both consumers and businesses to check if their wifi is working as well as it should.
The Ofcom wifi checker allows users to easily check the quality of the wireless internet signal where they live or work. It also offers practical steps to help everyone get the best out of their connection if they’re not happy with the results.
The app comes in the wake of recent Ofcom research, which shows that wireless broadband may not be working as well as it could be in nearly six million homes across the UK.
This is often caused by the wifi set-up inadvertently slowing down the broadband, and can often by rectified by taking simple steps to improve things.
For example, problems could be caused by something as simple as interference from other electronic devices, such as a microwave oven, baby monitor, or lamp.
The app works by testing the wifi set-up and if it finds a problem, will provide some troubleshooting tips to help improve broadband. For example, it may suggest you:
• Move your router away from electrical devices – Halogen lamps, electrical dimmer switches, stereo or computer speakers, TVs, monitors and AC power cords have all been known to cause interference to broadband routers.
• Keep your router as far away as possible from other electrical devices which emit wireless signals – Such as baby monitors etc.
• Move your router to a different part of your home or office – Walls and furniture act as an obstacle to the wifi radio frequencies, so ideally routers should be kept centrally and placed on a table or shelf rather than on the floor.
• Try restarting your wireless router – This may automatically select a less busy wifi radio frequency.
• Use an ethernet cable to connect directly to your router – An Ethernet cable is a computer networking cable which should give you a faster, more reliable connection.
Essentially, wifi performance can be affected by lots of things which can both change over time and have a different effect in different rooms of your house or office. Therefore Ofcom recommends you try running the wifi checker at the times of day when you’re most likely to use the internet and in different rooms to get a full picture of the strength of your connection.