8 Common Renovation Mistakes Homeowners Make that Affect their WiFi Router Performance

Image from PC Mag

Experience poor WiFi signal when enjoying your daily dose of Spotify or Netflix? Flaky internet connection while working from home, or doing home based learning with your children? Guilty of finding a convenient, dark corner to chunk away the plain-looking WiFi router, so that it will not clash with the meticulously designed home interiors?

Read on to find out you can do to rectify your wonky WiFi signal and fix the 6 common mistakes that homeowners make when setting up their WiFi router.

Image from Igyaan

#1. Not planning where the WiFi router should be placed

Did you neglect to plan where the WiFi router should be placed during the home renovation? When it comes to home interior design, most homeowners overlooked the fact that the WiFi router needs to be part of the renovation design, so that it will be able to function optimally. In actuality, the placement of the WiFi router is the most important factor, since a poor location will significantly affect the strength of the signal negatively.

Design:ButGet Studio

What should you do?
 Watch out for common home appliances such as TV, cordless phones, washing machines and dryer and move the WiFi router as far away from them as possible. To ensure that there is an even coverage of the WiFi signal in every corner of your house, you should place your WiFi router at the center of your abode. Boost the WiFi signal further by placing it above the floor level and make sure that it should never be left on the floor.

Do you know?
As the router is a sensitive piece of equipment, it is should be placed in areas where its signals will not be affected. As a general guideline, routers should be placed away from any metal objects, electrical appliances and not be physically obstructed by walls.  This is because metal disrupts WiFi signal and electrical appliances emit electromagnetic waves which will interfere the WiFi signal too.

Design: Swiss Interior Design

 #2. Not placing the WiFi router outside of the Distributor Box (DB)

Distributor box (DB) is commonly used as the networking HQ where the WiFirouter is placed since that is where the data points are located. However, the DB is usually located at an isolated end of the property and as a result, WiFidead spots are created due to the unfavourable location.


What should you do?

Plan for the WiFi router to be placed at the center of your home. Or consider setting up an additional Access Point (AP) solution to create a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) to improve the connectivity. An AP works by connecting to a wired router, switch or hub via an Ethernet cable to project a WiFi signal.

Do you know?
The new BTO and Condominium units are equipped with a network switch and the OpenNet port and these are located in the DB.

Design: Fifth Avenue Interior

 #3. Not adding more Access Points (AP)

Adding more Access Points helps to reduce or eliminate the dead zones where there is no WiFi connectivity.

Design: Archive Design

What should you do?

Decide on where the WiFi router and AP will be placed, prior planning the layout of the high-speed Ethernet cables.

Do you know?
APs are used to extend the wireless coverage of an existing network. A high-speed Ethernet cable from a WiFi router is needed to connect to an AP. This converts the wired signal into a wireless signal.

Design: The Interior Lab

 #4. Not coming up with the location plan before deciding on the carpentry built-ins

If not planned properly, the carpentry built-ins will obstruct the installation of the WiFirouter and AP. In addition, never hide the WiFirouter away within cabinetry as it interferes with the signals.

Design: Fifth Avenue Interior

What should you do?

Share and mark the locations where the WiFirouter and APs should be placed on the floor plan with your interior design professionals. In this way, the interior design professionals can propose the design and location of the carpentry to minimise the obstructions.

Do you know?
Additional power points and wall sockets should also be installed in the same locations, since they house the electrical devices, WiFi router and AP.

Design: The Local INN.Terior

#5. Not considering an open concept design

No walls mean minimal physical obstructions to deflect and affect the WiFi signals.

Design: LOME Interior

What should you do?

Consider applying open concept design for the study rooms, where devices such as computer accessories and peripherals are required to be constantly connected to the WiFirouter.

Do you know?
The cost of hacking wall may vary between S$500 and S$1000, depending on the dimension and thickness of the wall.

Design: Authors • Interior & Styling

#6. Not installing network extenders for an odd-shaped home

Image from Geekabit

WiFi network extenders usually offer a better WiFi performance. This is because they provide a more consistent, reliable, speedy WiFi to almost every corner of your home by communicating directly with the WiFi router. In this way, WiFi network extenders significantly shorten the distance between the receiving devices and the WiFi signal.

Design: DSOD Interior

What should you do?
Get a reliable WiFi extender from this list to boost your network.

Do you know?
The other WiFi boosters include repeaters, which are actually 1st generation WiFi signal extenders, which re-broadcast the WiFi signal received. However, the latency, or WiFi network response time, is increased when repeaters are used. The other WiFi booster is the wireless range extenders, that sit between the WiFi router and the location where better wireless coverage is needed. Similar to a wireless repeater, they grab the signal from the WiFi router and re-broadcasts it. However, the signal is rebroadcast on a different wireless channel from the WiFi router.

Design: Key Concept

#7. Not using wireless mesh routers for a double or triple storey property

Image from Linksys

A traditional WiFi router setup usually is made of single receiver, and a couple of WiFi boosters when the wireless signal is poor. However, the mesh WiFi routers, or known as whole home WiFi systems, are made of several satellite modules, or nodes. These modules are meant to be placed around the home interiors for a full WiFi coverage. In this way, mesh WiFi routers are able to deliver strong and the most consistent WiFi signal in the entire house. Unlike the traditional WiFi router setup, the mesh WiFi routers are part of a single wireless network that shares the same Service Set Identifier (SSID), which is also the name for a WiFi network.

Design: Weiken.Com

What should you do?
If your ageing traditional WiFi router is due for a tech refresh, you should consider checking out the following best WiFi mesh network systems!

Do you know?
Mesh WiFi routers are recommended for large homes, homes with double or triple floors or odd-shaped home with WiFi dead zones. Such a multi-node system is typically easy to set up and also, being wireless also makes it easy for homeowners to decide where to place these routers. 

Design: Aesthete Interior Design

#8. Not knowing the following WiFi router best practices:

. Not ensuring that the WiFi router is always updated with the latest firmware

Firmware updates are important because critical patches for security holes as usually packaged together with the update. Once the WiFi router has been updated, the performance, stability and security of the WiFi router are enhanced. In this way, the WiFi router has a faster response and is safer to use too.

Design: Ascend Designs

What should you do?

Launch a web browser on your computer or mobile device and login to your router. Look out for the option “Firmware/Router Update” and click install. Wait for the firmware to be updated and reboot the WiFi router once the installation is completed.

Do you know?
Keeping the WiFi router updated is important since once it is infected with a malware, it will eat up the bandwidth, slows down the devices connected to the router. The malware might also proliferates across the network and infects the other devices connected to the router.

Design: Fineline Design

B. Not rebooting the WiFi router

The WiFi router is similar to your computer and hence, a daily reboot helps to clear its memory. In addition, always check for the latest firmware updates and make sure that the security patches are applied. In addition, do note that the firmware updates and patches are only applied after the WiFi router has been rebooted.

Design: Neu Konceptz

What should you do?
You must reboot the WiFi router immediately after the updates and patches have been installed.

Do you know?
Make sure to turn off the WiFi router after the end of each day.

Design: The Scientist

 C. Not changing the WiFi router default password settings

Most of the WiFi routers are shipped with a default password and it is very easy to guess. Some do not even come with a password so that you can gain direct access to the WiFi router’s settings when you are using it the first time. When the default password is not changed, anyone can easily hack into the WiFi router, steal its bandwidth or even lock you out by changing its settings.

Design: The Interior Lab

What should you do?

You must replace the default password with a strong password during the initial setup. A strong password should have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols and numbers. Avoid the common passwords listed here. The password should be at least 8 characters long and never use personal information in the password.

Do you know?
Default router passwords can be found in the WiFi router manuals. In this way, if you encounter issues setting up the router, you can simply refer to the manual for the default password. A WiFi router password is not the same as the WiFi password. The former password is used to access the router’s settings while the latter password is used to access the WiFi network.

Design: Space Factor

D. Using a weak password for the WiFi network

When your WiFi password is weak, such hackers will exploit the weakness and steal your WiFi bandwidth. When this happens, the smaller bandwidth will mean slower WiFi performance.

Design: LOME Interior

What should you do?

You must use difficult to guess and complicated password to secure your WiFi and remember to change the password on a regular basis.

Do you know?
Many hackers rely on open source password crackers to crack weak passwords easily. Some simply uses brute force by cycling through the known words, personal info, alphabet, numbers in all different combinations until the password is found.

Design: NIJ Design Concept

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