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CNET Top 5
Ways to improve your home networkGetting all of your devices at home on the same network can be a problem. Find out what you can do to make things better.
Welcome to Top 5. I'm your host, Iyaz Akhtar. When your home network is working well, life seems so great. Videos load quickly and stream at a beautifully high bitrate. Your PC connects to the network in the blink of an eye, but then when it gets bad it can get really bad. We're talking not being able to connect to your printer, using your phone's network instead of your own, and videos timing out. Let's fix that. These are the top five tips to build a better network. Number five. Secure your wi-fi. This is a really easy tip. Go to your router settings through a browser and change a couple of things. First up, if you haven't changed your default password.on your router, change your default password. Why? So other people aren't mucking around with your router. After that make sure your wi-fi network is secured and not open. Why? Because if your neighbors are leeching off your wi-fi, your network speed could suffer. Number four is router placement. Where you place your router makes a big difference in how your network performs. In the best case scenario you have your router in a central location in your home. That way, the wi-fi signal radiates to where you need it. On top of that, minimize the amount of barriers between your router and your machine. You also want to make sure your router isn't near reflective surfaces or metal ones, since that will interfere with your network. Today's routers are no longer eyesores, so if you can, have your router out in the open. You can extend your network using an access point. An access point attaches to your home network using a wired connection They can be used to extend your wireless network. If you wanna extend your home network wirelessly, you can invest in a repeater. The device will relay your signal from your wireless router to your device. The downside is, the speeds will be cut in half. If you've got an old router sitting around, you might be able to turn it into either an access point Or repeater with DD-WRT if your router's compatible. Number two. Maybe it's time to invest in power line adapters. Sometimes, it's difficult to get a signal to certain areas, so a power line ethernet adapter may be a good option. These devices are usually sold in pairs. First, you plug it into an electrical outlet, then you patch one to your router using the Ethernet cable. The second one is attached to another outlet in your home. The adapter uses your home electrical system to create a network. Power Line wasn't exactly known for speed in the early days, but things have changed. If you look for adapters that support a standard called homeplug av2, you should see speeds faster than your wireless network. [MUSIC] And the number one way to make your home network better is to wire up as many things as possible. A wired connection is subject to so much less interference compared to a wireless network. If you wanna stream video using a service like Netflix, or play an online game, it's impossible to beat a wired connection. Take a look at your home theater. Wire up your consoles, your set-top boxes, whatever, and you'll have a much more pleasant experience. One of the most useful things I've ever learned was making my own network cables, which I used to make ridiculously long runs to connect faraway rooms to my router Wireless is good, but wired is better. If you've got a super secret tip on how to make a network better, like a foil reflector or something, hit me up on Twitter, I'm @iyaz. For more top fives like this, visit top5.cnet.com, thanks for watching.