How Home WiFi Works
Home WiFi is an essential component of our daily lives. But what is WiFI? How does it work? Is there a way to make it work better? Let’s take a deeper dive into the basics of WiFi, how it works and how you can strengthen your home WiFi signal.
What is WiFi?
Majority of people assume WiFi is internet, however, they are not the same thing. The internet is one huge global network that links computers all over the world. WiFi is a term used for wireless networks that connect devices to each other without using any cables. Most routers have a wireless access built-in, which makes it easy and convenient to connect devices in your home.
Even if your internet connection goes down, your WiFi is still connected, but not to the internet. In addition, if your WiFi signal drops when you’re far away or there is interference, you will likely have full internet speeds coming in, and your ISP may say “it’s all working fine”. It’s only the WiFi signal that’s too weak to get you connected within your home.
WiFi = Radio
WiFi works the same way as other wireless devices. It uses radio frequencies to deliver signals between devices. Inside every phone, laptop and tablet is a tiny radio transmitter and receiver. Similar to a car’s radio, the strength of the signal depends on how near or far you are from the radio station. Trees, buildings, power lines, and other radio stations can affect the radio signal as well. When you have a poor radio signal, the station sounds choppy or weak. Similar with WiFi; floors, doors and walls can weaken your WiFi signal. When you have a poor signal, everything slows down.
WiFi can only penetrate through walls in short distances. The best WiFi signal is always line of sight. However, other signals can become a problem. If you are living in a dense neighborhood or apartment building, there are dozens of WiFi signals competing with yours for airtime. In addition, 2.4G WiFi overlaps with cordless phones, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices and even microwaves!
How to Strengthen Your Signal
If the problem is a weak signal, what can we do about it? Let’s go through a few options for you to try strengthening your WiFi signal at home!
Option 1: Plug It In Directly
Anything that’s connected directly with a wire will work better. Wired connections use ethernet cables, which come in lengths of up to 300 feet. Usually, you can plug your PC and smart TV straight into the back of your router. Even if those devices have WiFi capabilities, taking it off of the network will improve the signal for everything else in your home.
Option 2: Wireless Access Points
Wireless access points are used to expand the WiFi network by adding additional locations throughout the home to broadcast the signal. They avoid the interference problem completely!
They usually look like a small smoke alarm, and they are directly wired into your router. They work very well, however, installing them on your own can be difficult. We advise contacting your internet service provider to install these points for you. If you are a Broadlinc customer and interested in adding access points, please contact us and we can have these installed for you in no time!
Option 3: Mesh WiFi
Mesh WiFi or Whole Home WiFi systems consists of a main mesh router or “node” that connects directly to your modem, and there are a series of nodes placed around your house for full WiFi coverage. They are similar to wireless access points, however, they are not directly wired into your main router.
Instead, the nodes communicate with each other to broadcast the WiFi signal and send information over the WiFi network. They have built-in frequency sensing to avoid interference with each other, and they can hand off devices seamlessly. All you have to do is plug in the main mesh router to your modem, and it does the rest for you! Broadlinc offers mesh routers called Whole Home WIFi, also known as Super Pods. If you would like to learn more about our mesh routers, please contact us for a breakdown of the system.
Home WiFi plays an important role in our daily lives. We need it for almost everything we do on a daily basis, which is why having a strong signal is key. Following these quick and easy tips can strengthen your signal and provide an overall better home WiFi experience.
Written By Chris Saenz, IT & Business Support
Employee Spotlight: Michaela Amburgey
Michaela Amburgey is the Customer Service Manager at Broadlinc working out of the Owenton office. She is responsible for providing superb customer service by leading and motivating the customer service team, developing loyalty programs, and creating customer satisfaction goals.
Michaela is known to jump in to help any chance she’s offered and she enjoys every second of it!
Q & A with Michaela
How long have you been with Broadlinc?
I’ve been with the company for almost 4.5 years. I joined on May 22, 2017.
What brought you to the company?
I heard about the company through a friend and it sounded like a great place to work, so I applied for the Customer Service Representative position.
What do you like most about being a CSR Manager?
I enjoy working with my customers and I have great team members.
How would you describe the culture at Broadlinc?
The culture is very friendly, fast-paced and energetic!
What do you like most about working at Broadlinc?
I love the opportunity of working for a company that cares about their customers. It’s a friendly atmosphere with great people.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy traveling, shopping, spending time with loved ones and my 2 dogs.
How would your family or friends describe you in three words?
Funny, kind and positive.
Tell us something most people would be surprised to learn about you.
I’m secretly scared of crows.
If can have an unlimited supply of one thing, what would it be and why?
If I can have an unlimited supply of one thing, that would be time with my loved ones. You never know how much time you have with each other.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
My dad always said, “It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.”
Written By Brittany Bowlin, Director of Marketing
Broadlinc Tips: Cyber Safety
It’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month! What does that mean for you?
It’s a great reminder to protect your personal data and mobile devices from serious threats online. Serious cyber threats to personal data are on the rise across the nation. According to data gathered by Anomali and The Harris Poll, 1 in 5 Americans fall victim to ransomeware attacks.
Practicing cyber safety is key, which is why we came up with 5 tips for you to start protecting yourself today!
1. Check the Strength of Your Passwords
When creating new passwords for your accounts, be aware of the strength of your passwords. The stronger the password, the harder it is to hack your personal information. You can make your password much harder to guess by doing the following:
- Try to aim for more than 8 characters.
- Use a mixture of numbers and characters ($,@).
- Mix it up with upper and lower case letters.
- Avoid using common words, phrases, and personal information.
- Change your passwords often.
2. Practice Safe Internet Browsing
A single careless click can expose your sensitive information within seconds, which is why it’s important to think before you click. Hackers are constantly coming up with new scams to steal your information such as pop-ups, phishing emails, and look-a-like links. You can avoid their traps with these key practices:
- Be aware of suspicious emails and avoid clicking on links. Verify their authenticity by researching the company or visiting their website directly.
- Be aware of opening email attachments from unknown sources.
- Avoid visiting unfamiliar websites or clicking on look-a-like links. These are infected links and will have a similar spelling or use .net versus .com.
- Turn on your pop-up blocker to avoid being bombarded with scammy pop-ups. If you still receive pop-ups, do not click on them.
- Ask about how our Whole Home Wifi can keep you safe!
3. Be Careful of What You Download
A goal of hackers is tricking you into downloading programs and apps that carry malware. Some malware can be disguised as a popular game or an app that checks the local traffic. You can protect your devices and personal information by doing the following:
- Avoid downloading apps and programs from suspicious websites.
- Avoid opening and downloading email attachments from unknown sources.
- Make sure you’re visiting the correct website when downloading and updating softwares.
4. Pay Attention to Software Updates
Hackers love one thing and that’s security flaws. They are weaknesses found in the software program or operating system that hackers easily take advantage of by targeting it. However, software updates are the key to patching up these flaws, removing computer bugs, and protecting your personal information. If you’re unsure about your devices being up to date, try the following:
- Go to your general settings and check your software
- If there is an available software update, download it.
- You can easily setup automatic updates on all of your devices, so you never have to miss an update.
5. Backup Your Personal Data
Simply backing up your personal data on all of your devices gives you the advantage over any cyber threats that result in data loss. However, data loss isn’t always the result of cyber threats. It can also be the result of your devices wearing out overtime. Therefore, regularly backing up your personal data will prevent you from losing potentially years worth of information, photos, etc. Here are some ways you can start backing up your data today:
- Use an external hard drive.
- Copy everything to a USB drive.
- Use cloud storage such as iCloud or Google Drive.
- Subscribe to a backup service such as Acronis or Backblaze.
- You can print out physical copies and file them at home.
Practicing cyber safety habits are essential to protecting you and your personal information. Start off by evaluating your current habits, and then make the necessary changes. Applying any of the 5 tips today will help protect you from bigger cyber threats in the future.