For how important it is, it sure is easy to forget about your trusty router that works 24/7.
Routers are crucial to sending strong, reliable internet to your devices, but when’s the last time you made sure it’s locked down from hackers? Tap or click for five essential router security settings to keep hackers out of your network.
Maybe your router is so outdated it’s not even getting critical security updates. That’s dangerous. Tap or click for some of the best options out there based on the size of your home.
You can buy the best router on the market, but if it’s in the wrong place, your connection will suffer. It can be tricky to find the best spot. I’ve got your back.
Remember how your router works
Your router creates a network and manages the traffic between all the devices in a network. It delivers packets of data from one network to another. It does this through wires, called ethernet, or radio radios (Wi-Fi) throughout your home.
When trying to pinpoint the perfect spot to place your router, think about the interferences that could get in the way. Walls, ceilings, furniture, and other physical obstacles can weaken your signal.
Try to map the path of least resistance. Instead of putting your router in a cluttered room full of furniture, try to put it in an open space. Avoid metal, brick, and concrete if you can; they can block Wi-Fi signals.
Young woman sitting at the desk at her home, working on the laptop while her puppy pet sits on her lap. Freelancer work from home concepts in casual atmosphere. (iStock)
TECH SMARTS: When your internet goes down, you need to reboot your router correctly. It’s not as easy as unplugging it and plugging it right back in. Tap or click for the right way to get the job done.
Pinpoint your most important spot
The ideal router placement depends on where you need strong Wi-Fi coverage.
If you work from home and sit on video calls all day, your home office is a great option. One place you absolutely don’t want the router is in your basement or attic. Go with a central spot on the main floor of your home.
Speaking of video calls, tap or click for 11 Zoom tips that will turn you into a video meeting pro. Don’t be that person talking while muted!
Place it as high as possible
It’s better to put your router up high because radio waves usually spread the signal downward. Mount or place your router as high as you possibly can. Mounting on the wall works great, or you can put it on top of a high shelf or another out-of-the-way spot.
If your router has antennas, make sure they aren’t pointing in the same direction. Remember that your router is shooting waves to every device in your house. Tilt them at different angles so they can reach other areas.
This isn’t an exact science; you don’t have to stop and think about precise placements.
SECURITY 101: Free check to see if criminals have hacked your router.
Keep it away from other electronics
Different devices emit unique waves that might interfere with one another. Keep your router a few feet away from other devices, including TVs, kitchen appliances, cordless phones, and Bluetooth-enabled devices.
You really need to keep your router far away from the microwave. It emits a 2.4GHz signal.
Now that your router is in the right spot, you should be cooking. If you’re still struggling with slow Wi-Fi, I have a few more things you can try. Tap or click for the best ways to fix your Wi-Fi problems.
Bonus Tip: Cyberstalking 101: How to stop online abuse
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – NOVEMBER 16, 2016: Glasses on a computer screen showing the logo and search box of the Google search engine. Sergei Konkov/TASS ((Photo by Sergei KonkovTASS via Getty Images))
Online harassment victimizes 40% of Americans. Cyberstalking can happen to anyone — and it can damage every aspect of your life, from your friendships to your future career. In this episode, I sit down with cybersecurity expert Ricoh Danielson to create a defense strategy you can use to protect yourself from online abuse.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”
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Learn about all the latest technology on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters, and more, visit her website at Komando.com