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Maximize home Wi-Fi networking

Get the most out of your Wi-Fi home network by trying a few tips.

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Wi-Fi home networking tips

PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, game consoles, smart TVs, and computers all use Wi-Fi technology. With so many devices sharing your Wi-Fi network, your Wi-Fi speeds might seem to slow down. Wired connections provide the best internet speeds, but they aren’t always convenient when everyone needs internet access at home. Try some of these tips to improve your home Wi-Fi speeds.
Home Wi-Fi network tips

Optimize your Wi-Fi gateway location and position
Depending on the design of your home, your Wi-Fi gateway may not be able to reach certain areas. To get the best possible signal:
  • Place your gateway in a central location, upright, on an elevated surface, such as a desk or shelf.
  • Make sure the front of the gateway is unobstructed and faces the space where most of your devices will be in use.
  • Keep your gateway at least 10 feet from cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, and microwave ovens. 
  • Keep your gateway away from heat sources, moisture, excessive dust, extreme cold, or large metal objects.

In some cases, even an optimal location of your Wi-Fi gateway doesn't provide a strong enough Wi-Fi signal to some parts of your home. One way to resolve this is to install a Wi-Fi extender. These devices are simple to install and can be purchased at an electronics store or through the AT&T online accessory store.
 
Connect directly
Direct wired connections using Ethernet cables and the ports on your gateway provide the fastest speeds. They also free up Wi-Fi bandwidth. Try connecting stationary devices directly to your gateway using available Ethernet ports. These might include:
  • PCs 
  • Blu-RayTM DVD players 
  • Game consoles 
  • Printers 
  • Smart TVs

Reduce the number of Wi-Fi connected devices
In today’s homes, you could find 10 or more devices connected to a Wi-Fi network. When many Wi-Fi enabled devices are connected to the network, it creates overcrowding and slows things down.
  • Turn off devices not in use. Tablets, smartphones, and PCs often run background apps that consume bandwidth.
  • Connect TVs and computers directly to the gateway. Direct connections get faster signals and free up Wi-Fi bandwidth.

Broadcast in single mode

International Wi-Fi standards are identified as 802.11b/g/n/ac. The letters represent the various versions of Wi-Fi:
  • b and g are older and support lower speeds
  • n and ac are more recent and support higher speeds

Each Wi-Fi standard is backwards compatible.

AT&T gateways are pre-set to broadcast in all modes the gateway supports. For example: b/g or b/g/n. The Wi-Fi enabled devices in your home communicate with your Wi-Fi gateway at a pre-set mode. So, if all your devices accept n mode signals (a.k.a. 802.11n), then you will enhance the performance of your Wi-Fi network by setting your gateway Wi-Fi Radio to n mode only.

If after you set the gateway to single mode (either b, g, n, or ac) you find some devices no longer connect, you can either change the mode back to b/g/n/ac mode, or try to upgrade those devices to a newer Wi-Fi standard.
 
Upgrade Wi-Fi Radio capability
Older PCs and laptops contain Wi-Fi network cards that broadcast only in older b or g modes. For a better experience, upgrade those devices’ network cards to 802.11ac or purchase a Wi-Fi 802.11ac USB Adapter.

Network cards can be purchased at electronics stores or from your device manufacturer. USB adapters can be purchased through the AT&T online accessory store.

Update firmware and drivers
To improve your connection, make sure your Wi-Fi enabled device and network adapter run the latest software updates and device drivers. To confirm you have the latest drivers available, visit your network card or device manufacturer’s website and look for a Support or Driver link.
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Additional options

Maintaining security on your Wi-Fi gateway helps keep your network and information safe from outside users. Learn additional security measures to keep your Wi-Fi network safe and running smoothly.

Enable Wi-Fi security 
Set your Wi-Fi security to help protect your home network from outside users.

Disable Wi-Fi SSID display
Hide your Wi-Fi network name (SSID) to keep outside users from accessing your home network.

AT&T Accessory Store
 
Visit the AT&T accessory store to purchase Wi-Fi extenders, Ethernet ports, and updated network adapters.
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