In conversations, when I tell people that I work for D-Link, it is commonplace for people to first tell me that they are happy with their internet and Wi-Fi coverage, followed by a pensive moment, before the magic word 'but' is uttered:
'but' I do get buffering in my bedroom streaming Netflix
'but' My speeds are much lower upstairs in my office
'but' I wish the wireless would reach my summer house/garage
'but' I wish I could work in the garden
People look at me like I'm crazy when I suggest that these problems a) shouldn't be put up with and b) are all easy and in many cases not expensive to fix, and even crazier when I suggest that the problems wont be fixed by switching up ISP's, by any other mean that the ISP may give you a newer router. So this brings us to the point of this blog, is my internet letting me down and I don't know it?
To use a personal experience is usually the best illustration and I can usually rivet the audience with my own tale. As a commuter, I have a 40 minute journey into London, so a good length of time to watch an episode of Cobra Kai or whatever the flavour of the month is. When I first started at D-Link I had the router and modem my ISP had provided me roughly 8-10 years before, so uploading content to my iPad wirelessly was so slow, far slower than the wired connection of my desktop PC, but I hadn't questioned it until I learned more about what I should expect from my wireless. After mentioning this in the D-Link office, I was given a spare router to try at home by our Technical lead engineer - the DIR-2660, who explained that my old router was at least 1 or maybe 2 wireless standards ago. He suggested doing a speedtest with my old router and then again with the new one - my upload speed initially was 1.7 meg on the old router but jumped to 17.2 meg on the new replacement model, suddenly uploading to my iPad wasn't the chore it was before. The real point here is - sometimes we don't consider there to be a problem until somebody else points it out, and that we could vastly improve our networks with a small upgrade - the old adage of putting a Skoda engine into a Ferrari rings true often. So, even if you have an inkling that like me, you are putting up with a less than optimum speed, I would suggest you to try the following, either on a laptop, tablet or phone (remember to disable the 4g on your mobile!) run a speedtest in the same room as your router, then walk to the furthest point from your router, or upstairs and run a speedtest again - the result may surprise you.
There will be a few different answers, and I hope most of you are fine, but for those I have now highlighted an issue for, I can hear you ask - what do I do about it?
As each situation will be different, there is no one size fits all, but I can present a few options, looking at generic solutions for problems. If you live in a Flat/Apartment, I would suggest looking at either a powerful router, a router and extender or a two node mesh solution. The DIR-X5460 is D-Link's fastest Wi-Fi 6 router and offers 6 external antennae, yes those things that make a router look like a spider actually do something! and in terms of antennae, the general rule is that external beat internal. A slightly cheaper option would be the new EAGLE PRO AI R15 router paired with an E15 extender, not quite as powerful as the DIR-X5460, in terms of raw speed, but this solution should cost less and still provide great coverage and speed, the extender can be placed in the problem are such as office or bedroom where any Wi-Fi blackspots exist. The next solution would be the mesh nodes - M15-2 or Covr-x1862, I wrote a blog on choosing between these previously here.
For a larger house and perhaps with external summer house/garage, I would recommend the 3 or even 4 node mesh solutions, or pairing the 3 nodes with an E15 extender for an external building.
There are more solutions, access points, wired connections with switches etc. but for most the mesh solution is the easiest and most cost effective solution. If you'd like any more advice or have any real technical issues, feel free to drop me a line - [email protected]