How to boost your Wi-Fi signal in your home

How to boost your Wi-Fi signal in your home

Jenny Dallas

Jenny Dallas | Customer Experience Squad Product Manager

There are a variety of ways that you can boost the Wi-Fi signal in your home and there are different things you can do depending on the problem you’re experiencing and the home you’re living in. Discover how in our handy guide.

We know that Wi-Fi is just as important as water, gas and electricity but we’ve also known it can be far more unpredictable. Especially now that most homes have more than one person trying to access the internet at one time, be that with their phones, tablets or laptops, combine that with working from home and your gaming set up. The trouble with the internet is bound to cause a bit of a tantrum - and not just from the children!

First up, an apology, there is a lot of jargon and acronyms in the world of broadband and I sometimes even get confused by it all, and this is my job - I’ll do my best to explain on the way!

There are a variety of ways that you can boost the Wi-Fi signal in your home and there are different things you can do depending on the problem you’re experiencing and the home you’re living in. You don’t need to spend thousands of pounds to boost your signal, some things you could do are completely free, and other options cost between £20 and £300, depending on what you get, but typically we have found you get what you pay for.

Run a speed test

The first thing we suggest is to run a speed test to find out what your speed actually is and you can use this to troubleshoot what things make improvements to your speed. 

You can run a speed test by navigating to SpeedTest or Fast to see what speeds you are receiving on your device. You may find you get different speeds on different devices and in different areas of your home too.

On a side note, if you get in touch with us about your speed it’s always worth including a screenshot of this as it makes any problems easier to diagnose!

Make sure your router is in the best place it can be

It sounds simple, like really simple, but this can really make such a difference to your Wi-Fi signal. Make sure that your router is plugged into a master socket, rather than an extension, this will be the biggest socket in your house (and normally by your front door) and often says Master on it too.

Also, make sure that your router is set up correctly, make sure that it is:

  • Upright
  • Up, up and up. In the middle of your home (if this is possible). For most scenarios having your router at the height of a light switch or above waist height will give the best coverage. Your router will push the wireless signal out at 360degree angles, but wi-fi signal falls with gravity much easier than it goes up. So maximising the height is one of the biggest factors that can help with signal reach.
  • Unobstructed by walls or furniture (especially not in a cupboard). Wi-Fi doesn’t particularly like cob, granite or any other thick and dense materials. If your home is made of this then we’d recommend getting a wifi booster, or trying to disable the 5Ghz Network on the router. The 2.4Ghz network travels further than the 5Ghz (whilst it’s not as fast, it does the job in most scenarios).
  • Not on the floor - wall mounting can help optimise the positioning of the router [if your router allows it] (our DGA0122 router has holes for screws).
  • Away from electrical devices like cordless phones and microwaves - these can interfere with your signal

You can also run the speed test previously mentioned if you plug in your router in different places to see what difference it makes.

Check what your Wi-Fi is being used for

We all want faster speeds, right? Whether it’s you, your other half, your flatmate or your kids. But the more devices using your connection, the more likely your connectivity will be affected. It is worthwhile turning off Wi-Fi on devices if you’re not using them and talking to all of the people in your home to balance your data use in the day. 

Schedule those data-hungry tasks like downloading films of software updated for times when you’re unlikely to be using the internet, like overnight or first thing in the morning. You can also try turning the video off in video calls or meetings and turn off HD streaming on Netflix when multiple people are streaming at one time.

Use ethernet cables for some devices or at some times of the day

The best connection you’ll get, will be through an ethernet cable, this will not only be faster but will be more stable. For those data-hungry devices, like your TV or gaming consoles it can be worth connecting to it via an ethernet cable, this can be to your extender (more on these later) or you could plug straight into the router. 

If you’re on a super important meeting or video-conference, we’d also recommend plugging in via ethernet then too. But this can affect other people’s connection, so be mindful of who else is using the connection at the same time.

Separate out your Wi-Fi bands.

Another thing you can do is to separate out your bands on your router to maximise your speeds around your home, this is completely free! You’ll need to connect to your router and split your connection into two bands:

You should be able to do this relatively easily if you follow our instructions here on your Cuckoo router. If you are using your own router, you’ll have to refer to the set-up guide of your device. If you’re struggling at all with this, get in touch with us and we’ll be more than happy to help.

What kind of products could boost my signal?

There are hundreds of products available for you which could help you out, but the first thing you’ll need to do is work out what kind of device you need, because you guessed it - they all do slightly different things! 

The router we send you is pretty great and will work on all of our connections (that’s why we send it to you!). But you may find that you benefit from investing in your own top of the range router - you can get ones specific for gaming for example which can improve the speeds you’re getting. However, these tend to work best if you’re on one of our FTTP packages (more on this later). 

Your first option is to look at getting a WiFi extender or repeater . These work by plugging them in, they will then pick up the signal from your router and then rebroadcast it to a new area of the house - in my own home, we have an extender in our spare room as it’s at the opposite end of the house from our router. The only problem with these, is that if it’s receiving a weak signal, it can only rebroadcast a weak signal and can’t be used too far away. 

Your second option is to get a powerline adapter , which is actually a couple of devices you plug in. The first one goes near your router and the other ones will go wherever you’d like better connection in the home. These work because the WiFi signal will piggyback on your electrical wiring to reach any part of your home. Because of this, it will only work if your home has one electrical circuit however if it does it can be used anywhere on that electrical circuit.

The last option would be a mesh network, these also consist of a few different devices scattered throughout your home. The first one connects to your router and then you plug in the other devices around your home to create a network, as the other devices (they’re called nodes) act as additional routers which means you’ll get a really fast signal from each.  The best part? If one stops working, the system will still work. This does mean that they're the most expensive option to buy and can cost more on your energy bills too.

Can I buy one of those from you?

Unfortunately, we don’t sell boosters or extenders just yet (we hope to in the future), but we have received good feedback from customers using the popular Amazon Eero devices.

If you're looking to purchase one, there's a great guide listing popular models on expert reviews.

Be sure to shop smart and always use a reputable retailer that you're familiar with when shopping online.

How else can I boost my Wi-Fi signal?

If you have tried to use boosters and extenders and you’re still not having much luck you may still have some options. If you run a speed test and find your speeds are much lower than you’re expecting, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to troubleshoot if there are any underlying issues which could be causing your issue. Another option is to double-check whether your property is eligible for a speed upgrade or if you could change the technology that your property uses to get broadband in your home.

Unfortunately, this isn’t something that you can change as it depends on how the cables that provide your connection get into your house and the type of cable they are. We’re about to get a little techier, but we hope it helps you understand what this means! If you’re on our Fast package you are on an FTTC connection, which means there is fibre up to the green cabinet on the road and then copper cabling to your property. If you are on our Really Fast or Eggceptional package, you are on an FTTP connection, which means you have fibre cabling all the way to your property. This will give you a much faster connection.

If you’re currently on our ‘Fast’ package, you may not be able to upgrade to FTTP if the technology is not available at your property. If you’re on our ‘Really Fast’ package, you can upgrade your speed to our ‘Eggceptional’ package to give it that extra kick! 

We have good news! By December 2026, 85% of homes should have access to FTTP broadband, and the best part is Cuckoo will be letting our flock know if and when they can upgrade and we’ll do this for free!

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