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Home Wi-Fi Networking Tips and Tricks

Smart home devices

Upgrade your Wi-Fi for all your tech.

Discover Wi-Fi solutions that keep the entire family connected without interruption. Plus, check out tips that help you maximize speed and coverage.

Work and play like never before with Wi-Fi 7.

Wi-Fi 7 unleashes the ultimate online experience. Nearly 5x faster than Wi-Fi 6, it’s designed to deliver astounding speeds for every device in your home with greater efficiency. It also supports more connections, allowing you to play online games without lag and stream with no buffering.

The need for speed.

By identifying your current performance, you can determine whether it meets your needs or if it’s time make changes with your devices or service provider.

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Whole-home connectivity
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Focus on the task at hand, instead of worrying about your internet connection, with these Wi-Fi solutions.
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Wi-Fi 6 and 6E offer the high-speed connection you need for high-definition 4k and 8k streaming.
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Wi-Fi 7 speed
The latest Wi-Fi technology boosts speeds dramatically, reduces latency and improves network capacity.

Explore Wi-Fi networking tips and tricks.

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Wi-Fi 101: What you should know.

What do routers do?

A router takes your modem’s single connection and shares it between your devices, either via a hardwired line or over Wi-Fi. Routers create one Wi-Fi signal for a home, and internet performance improves based on how close your devices are to the router. Mesh Wi-Fi systems send out wireless signals from more than one location, offering speed at different ranges.

What can impact the network?

The more connected devices you have, the more bandwidth you need for maximum network efficiency and device performance. Wi-Fi coverage can vary greatly from place to place within your home. Complicating factors can include interference from appliances, the proximity of your neighbors’ Wi-Fi signals and physical obstacles like walls, especially those made of stucco or plaster and lath.

How many devices can my network support?

Just as excessive traffic on a highway causes jams and delays, too many devices can cause congestion on your network. Using that analogy, a multiband router will let you add more lanes to your freeway, allowing for more devices on your network without slowing things down. Increasing bandwidth with Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 7 technology is like safely raising the speed limit, which means your devices can all move at the fastest rates.

If you have many connected devices, multiple users or a large home, it is best to have a router or mesh node for every 1,500 to 2,000 sq. ft. of space.

Where should I place my router?

If you’ve purchased a single router, place it in the center of your home to cover 30–40 ft. in all directions. Strategic router placement can help you cover your space effectively.

If you have multiple access points (from a mesh Wi-Fi system, for example), keep those within 30–40 ft. of each other for the best speeds. Remember that walls made of brick, concrete or stucco make it difficult for Wi-Fi to pass through.

With a Best Buy in-home consultation, a Home Expert can come to your home, free of charge, to diagnose your network pain points and provide a solution. If you already have the hardware you need, Geek Squad® can install it, help you optimize your network and connect all your devices.

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What are Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7?

These numbers denote the generation of Wi-Fi technology. Wireless AC, or Wi-Fi 5, is the fifth generation of Wi-Fi; wireless AX, or Wi-Fi 6, is the sixth; and wireless BE, or Wi-Fi 7, is the seventh and latest generation.

Wi-Fi 7 provides much higher speed, better range and greater network efficiency. It can talk to many more devices at once, which means less latency and faster performance. Amazingly, Wi-Fi 7 can efficiently support 30, 60 or even 100 devices at a time.

Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7 both provide effective home Wi-Fi solutions for those looking to upgrade their outdated equipment.

What is an ISP? How does it impact my Wi-Fi?

An internet service provider (ISP) gives your home internet bandwidth, which is measured by download and upload speeds. Streaming a movie requires download speed. Upload speed is needed for activities like posting on social media or gaming online. Inadequate internet speed can cause problems with your home network and make it difficult to run all your devices.

Why is my network slow?

Your home network can feel slow when your stream is buffering or there is a wait time from click to load. These problems can stem from:

  • Insufficient bandwidth from your internet service provider (ISP)
  • An older modem that doesn’t support your ISP speeds
  • A problem with your router

What networking accessories do I need?

Some accessories can enhance your network’s capabilities:

  • Network switches are like Ethernet ports on your router. While most routers provide only four Ethernet ports, network switches allow you to add more — like 16 or 24.
  • Range extenders stretch your Wi-Fi reach by piggybacking on your network. Mesh extenders can boost performance both indoors (in your basement, for example) and outdoors (on your patio or deck).
  • Network security devices, which are newer to residential use, help you protect all your connected devices. With the growing number of devices in our homes, antivirus protection for computers and tablets may not be enough.

What do modems do?

A modem is a device that receives a signal from your internet service provider (ISP) and allows you to use the internet. Modems are specific to your ISP’s technology, and the most common types are cable, DSL and fiber.

Different modems support different internet service speeds. Even if an ISP updates or increases your speed, an older modem may be unable to keep up. If your ISP connection comes through DSL or fiber, it may be best to contact your ISP to see if you have the best available modem.

What should I look for in a cable modem? Should I rent or own?

In general, DSL and fiber internet service providers (ISPs) require you to rent or purchase their modems. For cable ISPs, you can rent or purchase a cable modem through your ISP or purchase from a retailer. Cable modems offer different numbers of bandwidth channels, usually between 8 and 32. Cable modems that connect to more channels can provide better speed and more consistent performance during heavy traffic times.

Wi-Fi: After you buy.

How do I create and maintain a secure network?

You've just finished plugging in your router, and the Wi-Fi is working. While it might seem like you're good to go, a few simple steps can help keep your network secure from hackers, breaches and unwanted users.

  • Create a strong but memorable Wi-Fi password that secures your network from unwanted users.
  • Change your router’s password from the default supplied by the manufacturer. This adds another layer of difficulty for hackers.
  • Update your firmware. It applies the newest features and bug fixes on your device, plus it provides security updates. Most products update automatically, but if you hear about a breach or cyberattack, check your app for manual updates.

How can apps help?

Most premium routers and mesh Wi-Fi systems come with their own apps. These tools help you manage your network by showing who is connected and when. Plus, they can indicate current speeds, which helps when troubleshooting problems. Some apps provide advanced parental controls and security features for added protection.

How can I make my network even better?

You may want to expand your system’s capabilities or security. If you need more ports, you can add a network switch to accommodate. To optimize security, check to see if your network product supports subscription-based threat protection. Security services and apps can protect all your devices on the network from phishing, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, malware, fraud and other potential threats.

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