The ideal Wi-Fi configuration for streaming

How to improve your Wi-Fi connection to increase your binge-watching and utilize your internet connection.

You should definitely make sure your devices have the finest connectivity possible if you intend to do a lot of binge viewing. It will be much easier for many family members to watch what they want if your Wi-Fi is properly configured, whether you want a sharper picture and shorter buffer times or simply want to improve your streaming experience.

Additionally, streaming isn’t restricted to a single device or home space. There are always going to be days when you’ll want to watch something on your laptop or tablet in the kitchen or unwind in bed with your phone, even if you have a smart TV in the living room and possibly another in the bedroom. You’ll enjoy a superior streaming experience no matter what you’re watching (or what device you’re using) when your Wi-Fi is configured optimally.

For the greatest streaming experience, check that your router is configured to offer the best signal, that it is appropriate for your internet speeds, and that you have the tools necessary to minimize dead spots. If that still doesn’t work, we also have advice on how to use a wired connection and when to contact your service provider.

Use the appropriate standard: What Wi-Fi speed do I require?

Due to lesser throughput, inefficient device handling, and the creation of bottlenecks in your home network, older networking technology wasn’t built to handle the type of data-intensive workloads that are now common. One application where you’ll rapidly run into those restrictions is video streaming.

Adding coverage: Wi-Fi extenders and mesh Wi-Fi systems

Expanding that coverage is another way to get better streaming in more parts of the house. It’s easy to put on TV in close range to your router by simply making the router a part of your living room setup. It’s a lot less convenient when you want to have an additional TV elsewhere, like in the master bedroom on the other end of the house, or in a basement den.

You have two options for extending wireless coverage area in these circumstances. To add a little bit more coverage area, use one of the products in our list of the best Wi-Fi extenders (also known as signal boosters or Wi-Fi repeaters). Alternatively, you can upgrade to one of the best mesh Wi-Fi systems, which maintains good speeds over a much broader area.

Both of these techniques amplify the wireless signal across your home by using additional hardware in addition to the router. Wi-Fi extenders are frequently significantly less expensive, but mesh routers provide faster speeds, easier daily use, and more aesthetically pleasing designs.

Wi-Fi Signal Strength: Strategic placement is key

The wireless network connection is provided by a Wi-Fi router using radio waves, and optimal positioning enables the wireless signal to go further and with less interference. In general, you’ll want to place your router in a prominent spot that is elevated and free of any significant obstructions, such as brick walls or aquariums. Check out our guide on the ideal router placement for a more detailed look at the problems that can affect signal quality.

In a same manner, you must ensure that your streaming device—whether it be a TV, laptop, or smartphone—is situated inside that coverage area. The closer it is to the router, the better. Although you will still be able to get signal outside your Wi-Fi range, it won’t be as quick or reliable.

Ethernet: Is it quicker than Wi-Fi?

Finally, Wi-Fi might not be the greatest option for the best network connection and ideal streaming performance. An Ethernet connection straight to your TV would be preferable if your router is anywhere near your TV.

This frees up your Wi-Fi for all the other things you enjoy doing online, like sending snarky Facebook messages to your friends about the newest Netflix show, in addition to avoiding the nebulous issues of signal strength, potential interference, and different wireless standards.

If you have a mesh router extension with an Ethernet port, you might still be able to do this for TVs in far-off rooms. 

Speak with your service provider to get faster Wi-Fi

Your router configuration is ultimately just one piece of the networking jigsaw. Even after installing a newer router, if you still aren’t getting the streaming speeds you want, there may be an issue higher up with your service provider.

Use a free service to check your speed. You may need to contact your ISP to voice your concerns if you’re not receiving the speeds that your subscription is supposed to offer. It might be time to upgrade to a faster choice if your speeds are subpar yet accurately reflect the plan you’re paying for. Even gigabit speeds are available in some locations for rates that are comparable to what you are currently paying.