Need to make sure that your home WiFi is properly configured? This checklist can help, and it's all stuff that is easily checked with cheap tools, and changes that you yourself can make in your wireless router with some tinkering.
Make sure that you are on a good channel
There are good channels, and there are bad channels that you'll receive lots of interference on. Picking a good channel for your wireless network is the first thing you can do to improve the performance of your network.
inSSIDer can help you pick the best channel, automatically.
If you'd like to learn why using a good channel is important, check out this video.
Make sure you have good security
WiFi flies out in all directions. Depending on the size of your house, you can probably pick up the network from your back yard, the street, and your neighbors houses. Because of this, it's important to make sure that you have a solid form of security in place, so eavesdroppers can't listen in on your network, and steal your personal information.
Use WPA2 Personal with WPS disabled. WPA2 is a strong security method, and WPS is an add-on for it that is insecure and easily broken by unethical hackers.
If you'd like to learn more about different types of WiFi security, check out this Wireless Security Basics article.
Make sure you have coverage everywhere that you need it
Ah yes, make sure your router is in the best place. The classic "fix your WiFi step". Are you tired of hearing that? Yeah me too, but seriously, it deserves it's own little checklist. To ensure that you have adequate coverage, make sure that you have -67 dBm of signal strength (or better) everywhere that you want coverage. If you can't, move your router, and recheck for coverage.
Use inSSIDer to check coverage around your home, and shoot for -67 dBm or better.
Remember that we are working in negatives, so -50 dBm is a higher signal strength than -67. Get as close to -30 as you can. If moving your router to a more central location still doesn't cover everything, then you may need to add another access point to your network to cover the dead spot.
The three most basic things you can do to improve your network are:
1. Pick the best channel
2. Use WPA2 security
3. Aim for a signal strength of -67 dBm or better.