Everyone is familiar with the Wi-Fi router that has its special place in your home and provides every family member with that much-needed internet pleasure. Whether you want to watch your favorite YouTube video or comment on your friend's FB photo, the router is one guy you can depend upon.
If you don't do much with your Wi-Fi router, chances are that you might miss out on some additional features. Here is a 10-pointer guide to help you make the most out of your Wi-Fi router.
If there is just a single feature you use on your Wi-Fi router, it has to be of securing it completely. Encryption, a technique of securing the data between networks, is a great way to protect your connection and preventing people from using your precious data bytes.
Address Filters for MAC Address
A MAC Address is a unique 12-digit code assigned to each and every computer on the internet. It is hard-cored onto your PC on purchase and cannot be changed for modification. Assuming it like a unique name for your PC, you can filter out any other MAC addresses that may try to access your Wi-Fi network router.
Each data packet that passes through a network finds the way to its destination by passing through a chain of ports. The router uses these ports to filter out traffic into different types. HTTP, the most common address, commonly uses port 80, outgoing email on SMTP uses port 25, and all others have their assigned ports to ensure that it reaches the right device.
There are 65,536 ports in total, and for security reasons most of them are blocked by default. If any such address is giving you issues, port forwarding is the way to go.
Quality of service
Suppose you use video streaming websites mostly in your routine Wi-Fi usage; Quality Of Service (QoS) is a feature that helps you give special priority bandwidth to those applications, which use up your internet data bytes. This helps in preventing the router to take up the load.
Use Mobile Management apps
Many router manufacturers, including Netgear and Linksys, offer iOS and Android apps to help manage your Wi-Fi router effectively. With the help of these apps, you can easily toggle features like guest mode, parental control and also perform basic diagnosis tasks.
If you have toddlers or teenagers running around in your house, you would preferably want to monitor their internet usage, with the widespread availability of adult content on it. Many wi-fi routers also offer such kind of parental controls and their toggles can range from offering basic content filters to restricting the time of usage by children.
Shared File Access
This is yet another simple but useful tip that can help ease things. All Wi-Fi routers have atleast one USB port, sometimes hidden between other ports. If you want to access the data on the entire intranet and can't afford to go to each computer, simply plug in the flash drive to this port and access its data on any PC connected to the wi-fi network.
Prefer a 5 GHz connection
Most of the new routers now come with two options for connectivity - 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The latter is much better than the 2.4 GHz as it offers less interference, more stability and faster connection speeds. Overall, the 5 GHz bands are currently the best options for Wi-Fi routers. There is a slight issue though; all your connected devices need to support the 5 GHz band otherwise it may cause compatibility issues.
Switch to channels manually
Channels are used by routers to transmit data across different networks. Sometimes, in crowded localities, such channels tend to have conflicts and may cause disturbances. In such a case, it is better to manually select channels for the best configuration. Apps like WiFi Analyser and WifiInfoView are good options for doing this.
A lot like Parental Control, Guest Access is a feature in some routers that enables the owner to restrict or filter access to guests that may use the network occasionally. Guest mode sets up a sub-network with its unique SSID and password; it will appear to be a separate network to people trying to connect. Connected users get access to the Internet without any issues and you can restrict the number of devices too.