When Wi-Fi becomes WHOA-FI: Surviving Poor Connection

You know the feeling.

You’re sitting there, innocently minding your own business, when suddenly your signal is weaker than an Eskom accountability survey. Your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms heavy, you scream expletives at a screen and get ready to Tweet your ISP.

We’ve all been there. Sometimes, it’s on a Teams meeting when you’re with a crucial client. Other times, it’s when your wife is forcing you to watch Bridgeton (although that one’s a blessing in disguise). Maybe you’re playing Call of Duty and the lag is inducing a controller smashing rage, or it’s an hour before your assignment is due and you’ve only written your name, albeit in its longest form. Fact is, whoever you are, weak Wi-Fi makes everyone feel the same sense of dread as “the President will address the nation” or that Sunday night feeling at the end of a long December holiday.

Question is, what do you do about it? Do you

  1. Scream expletives until the cows come home?
  2. Blame Eskom?
  3. Get ready to send Vox a very angry Tweet?
  4. Blame the kids and everyone within a two-mile radius of the router?
  5. Turn it off and on again?

If you’re anything like us, chances are it’s a combination of the above.

Weak signal can be frustrating, but there’s no need to pull your hair out every time.

Here’s our go-to guide for troubleshooting basic Wi-Fi issues without giving yourself an aneurism.

Get a Modern Router:

If your router is as old as Herbie, chances are your signal will be just as fast. Routers are the opposite of relationships in that it’s perfectly acceptable to change them for a newer model. Face it, we’ve all wanted to throw ours against a wall just once, and making the jump to a new and improved version allows you to do just that. Or, if you’re happy with your existing one, don’t forget that these sometimes need updates too.

Buy an Extender:

You’d be surprised at how often “the Wi-Fi is down” simply means “I don’t have signal in the toilet”. There’s good reason that certain areas of the house have less signal than others- and it’s not divine intervention or a conspiracy by your family to get you off the throne. Like peanut butter, signal can only be spread so far across a surface area before it becomes a brown smear. Your connection can be affected by walls, distance, the thickness of building materials and just being on another floor. Vox Wi-Fi Home Mesh is a pretty nifty solution to this- extending your coverage without needing network cables so you can enjoy uninterrupted YouTube wherever your heart desires.

Get Frequent:

We don’t mean repeat the same things over and over, but rather take a look at your network frequency. This gets a bit techy, so bear with us, because you’ll be feeling like Tony Stark in no time. Most routers come pre-configured at 2.4Ghz, but the less commonly used 5GHz offers faster speeds and less interference. The distance is less, but it may help get you through that Zoom call without needing to put on pants before the IT guy comes over.

Intruder Alert:

Chances are your weak signal has nothing to do with connectivity, range or the lizard people. It could be that your Pentagon level password of “Smithfamily1234” has somehow been breached- shock horror. While it’s not a criminal offence to download every season of The Office on your next door neighbours Wi-Fi (at least, that’s what we hope they’re downloading), it’s certainly bad form, and you’ll likely want to cut that out (particularly if your Internet is capped). Secure your network with a stronger password, or consult your user admin interface to find out which device is slowing down your data (chances are it’s Bridgeton again).

Switch it Off and On Again:

You know it, and you’ve done it. It works so well, our power supplier does it to various parts of our country on a regular basis. Switch off your router at the wall and leave unplugged for 30 seconds before plugging it in. More often than not, this summons the spirit of Dumbledore, and your power is restored faster than it would take to angrily slide in our DM’s.

If none of these works, contact Vox and we’ll be glad to assist you with more troubleshooting options. If your ISP isn’t Vox, then contact us and we’ll be glad to give you a list of our packages.

Stay safe, stay browsing and stay online.

 

Vox out.

About Author:
Suhail Dinat
Suhail Dinat

In Westville, Durban, born and raised, behind a book was where he spent most of his days. This Senior Content writer is equal parts creative, writer, conceptualiser and idea generator. With an agency background and having worked for several major...