So, you finally got a new router for your online gaming. Great! That’s just the first step. Getting the router up and running is another thing. It takes some technical know-how, but anyone can do it. Here is a simplified guide on how to set up your wireless router for optimal online gaming.
Your new router will not work without the proper configuration. This is the part that seems most daunting to average users, but it is a breeze.
While it took some programming to configure a router in the past, most modern routers are now designed to auto-configure. The router automatically adjusts to the right settings when turned on, and all you have to do is enter the SSID and password. As such, all you have to do is turn on your router and connect it to your gaming PC and other gaming devices – connection, like configuration, is also mostly automated.
When auto-configuration fails, you should consider a more hands-on approach. You don’t need programming skills to get this done, either. Most modern routers come with mobile apps that enable users to fine-tune the router with a simple tap or swipe.
A router’s positioning matters a great deal. You may have noticed that your home’s Wi-Fi signal is stronger in some areas than it is in others. This all has to do with placement and positioning.
Your router should be placed far from all sorts of obstacles. Obstacles such as walls block and weaken the Wi-Fi signal strength. The Wi-Fi signal also weakens as the distance between the router and PC increases. As such, the ideal placement of your gaming router is your gaming room – if you must, take the router with you to bridge distances and avoid obstacles.
If you cannot afford to move the router whenever necessary, then you should seek out the ideal placement spot. Ideally, it should be somewhere as close to your favorite gaming spot/room as possible. It should also be as close to the center of the room as possible to avoid walls and other obstacles. And, if you are using it in a multi-story house, then at least one of the antennae should be tilted to point towards your position.
If distance proves to be too much of a problem, then you should consider getting a Wi-Fi extender. Wi-Fi extenders, such as a powerline adapter, use standard wall sockets to extend the Wi-Fi signal across several rooms, thus getting around complications posed by distance and obstacles like walls.
Important: beware the microwave! Have you ever noticed that the Wi-Fi signal always gets lost when the microwave is running? This is because the microwave emits radio waves similar to those emitted by routers, so turning the former on scrambles a router’s radio waves. As such, you should avoid using the router in the same room as a microwave, as it blocks WiFi.
Routers connect to either one of two bands: 2.4GHz or 5GHz. Most routers use the 2.4GHz band because it transmits long-range. However, this band has several key shortcomings: it has few channel options and often experiences congestion. There are 11 channels on the 2.4GHz band, so congestion is expected considering that most people use this band. However, as a gamer you can avoid congestion and optimize speeds by using the auto-selection option for finding channels with the least traffic.
The 5GHz band is not a popular option because it has a relatively shorter range compared to the 2.4GHz band. On the plus side, this band is not as congested as the 2.4GHz band, which means that the connection is faster and more secure. As such, it is the ideal option if you can afford to keep the router close to you at all times.
It is advisable to avoid unnecessary traffic onto your gaming router, regardless of whichever band that may be in use. In online gaming, speed mostly depends on stability,security, and low latency.
Your router will run into complications down the line. When this happens, a little maintenance should get it up and running fast again.
So, what do you do if your router goes down? A reboot works in most cases, but you should first ensure that everything else (including your internet subscription) is working well. If a simple reboot fails, then you should consider configuring and setting the router up afresh. And, in cases where the problem proves too complicated for the average guy, then you should consider soliciting professional help from an IT technician.
Configuring and setting up your router for optimal online gaming is an easy affair. Most modern routers have automated the process – if your router is not modern, then your priorities are all wrong. In addition to configuration, ensure that the router is properly positioned – and, if necessary, get a Wi-Fi extender to overcome complications such as distances and obstacles.