How to optimise your experience in your apartment or town house
Make the most of your internet connection with these in-home set-up tips for your apartment.
Your choice of Wi-Fi router/modem
Choosing the right Wi-Fi router/modem can help improve your online experience.
ADSL2 versus VDSL2
Objects that interfere with your Wi-Fi signal
The positioning of your Wi-Fi router/modem can change your experience.
Certain objects in your home like microwave ovens, televisions, hot water systems, ovens and fish tanks will interfere with the Wi-Fi signal strength. Thick walls or other metallic surfaces like mirrors or fridge doors will also impact the quality of your signal.
Try and position your Wi-Fi router/modem in the centre of your apartment/town house, considering the layout of your home and where the internet enabled devices are located. Where possible, you should avoid thick walls and look to have line-of-sight with your Wi-Fi router/modem.
The effect of different Wi-Fi signals and channels
Picking the right Wi-Fi frequency and channel for optimal performance is vital if you live in a high density setting like an apartment or town house.
Consider adjusting the channel your Wi-Fi router/modem runs on. If too many people are using the same channel at the same time it can slow down your internet experience. Not all Wi-Fi routers/Modems offer this functionality. Check your Wi-Fi router/modem operating instructions to see whether this is possible.
The most common Wi-Fi frequency of 2.4 GHz offers the greatest range and is capable of reaching through a variety of wall thicknesses. However, this range coupled with the ability to go through walls also limits its speed potential.
Many Wi-Fi routers/modems and Wi-Fi enabled devices in your home will operate on the 2.4 GHz spectrum because of the ‘all purpose’ durability of the 2.4 GHz range.
The newer 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequency is currently not as common as the 2.4 GHz frequency – it will become more common as new devices enter the market. While 5 GHz generally provides higher data rates compared with 2.4 GHz, its one potential weakness is that 5 GHz signals do not generally travel as far as 2.4 GHz signals. For optimum performance, you need to ensure that your devices are located relatively close to your Wi-Fi router/modem, without too many interfering objects between the device and the unit itself – which could make 5 GHz your Wi-Fi frequency of choice if you live in a smaller space like an apartment.
If you’re unsure which frequency will work best for you, speak to your phone and internet provider about your set-up and specific needs.
Avoiding thick walls can help you to get the most out of your signal.
Thick walls will likely impact the quality of your signal. Not all walls are the same. Walls containing water pipes, air-conditioning ducts and insulation will interfere with the Wi-Fi signal strength more than simple room partitions like Gyprock. You’ll also find that brick, stone, ceramic, concrete, metal, and mirrors will greatly reduce your signal strength.
Try and position the Wi-Fi router/modem in the centre of your apartment/town house, considering the layout of your house and where the internet enabled devices are located. Where possible, you should look to have line-of-sight with your Wi-Fi router/modem, or have it pass through glass rather than thick walls.
A Wi-Fi repeater can help to amplify your signal and extend your coverage. If you’re still having issues, consider using a fixed connection like an Ethernet cable.
Multiple devices connected at the same time
Busy homes with many devices need better Wi-Fi.
The amount of connected devices running through your Wi-Fi router/modem at the same time can have an impact on the maximum speeds that can be experienced. Basic Wi-Fi routers/modems start to experience connectivity issues with more than eight Wi-Fi connected devices.
You will need to speak to your provider or an IT professional about whether your Wi-Fi router/modem suits your specific needs.
High Definition TV
Prepare yourself for the future of HD TV.
Internet enabled High Definition (HD) TVs (often referred to as ‘4K TVs’) require a fast speed and consistent signal strength when viewing 4K content. As we head into the future and 4K content becomes more common, an Ethernet cable connection or a 5 Ghz Wi-Fi signal (with line-of-sight to the TV) is highly recommended for optimum performance.
Keep in mind televisions will interfere with your Wi-Fi signal strength. Ensure that your Wi-Fi router/modem is not placed behind your TV.
Building and in-apartment cabling
The quality of the cabling through your building/apartment/town house can contribute to the speeds you will experience.
Ensuring your equipment is up-to-date can help improve your experience.
Wi-Fi hardware in devices with connected technology
* We’re designing the nbn™ broadband access network to provide these speeds to our wholesale customers, telephone and internet providers. End user experience, including the speeds actually achieved over the nbn™ broadband access network, depends on the technology over which services are delivered to your premises and some factors outside our control like your equipment quality, software, broadband plans, signal reception and how the end user’s provider designs its network.
The rollout of the nbn™ access network involves new technologies which some existing devices may not be compatible with.
It’s important to talk to your device provider to find out if it will work on the nbn™ access network, or what alternatives may be available. It’s also important to register safety-critical equipment with nbn by calling 1800 227 300 or nbn.com.au/compatibility.
Devices to consider:
- Medical alarms, autodiallers or emergency call buttons
- Monitored fire alarms
- Security monitoring systems
- Fax and teletypewriter devices
- Lift emergency phones
- Existing landline phone services (The copper network within nbn™ Fixed Wireless and Sky Muster™ satellite areas will not be switched off)