Position your WiFi hub and WiFi Pods around your home according to these dos and don’ts, and you’ll get the best possible connection in every room
By Virgin TV Edit
Few things are more frustrating than your WiFi connection dropping out. Fast, reliable internet throughout our homes makes everyday life run more smoothly, which is why we’ve introduced our WiFi guarantee with WiFi Max. It’s our promise that you’ll enjoy download speeds of at least 20Mbps in every room or get £100 bill credit. That’s the fastest WiFi guarantee of any major provider.
It’s backed up by our signal-boosting mesh WiFi Pods (if needed) and Intelligent WiFi (self-optimising technology built into all our hubs to automatically sort any WiFi issue) – at no extra cost with Gig1 Fibre Broadband and our Volt packages. You can also add our WiFi guarantee with WiFi Max to our M50 to M500 Fibre Broadband packs (without Volt) for £8 a month, with your first WiFi Pod provided automatically.
With our free Virgin Media Connect app, you can also check your speeds to see if you need a WiFi Pod, keep track of all your connected devices, and loads more. To find out more about the Connect app and to download, click here.
But while these high-tech solutions will make your Virgin Media WiFi even faster and more reliable, there’s another surprisingly simple method that could give your signal a bit of a boost: moving your router. Follow these dos and don’ts, and you might find that you can stretch your WiFi further than expected…
Do: stay central
The best place for your router is right in the heart of the home. Imagine your ideal signal range like a huge bubble that surrounds your entire living space. Your WiFi router should be broadcasting from the bubble’s central point; if it’s not, then your entire home is less likely to be covered by your internet connection.
Don’t: hide your hub
Some people are tempted to tuck their internet router away for aesthetic reasons, but stowing yours in a cupboard or box is a surefire way to weaken your internet connection because any physical obstruction around your hub will interfere with the signal. (It also increases the chance of the router overheating, which isn’t good.) For the same reason, you should avoid hiding pods behind furniture, especially bulky pieces like heavy chests of drawers or sofas.
Do: manage your WiFi Pods
Got one or more WiFi Pods? With the Connect app, you can keep an eye on how all of them are doing – see their signal strength, know which devices are connected to each one, get troubleshooting tips, rename them and much more.
Do: position your hub higher
Remember: imagine your ideal signal range like a huge bubble that surrounds your entire living space. By placing the hub higher, you’re effectively ‘wasting less’ of the bubble. You could position the hub high on a wall using an unobtrusive mount or small floating shelf (lots of retailers now make these especially for this purpose). Alternatively, place it high on a bookshelf. This is a good move if you want your device to go unnoticed – the router is likely to blend in with the books behind it.
However, if you in live in a home with multiple floors, the best position for the hub might in fact be on the ground on the first floor. And you’re still using height to your advantage.
Don’t: put your router in the kitchen
It’s not just electronics that interfere with your WiFi signal: metal can also wreak havoc with your connection. Kitchens are often home to heavy-duty metal appliances (think ovens, fridges and washing machines), as well as signal-emitting electronics like microwaves, making them a particularly inhospitable environment for your router.
Do: give it space
WiFi routers aren’t team players – they generally prefer to operate at a distance from their fellow electronic devices. If your connection is weak, check to see if your hub is too close to objects that send out their own signals, such as TVs, wireless speakers or cordless phones. It will be happier if it’s at least one metre away from other electronics.
Do: avoid mirrors and fish tanks
It may sound bizarre, but fish tanks and mirrors are also the enemies of home broadband. Water inhibits WiFi signal, so placing your router next to a fish tank is likely to have a negative impact on its stability. Interestingly, this is also why mobile internet is sometimes disrupted in busy spaces, because the water in human bodies will also dampen internet signal.
Mirrors can also reflect the radio waves used to transmit wireless internet, which can have a negative impact on performance by scattering and distorting the signal. It’s not just mirrors, either: be wary of stainless steel countertops, filing cabinets or any other flat, reflective surface.
Don’t: go horizontal
If you’re trying to tuck your router into a specific space, such as under a TV unit, you might be tempted to turn it on its side. Our advice? Don’t. Keep your router upright with the front lights facing into the room to ensure more of the signal goes outwards into that room, rather than into the floor.
Do: use the Connect app to run a super-intelligent WiFi home scan
Our new and improved two-step speed test guides you around your home room by room, testing WiFi performance in each one. Next, it checks your broadband speed to make sure there are no issues preventing you getting the most from it. To run the scan, simply connect to your Hub, tap “Start the scan” and then let the Connect app take you through the rest. If the scan finds any areas without reliable WiFi, we’ll suggest ways to improve it – with our WiFi Pods, for example. Sorted.
Want to learn more?
To find out more about our fast WiFi guarantee, click here.
The fastest WiFi guarantee of any major provider, at no extra cost with Gig1 Fibre Broadband and our Volt packages only.
WiFi Guarantee with WiFi Max: Available to Virgin Media residential broadband customers on M50 broadband or faster provided you are not taking services in any of our 2022/2023 network expansion areas. Excludes Essential broadband customers. Existing Intelligent WiFi Plus customers will be individually informed when they are moved to WiFi Max. £8 a month add-on or at no extra cost for Ultimate Oomph, Gig1 and Volt customers. WiFi Max is only available to order once your Virgin Media broadband service has been activated. If you don’t get download speeds of at least 20Mbps in every room, if needed we’ll provide up to 3 WiFi Pods. If that still doesn’t do the trick we’ll give you a one-off credit of £100 off your next bill. Guarantee and eligibility for pods does not cover broadband faults or network outages. Pods subject to stock availability, require self-installation via QuickStart and can be delivered via Click & Collect or optional home delivery (£5 delivery charge may apply). Improved WiFi performance compared to use without pods. Home environment, device limitations, number of users and time of day may affect WiFi performance. User speed varies and depends on Pod/Hub location, as well as broadband package choice. Equipment remains property of Virgin Media. Exclusions and further terms apply. Fastest WiFi guarantee of any major provider:Compared to major UK ISPs. Terms of guarantee vary by provider. To verify, see www.virginmedia.com/legal/wifi
My Virgin Media app: Requires compatible Android 6.0 or iOS 11 or later mobile or tablet.
Virgin Mobile customers: The app will work on a device (iPhone, cellular-enabled iPad, Android phone or cellular-enabled tablet) where a Virgin Mobile SIM is present and the App has verified your SIM (whilst you on the Virgin Mobile data network). If you have got a Pay As You Go plan, remember to register for a My Virgin Media account first).
Broadband, TV and home phone customers: The app will work on a device (iPhone, iPad, Android phone or tablet) where sign in has been completed using My Virgin Media account details. It’s not always possible to guarantee that we’ll be able to offer this app on every device, platform and operating system version or variant. Terms and conditions apply. Further Legal Stuff applies – see virginmedia.com/legalstuff