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Here’s what do to if your WiFi is stretched thin

Parents working from home, kids taking classes online puts strain on internet connection

SAN ANTONIO – With so many parents working from home and kids taking classes online, some families may be frustrated by wimpy WiFi.

Consumer Reports says some simple moves may just fix the WiFi woes.

The first step is to understand what your router does.

“Think of a router as an electronic traffic cop,” said Consumer Reports tech editor Nicholas DeLeon. "What it does is it directs the internet connection from your internet service provider through your home in the form of WiFi.

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Location matters. For bests results, place your router in the center of your home so the signal can reach as much of the house as possible, DeLeon said.

Keep in mind that not only can brick walls, floors and closed doors be roadblocks for WiFi, so can appliances like the refrigerator or microwave. The signal can bounce off.

“Water absorbs radiation, so your WiFi may have trouble near pools, tubs or even a fish tank,” DeLeon said.

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If moving the router doesn’t help, and you have a house full of newer devices, it may be time for new router, especially if yours is more than three years old.

If you live in a a smaller space with few obstructions, Consumer Reports recommends the Synology RT2600ac for about $200.

If you live in a larger home or your signal doesn’t reach as far as you would like, Consumer Reports suggests a mesh network style router system that uses a hub and satellites to spread the signal throughout the house, like the Eero Home WiFi for about $250.

COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new virus, stands for coronavirus disease 2019. The disease first appeared in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, but spread around the world in early 2020, causing the World Health Organization to declare a pandemic in March. The first case confirmed in the U.S. was in mid-January and the first case confirmed in San Antonio was in mid-February.

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