The Beacon

Five tips for the best remote Wi-Fi® experience

March 26, 2020 by The Beacon

Wi-Fi® has become an essential connectivity tool for remote productivity and is now more critical than ever to keep work colleagues, as well as students and educators, connected. Many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States and Canada are removing data caps to ensure employees are able to continue working as usual, and lawmakers in the U.S. are seeking to ensure every student stays connected by subsidizing Wi-Fi hotspots.

Reports have shown Wi-Fi networks are holding up to the added daily traffic, but there are steps Wi-Fi users can take to ensure their Wi-Fi networks are performing at their peak.

1. Place the Wi-Fi router in a central location

Placement of the router is key to ensuring reliable, high quality, whole-home Wi-Fi coverage. Rather than placing the router in a remote corner where walls or other obstructions may hinder performance, try to find a central location in the home to maximize the device’s coverage area and Wi-Fi signal throughout the home.

2. Upgrade home Wi-Fi

Making sure Wi-Fi network equipment in your home is updated to meet the demands of the growing number and types of devices is critical. Wi-Fi 5 will satisfy demands of multiple devices, but the latest version of Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi 6 – is already making its way into products like access points and smartphones. Wi-Fi 6 provides the greatest capacity, efficiency, and coverage needed for a productive day of work or study, whether checking email, collaborating virtually on assignments, downloading files, or video conferencing.

3. Look for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment is important to ensure your devices provide the latest in Wi-Fi security and work well with other devices in the home. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices have undergone rigorous testing to verify they meet industry-agreed standards. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices provide the most reliable and consistent Wi-Fi experience, even when using demanding applications. Look for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo or check to see if your products meet these high standards by visiting Wi-Fi Alliance's Product Finder.

4. Check Wi-Fi network security

Choosing Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices provides assurances that Wi-Fi devices include the latest in security protections. The latest version of Wi-Fi security, WPA3™, will soon be required in all certified devices and provides cutting-edge security protocols to the market. Many devices already support the latest security, but during the industry transition to WPA3 users still remain protected by choosing a strong password and enabling WPA2™ encryption.

5. Use Wi-Fi calling

If you live in an area with inconsistent cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi calling is an option that allows you to conduct voice calls from your mobile device with Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi calling allows you to place a call through your Wi-Fi network. Most major carriers support it, the process is nearly seamless, and there is no difference in quality to the call recipient – in fact, for those with spotty cellular service the call quality may improve. There is no need to sign up for a special phone plan or buy new equipment – you simply enable Wi-Fi calling through the interface on your mobile device. If you need help, several online resources provide detailed instructions for both iOS and Android devices.

Wi-Fi has enabled companies and educational institutions to remain productive during this unprecedented period. Wi-Fi Alliance® hopes users can further optimize their Wi-Fi experience when working or learning remotely by following these tips.

The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to info@wi-fi.org.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What does “security” mean in the context of Wi-Fi?

    In the context of Wi-Fi technology, security means two things. First, controlling who can connect to and configure your network and equipment. Second, it means securing the data travelling wirelessly across your Wi-Fi network from unauthorized view.

    Wi-Fi security is just one aspect of security for networks. A protected Wi-Fi network is a great start, but you should also consider measures to protect your computer (virus software, firewall, etc.) and your communications across the internet virtual private network (VPN), etc.

  • What is the KRACK attack?

    This term refers to a potential key reinstallation vulnerability detected in late 2017. Wi-Fi Alliance took steps immediately to ensure users can continue to count on Wi-Fi to deliver strong security protections. For more information on this issue view our security update.

  • What are Protected Management Frames?

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA2™ with Protected Management Frames and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™ provide protection for unicast and multicast management action frames. Unicast management action frames are protected from both eavesdropping and forging, and multicast management action frames are protected from forging. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac, WPA3™, Passpoint®, Wi-Fi Agile Multiband™ and Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity™ devices require Protected Management Frames. They augment privacy protections already in place for data frames with mechanisms to improve the resiliency of mission-critical networks.

  • Are Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products protected by security?

    Yes. All Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products are tested for WPA2 or WPA3. The only way to be sure that a product meets the latest security standards is to purchase only Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products.

     

  • What security measures should I take when working away from my home?

    Configure Wi-Fi client devices (laptops, handsets, and other Wi-Fi enabled products) to enable security protections.

    Configure for approved connections: Many devices are set by default to sense and automatically connect to any available wireless signal. Wi-Fi Alliance recommends that you configure your device to not automatically connect to an open network without your approval.

    Disable sharing: Wi-Fi enabled devices may automatically enable themselves to sharing / connecting with other devices when attaching to a wireless network. File and printer sharing may be common in business and home networks, but this should be avoided in a public network such as a hotel, restaurant, or airport hotspot.

    Users may also wish to use complementary security measures to improve the security of their activity over the internet including virtual private networks (VPNs), firewalls, etc.

  • What are “legacy protocols”?

    Other legacy protocols are earlier generations of Wi-Fi security, which have been updated or replaced over time due to the changing security landscape needs. The original security standard was Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). It was replaced by the original Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) in 2003 as an interim solution to the limited protection offered by WEP. The WPA program added support for Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP) encryption, an older form of security technology with some vulnerability to cryptographic attacks. WPA was replaced in 2004 with more advanced protocols of WPA2.

    Though the threat of a security compromise is small, users should not purchase new equipment which supports only WPA with TKIP. Only devices supporting WPA2 and WPA3 security should be purchased and used.

  • How does a user turn on WMM-Power Save?

    If implemented correctly, WMM-Power Save will activate automatically when a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ for WMM-Power Save client device is communicating with a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ for WMM-Power Save access point. There is no action needed from a user.

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