How to improve the WiFI connection performance

There are several factors that influence the performance of a WiFi router, ranging from changing the transmit power to change the transmission channel. All of them together can substantially improve the performance of our wireless network. In this article we will see how to configure your router taking as an example a D-Link DIR-505 model. However, the parameters to be modified are standard for any model or make commercial router.

First we see some basic concepts to understand the nature of the optimal performance of a commercially available WiFi router for home.

Transmit Power

This is the power which the router uses to transmit any signal, normally any router operates at 100% power. However, in some cases, we have to isolate specific frequencies to a some area. We can do it by reducing the power of the radio, we can prevent interferences transmissions affecting beyond  corporate/home office or designated wireless area. 

WMM Enable

Wireless Multimedia Extensions (WME), also known as Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM), provides basic Quality of service (QoS) features to IEEE 802.11 networks. WMM prioritizes traffic according to four Access Categories (AC) - voice, video, best effort, and background. Enabling WMM can help control latency and jitter when transmitting multimedia content over a wireless connection.

Short GI

In telecommunications, guard intervals (GI) are used to ensure the different transmissions to not interfere with each other. The mode and the guard interval is an engineering decision depending on the topography  and implementation characteristics.


IGMP Snooping

IGMP snooping is to listen to the traffic generated by the network protocol IGMP (Internet Group Management Protocol). This feature allows network switches to 'hear' the conversation that occurs between routers and hosts. This allows too the switch to be capable of maintaining a map of the links that need multicast transmissions and thus handle the traffic so that only the ports need specific traffic to receive it. Some routers uses the IGMP protocol to support efficient multicasting -- transmission of identical content, such as multimedia, from a source to a number of recipients. This option must be enabled if any applications on the LAN participate in a multicast group. 

WLAN Partition

Enabling WLAN Partition prevents associated wireless clients from communicating directly with each other.

Transmit Channel

The 802.11 workgroup currently works in 2.4 GHz bands and other frequencies.  This band is divided into a multitude of channels. Countries apply their own regulations to the allowable channels,  maximum power and range levels within these frequency. In some countries,  operators may use some of the channels at much higher power for long distance wireless access.

HT20/40 Coexistence

This refers to wideband of each channel. Enabling this option may prevent an undesirable interference of your device over your neighbors. Disabling can improve your connection speed.

 

Configuring your Router

As example, we are going to work on a D-LINK DIR-505 model, but almost all of these characteristics are available on any model or brand.

Here we can observe some of the previous mentioned characteristics, in the 'advanced' tab, then 'advanced wireless' at left bar. The decision of enabling/disabling these configuration options depends on what you really need

Channel

You can change your transmit channel, but prior to do this you must be sure of what channel is less used in your neighborhood. For this you can use some software tools just like 'WIFI Radar' for Linux or WIFI Optimizer for Android.

WIFI Radar

This software lists your neighborhood WiFi Channel usage

WIFI Optimizer

This software plot all the channels and their usage