Home Wi-Fi networks can sometimes be more frustrating than they are convenient. While you can surf the web any time, day or night, it always seems to go out or slow down right when you need it. Good news: the quality of your wireless network isn’t completely out of your hands. Use these tips to boost your speeds and experience less outages.

Location is everything

Materials like glass, brick, water and insulation can block your Wi-Fi speeds (surprisingly enough!)—so finding the perfect location for your router is everything in order to get the most out of your network. A central, open area is the perfect spot. But to make sure it’s the best location, use an app like Cloudcheck to verify your signal as you move around your home. And remember, keep the router high off the ground and adjust antenna angles for an optimum connection.

Upgrade your router

Don’t expect your router to age like a fine wine. Each new version created is faster, more reliable and moves more data per second. So if you’re still sporting your original router from years ago, it’s time to upgrade. The easiest and fastest way to get better performance from your network is to get your hands on the latest version.

Take control of your bandwidth

Your connection speeds go beyond the hardware and can also be affected by the data you use while online. Whether streaming content via Netfilx or Hulu, downloading content or gaming in real time, managing your bandwidth can keep your connection stronger, especially with multiple users. Close applications that are not being used or set up your router to prioritize certain applications over others. Whatever you choose, just remember that your online activity directly affects your network speeds.

Wires always win

When it comes to the Internet, wires always provide the fastest and most reliable connection. To save your wireless bandwidth for mobile devices, plug stationary electronics directly into your router: such as AppleTV, Roku or gaming consoles.

Change the channel

Most people don’t know that appliances such as microwaves and cordless phones can interfere with their network signal. Simply changing your router’s channel can remedy this problem, which keeps your Internet connection and appliances on different spectrums. Even your neighbor’s router could affect your network if it’s on the same channel. Just pull up your router’s web control (or use its corresponding app) to change your channel settings. Wi-Fi scanner apps are also available to scan the surrounding area for channels being used, giving you a real-time view of what spectrums are over-crowded.