What about solving weak Wi-Fi on the PS4 or PS5 games consoles? The PS4 especially is known for having a weak and fickle wireless capability. The PS5 does seem somewhat better but still has it’s issues with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Having a weak wireless signal on your PlayStation console can mess up online multiplayer gaming and make streaming and downloading difficult. What ways are there to fix this?
Here are some quick solutions for a better wireless signal for PS4/PS5 gaming:
- Quick reset your console and router (sometimes refreshes signal)
- Move closer to your router if possible.
- Use a wired connection if possible.
- Use a powerline adapter if you cannot run ethernet directly.
- Use a wireless range extender as a last resort.
- Connect via another device using a network bridge.
The top three solutions are fairly simple and don’t need elaborating on much, but it is also true they often won’t work for many users, which is when it becomes more important to simply get off wireless connections altogether if possible.
Ethernet cables are the obvious answer here, but not everyone can run long wires through the house for obvious reasons.
Thankfully there some other troubleshooting steps and solutions you can take to get around this issue of weak Wi-Fi on PlayStation consoles.
Let’s cover them in more detail, starting with powerline technology.
Using Powerline Adapters To Bypass Wi-Fi
Despite improvements in router and device technology and better Wi-Fi chips in recent years, some people still suffer from the problem of weak Wi-Fi. In some larger or older houses there can still be Wi-Fi dead-zones where the signal is weak and inconsistent, and this can lead to problems for activities which need a reliable signal or lots of bandwidth.
For gamers who are several rooms away from their router and don’t want to go through the DIY hassle of drilling through walls to create a wired home network, a powerline adapter is an excellent plug and plug, no hassle solution.
- You plug one adapter in and connect to your router
- You plug the other adapter in and connect to your PS4/PS5 console
- The two adapters communicate through the house wiring to deliver a wired ethernet connection to your console.
Powerline Adapters Explained in 2 Minutes
They’re an excellent way of bypassing Wi-Fi altogether and getting onto a low latency wired connection even at distance from the router.
There are however, certain cases when they won’t work, such as in older houses with worn wiring or larger houses with complex circuitry. But when they do work, they can work very well and deliver speeds and latency comparable to, if not quite matching, a direct ethernet connection.
When, they work well, they’re better than Wi-Fi for sure, so are worth checking out.
Using Wi-Fi Range Extenders
If you find that powerline adapters are not an option for you to reduce lag on the PS4, usually because the house wiring is not in good enough condition for the adapters to deliver a reliable signal, then your options for getting a better signal are more limited.
You can try and run a long ethernet cable from your router to your PS4, but as we mentioned, the reason you are probably trying powerline adapters to begin with is because this wasn’t practical or possible.
In the cases where a direct ethernet or powerline connection is not possible by any means, and you have to stay on Wi-Fi, then the last resort option is to user a Wi-Fi Booster/Repeater/Range Extender to enhance the wireless signal.
These are basically single plug adapters that you install in a wall socket, and they “capture” and amplify the existing wireless signal from your router, hopefully delivering stronger wireless coverage to your PS4.
See the short video below for a quick demonstration of how they are meant to work. The general idea is to install them somewhere in between your PS4 and router, bridging the gap that the wireless signal currently has to travel.
How To Install Range Extenders
However, Wi-Fi range extenders are far from an ideal solution for PS4 gamers, simply because they keep you on a wireless connection, and leave you open to exactly the same problems as before, even if the signal is boosted.
For the highest quality, lowest ping connection for gaming, you ideally need to be on wired, either through ethernet or powerline adapter.
Nevertheless, if range extenders are your only option, they may deliver acceptable signal improvements and be useful in some cases.
Here is a quick summary of when range extenders may or may not work for PS4/PS5 gamers:
Range Extenders Can Work For:
- Boosting Wi-Fi over short to medium distances.
- More open plan spaces like apartments.
- Quieter home networks.
- Slower paced, turn based games (eg. strategy, golf, chess etc), where a little bit of delay isn’t going to ruin the experience.
- Can be OK in delivering better speeds for streaming on your PS4, if gaming is not so much a priority.
- May or may not work in reducing lag for faster paced games, but not guaranteed.
Range Extenders May Not Work So Well For:
- Boosting Wi-Fi over longer distances with more walls in the way.
- If you play faster paced online games where low ping is critical (eg. First person shooters, racing games, past faced sports games). You really need a wired connection for these games.
- On busy home networks where a lot of other users are also connecting on Wi-Fi. May not work so well in delivering a better signal and lower ping, and using a wired connection is preferable.
See our full article on using range extenders for gaming for more information on the pro’s and cons.
In summary, they can work but are generally a last resort option and wired connections are preferable if you want the best speeds and lowest latency.
Setting Up A Network Bridge (Using Another Device)
Sometimes, it seems to be ONLY your PlayStation console that has Wi-Fi problems – all other devices seem fine. It’s just your PS4 especially that might always have a weak connection.
In this case, you can also use another device’s connection that doesn’t have problem, and effectively “piggy back” off that connection. Although as with Wi-Fi extenders, you risk really bumping up the latency doing this.
But it’s an option if you just want a basic, reliable internet connection for your PS4/PS5, without blistering speeds or super low latency.
- Connect your PS4/PS5 to your laptop/PC with an ethernet cable via the LAN/ethernet ports on each device.
- Make sure all VPN connections are disabled on your PC/laptop, and you’re using just the standard Wi-Fi connection.
- On your PC/laptop, go to Control Panel/Settings…..Network/Internet/Wi-Fi.…Network & Sharing Center.
- Click Change Adapter Settings.
- Click on the working Wi-Fi connection on your laptop/PC that you’re currently using, so it’s highlighted in blue.
- Hold the Control (Ctrl) button on the keyboard, and click on the computer’s ethernet/LAN connection. As long as your PS4/PS5 is connected to the computer by LAN cable, it should say “Identifying” under the ethernet connection. Give it a few seconds to fully identify.
- Right click on the Wi-Fi connection, and select Bridge Connections
- A new ethernet connection should be created on the list, often called “Ethernet 2” or “Bridged Connection” or similar.
- Once it’s all set up and working, run through the normal LAN connection setup on your PS4/PS5. Go to Settings….Network….Set Up Internet Connection.…LAN….Easy.
- The connection setup should run through fine and now your PS4 is connected to the internet via your PC/laptop’s working Wi-Fi connection.
See our full guide on setting up a network bridge for your PS4/PS5 for more detailed steps.
You might not be able to get lightning fast connections using this method, and don’t expect the lowest ping either, but as long as your laptop/PC is getting a usable Wi-Fi connection, it should be able to deliver your PS4/PS5 a workable connection through this network bridge.
Just make sure you connect your laptop/PC and PS4/PS5 with a cable FIRST, before you do any of the steps listed above, since the computer needs to be able to detect the LAN connection to the console for the network bridge to be set up properly.
I got a connection of a couple of Mbps using my laptop as a bridge – good enough to use for watching YouTube videos and downloading patches/updates fine on the PS4.
Also, because Wi-Fi signals can be so inconsistent, you might need to keep the laptop that you use a bridge in a place where it can still pick up a good signal, away from the PS4/PS5, which means you might need a longer ethernet cable to connect them up. But it’s still a workable solution if you can keep the two connected in a way that the laptop/PC can keep it’s good connection to pass on to the games console.