Whether you are on your online class, working from home or streaming your favorite movies, most people access the internet through a wireless connection most of the time. That connection is a limiter. No matter how fast your internet is, it is restricted by the speed of your Wi-Fi network.
1. Speed Test Your Internet
Test your internet speed on a daily basis and record the results. There are various tools available online that will help you do this. We recommend testing both wired and wireless speed. Test you speed multiple times a day but at the same time each day and record these values in a spreadsheet. If you have a Wi-Fi problem, this log will help provide you a clearer picture of it over time.
2. Power Cycle Your Networking Equipment
Have you tried turning it off and on again is such common advice from IT professionals that it became an internet meme. But the hilarious truth is that routers often experience caching issues that can be corrected by power cycling the device. Power cycling a router on a regular basis is a good idea.
3. Update Firmware and Software
Chances are that your slow Wi-Fi speeds are not being affected by outdated firmware, but it is a good idea to rule out this possibility, and in the meantime, you are eliminating potential security vulnerabilities. It is also a good idea to update your devices, and we recommend that whenever possible, you have your computers, tablets and so forth set to automatically update.
4. Invest in a Better Router
So, you have updated your firmware and power cycled your equipment and have been tracking your internet speeds and you still have a poor connection. The first step is to perform an honest assessment of your router. If it is a cheap unit or one provided through your internet service provider, then you may want to consider investing in a better unit. Be mindful that routers can last many years without needing to be upgraded, which makes it absolutely worthwhile to spend that little extra for top-shelf gear.
5. Find Your Optimal Router Position
Another point to consider is router positioning. An ideal position will be generally be central to the home and elevated. High and open spaces with minimal obstructions are generally best. If you have a multiple-story home, try the router on the utmost floor first, and consider shelf placement for the router away from concrete and brick so that those Wi-Fi signals can travel with less interference.
6. Experiment With Different Wi-Fi Channels
Most modern routers support both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Ensure that both are enabled and that devices that can use 5 GHz do. It is also important to try the different channels that these bands support. The 2.4 GHz band supports 14 channels, and the 5 GHz band offers 23. These channels overlap, and finding the ideal channel for your home is simply a matter of trial and error.
7. Invest in Better Antennas and Experiment With Positioning
Even when you invest in a good router, the antennas are usually not the best, and in some cases, not all of the antenna ports are in use. We recommend investing in high-quality omnidirectional antennas, which may surprise you in how much a difference they can make when it comes to Wi-Fi speeds.
8. Consider Wi-Fi Repeaters and Extenders
It can be difficult in a large home to get optimal Wi-Fi coverage. It may be necessary to invest in repeaters, which provide additional access points, or to actually extend the network, such as through a powerline Ethernet kit. At this point, it may be best to seek professional advice.
Your internet is only as fast as your Wi-Fi network. Poor Wi-Fi coverage and slow Wi-Fi speeds is not something you have to accept. A little trial and error is often enough to get a network on track.