Having a slow Internet connection can fall under the category of “things to wish upon your worst enemy”. We have all been there, downloading that huge file or trying to watch that last episode of the season when the Wi-Fi router decides to slow down to a crawl and make us call the machine some not-so-pretty adjectives.
A strong, reliable and fast Internet connection is not something you only need for your own entertainment and luxury, but also a true necessity if you have a home office. The amount of people working from home is on the rise. According to research conducted by Global Workplace Analytics, 50 percent of the U.S. workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least partial telework and approximately 20 percent to 25 percent of the workforce teleworks at some rate.
Regardless of your needs, is it a reality that a slow connection makes people assume something is broken or not working properly. Sadly it is a common occurrence that real Internet speeds do not reflect the amount we are paying for in our monthly bills to Internet Service Providers.
Here we provide you with some tips that you can put to use on your end to speed up your Wi-Fi connection.
Find the best possible location for your router.
The optimal spot of your router highly depends on your floor plan and the distribution of areas where you mostly use your devices. The router should be placed as close to the center of your home as possible, as this will ensure that the signal has to go across the least amount of walls and corners to reach every spot in the house. Something else to consider is to place the router as high as possible since the signal is usually spread downward. If your router has antennas, positioning them correctly can make a difference on your signal strength. It is recommended to experiment with antenna positioning in the event you only have one; for multiple antennas, your best bet is to point them perpendicularly to ensure that at least one of them will be placed along the same plane as your devices, as this has proven to help improve signal strength.
Not much thought goes into Wi-Fi passwords. People have a tendency to use something obvious, convenient and easy to remember so it can be shared with guest or in the worst of cases, leave the default password set up by the ISP or whatever comes with the router from the factory. The fact of the matter is, if the password is easy for you, it will be just as easy for others to hack it and sap away your connection speed.
Always monitor devices connected to your network to identify any unauthorized users and lock them out using better security. There are ways out there to easily crack WEP and WPA passwords so make sure you are using the best security available to your model and your connection. Protecting your Wi-Fi network will not only ensure you are getting the best speed possible but will also protect your personal information from potential threats.
Check potential signal conflict and interference.
There are many appliances and electronic household devices that may interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. Microwave ovens, baby monitors, cordless phones and even gaming console wireless controllers can degrade wireless performance. It is important to maintain these types of devices away from the router to avoid loss of signal and speed.
Try changing channels.
Your router’s signal is usually broadcast on the channel that is set up by default right off the factory, however you may change this settings if necessary. This wouldn’t normally be a problem if you leave away from other places with Wi-Fi, but if you live in an apartment complex or a housing development with neighbors nearby, there may be a conflict between your signal and theirs. There are many tools you can download for free that help you analyze network traffic and available channels around you so you can move your signal to a less crowded one and speed up your connection.
Use a device to enhance your signal strength.
There are many options out there to accomplish boosting your signal. You may get a wall-penetrating router, utilize a range extender, repurpose an old router as a repeater or even build a homemade antenna out of a tin can to enhance your router’s performance. Many of these devices are meant to pick up the Wi-Fi signal from the router and rebroadcast it, while others use a wired Ethernet cable from the router. Either way, this hardware can make a big difference in boosting the effective range of your Wi-Fi network for a small cost.