Slow Wi-Fi is one of the most aggravating household issues, right up there with creaky doors and dripping faucets. Try making these changes to your router and other devices to get your upload and download speeds back up to where they should be.
As a result, we’ll concentrate on software updates and improvements you may make to your existing hardware in this article. If such modifications do not enhance your Wi-Fi performance, moving to a mesh network architecture or investing in a repeater can.
Upgrade your router’s software.
Routers, like your laptop and phone, run their own software. Because it is so closely linked to the hardware in this scenario, it is referred to as firmware—the manufacturer preinstalls and configures it before selling the device. Firmware updates for routers are rarely issued by companies, although many do make updated versions of their software accessible for download. These updates address issues and may provide speed enhancements as well as additional support for newer devices on the market.
The best place to find fresh firmware for your router is the manufacturer’s website or the website of the internet service provider that provided you the device. If you can’t locate a download link, do a web search for “firmware” followed by the brand and model of your router.
The specific procedure for installing firmware differs depending on the router. Typically, you visit your computer’s device settings and seek for the option that allows you to install an update from a downloaded file (typically a zip archive) on your hard drive. The installation instructions are normally included in the downloaded file, but if you’re still unsure, review the router’s instruction manual or look them up online.
Change the channel
Another thing you might do with a sluggish router is to modify the wireless channel it uses. This entails slightly altering the wireless frequency on which your internet signals are sent. Under a header such as Wireless or Advanced, your router should include a setting that allows you to change the channel. If you can’t locate it right away, search it up online or in the router’s manual.
By default, most routers utilize channel 6. If you change this to 1 or 11 (to avoid interference with channel 6), you may notice an improvement in Wi-Fi performance. All of your linked devices will need to join to this new channel as well, but the vast majority of your equipment will do so automatically, with no need to change the Wi-Fi name or password. You may have to experiment a little to find the ideal channel, but stay to 1, 6, or 11 for the best chance of receiving the quickest speeds.
In a similar manner, some more modern routers provide two frequency bands: the conventional 2.4GHz band and the speedier 5GHz band. These bands operate on the same principles as the previously described channels, but when you switch bands, you alter the frequency considerably more. This implies that Wi-Fi-enabled devices connected to separate bands will not interfere with one another.
If your router supports dual bands (for further information, consult your model’s documentation), you’ll normally notice two alternative Wi-Fi networks to which you can join. Divide your devices between the two networks based on the speed and range that each piece of gear requires from your Wi-Fi. The 5GHz band, for example, often provides quicker speeds but has a shorter range, so devices closest to your router should utilize it. It will transmit Spotify music to your games console more dependably, but it isn’t as excellent at blasting through walls and doors as the previous 2.4GHz standard. Use the latter for devices that you move around your house, such as phones, or for those that are positioned far away from the router.
To use the 5GHz band, you’ll need an 802.11a, 802.11n, 802.11ac, or 802.11ad dual-band router, however most routers manufactured in recent years support these standards. If you’re experiencing sub-optimal Wi-Fi speeds and seeing buffering wheels more frequently than you’d want on either band, you can still modify the wireless channel utilized in the 5GHz or 2.4GHz ranges. More information about your options may be found on the help pages of your router.
Control the bandwidth
Internet use may quickly deplete your available bandwidth, especially if your connection is sluggish or shared by numerous individuals. So, if you’re having trouble getting a good connection, look into what else is going on with your network. Running Netflix alongside Hulu while making several video chats, for example, is definitely not the greatest approach to maximize your streaming speed.
You may determine your current speeds by visiting a site such as Speedtest.net. However, increasing such speeds requires you to monitor the precise usage of your home Wi-Fi network, which is up to you and the individuals you live with. Turning off gadgets that are not presently in use is the simplest way to get maximum performance. This will not only save you money on your energy bill, but it will also ensure that your laptops, televisions, and tablets are not wasting bandwidth that may be used for another activity.
At the same time, you’ll want to be sure that no unwelcome guests or inquisitive neighbors are snooping on your home network. Your router’s Wi-Fi password protection should be enabled by default. Changing your password on a regular basis and keeping it secret can assist you in keeping your network secret to you and your invited guests.
Another option is to select which internet usage are most important to you. Quality of Service, or QoS, is a feature on some routers that allows you to prioritize particular apps (like Netflix) or types of material (like video) above others. You may utilize it to ensure that your video calls remain consistent, even if it causes the Spotify stream to become erratic. Some routers also allow you to prefer some devices (for example, your PC) over others (for example, your roommate’s). If your router includes a QoS function, search for information on configuring it and telling the router what you want to prioritize on the manufacturer’s website or in the included handbook.
Avoid the fish tank
Many seemingly benign home objects, such the water in fish tanks, may slow down your Wi-Fi. You now understand why your laptop never receives a signal when it is placed behind the tank in your study tank. Even if you have a fish-free house, consider shifting your furniture so that there are as few things (including walls) between your devices and your router as possible.
Aside from bulky items, anything that emits a wireless signal might interfere with the Wi-Fi signal transmitted by your router. Wireless baby monitors, wireless landline phones, microwaves, Bluetooth keyboards and mouse, and even string lights are examples. All of these things produce electromagnetic interference, which can slow down your upload and download rates. In most circumstances, the disturbance should be modest, but it’s worth noting if you’re having issues. Rearranging the components stated above can assist, but if it is difficult, just switch your router to its 5GHz channel: Because most microwaves and other wireless devices operate at 2.4GHz, the higher band should be less crowded.