WiFi is great – until it’s not. If you haven’t battled slow WiFi in your life, then you must have been living under a rock. As the internet has increased in importance in our lives, the scourge of dodgy connections has plagued even the best of us.
Fortunately, there are several tactics to speed up your WiFi. With a bit of inside knowledge and a few investigative experiments, you should be able to ensure a faster connection. Some fixes are simple, but others take more time and money.
Don’t endure snail-like loading times; check out these five tips to guarantee a speedy connection.
- Hardware Restrictions
Routers are great, but they’re far from perfect. If you have consistently slow WiFi, then this is the first port of call. Two main restrictions weigh-down your internet speed.
- Router Range
All routers have a limited range. You can check the strength of your connection in the network section of your desktop. Try moving your device closer and further away from the router. If this is the problem, then you should see a drastic change in signal strength, depending on the place you’re standing. You can overcome this issue by purchasing a router with a greater range, or a signal booster to extend the connection to further points in your house.
- Too Many Devices
The other common restriction for routers is the number of devices they support. It may seem simple, but many overlook the fact that their network can only handle so much traffic. With all the smartphones, baby monitors, laptops, and IoT devices we use, routers quickly get overwhelmed. Other than disconnecting what you can, the only real solution to this issue is to upgrade your hardware.
It’s recommended that you should change your router every four-to-five years. If you’ve just started having problems and the above points are relevant to you, then it’s probably time for an upgrade.
- WiFi Channels
If you’ve ever messed around with your router options, you’ve probably seen that there are different channels available. Most networks are automatically routed, but if you play around with these settings, you can manually improve your configurations.
Most WiFi is now set at the new standard of 2.4GHz, with elite systems working with 5GHz. It operates by splitting the signal between fourteen different channels. Because of this spread, Wifi signals often overlap, which tends to cause slowdown on the network. Fortunately, channels 1, 6, and 11 are all far enough apart to avoid this channel overlap. Manually setting this configuration has a good chance of speeding your connections up.
You can also go a step further. In crowded areas, you may experience interference from other signals on these channels. You can switch between them to experiment and determine which is best for you.
- Budget Internet Packages
We all love a good deal – especially on our monthly bills. Unfortunately, sometimes opting for the cheapest internet option can throttle the speeds you get. ISPs vary drastically depending on the package you buy. Speeds can range from 15Mbps to 250+ Mbps, with the lower ends operating under a cut-off. This strategy is designed solely to increase ISP profits. If customers have to pay extra to access higher level speeds, then it’s more money into the pockets of investors.
Fortunately, there’s an easy way to check whether your speed is throttled or not. Internet Health Test is a handy website that gives you a full breakdown of what’s happening with your connection. It gives you a classification using a percentage, along with recordings of your current speed. The lower your score, the more likely that throttling has occurred.
Once determined, you can contact your ISP and see what they can do within your current subscription. Alternatively, you can upgrade your package or move to another service entirely.
- Slow DNS Servers
Your ISP may be the problem, but it’s not necessarily because they’re actively slowly things down. All providers use DNS servers to transfer data between websites and servers, transforming it into human-readable from back-end coding. These servers are far from infallible themselves, and those used by some providers are simply too slow to manage all web traffic.
You can adjust your DNS settings to try and optimize the process as much as possible. Most of the slowdown is a result of distance. If the server is too far away, then it has a long way to travel to do its job. Similarly, outdated catalogs may result in routes that are inefficient and lose costly seconds by going ‘the long way round.’
Several tools exist to help identify DNS server speed and upgrade settings. Google’s Namebench is a popular option that tests your connection and gives suggestions to optimize.
- Irregular Reboots
Are you one of the many that are enraged when you ring tech support and they tell you to turn it off and on again? In fact, it turns out this method comes with scientific backing. No router – like any electronics – is designed to be switched on all the time. Turning them off for a brief period is akin to letting them have a little nap.
All electronics are state-based. They’re designed to start in a specific state, and too much pressure on the system can change things. When you turn them off, they revert back to their default state. For routers, this means they are restored to optimal connectivity. It won’t work for all problems, but it’s a potential quick fix and a great place to start.
Don’t Suffer Slow Internet Speeds.
When it comes to your internet, you’re in control. You should never have to suffer with frustratingly slow speeds and unreliable connections. These five tips are a great place to start. Opt to try the easiest options first. Then – if it comes down to it – consider changing your internet subscriber.
We live in a world were slow WiFi is no longer necessary. There are plenty of ways to improve the situation – so don’t let yourself get stuck in a connectivity rut!