6 Issues Slowing Down Your Wi-Fi (And What to Do About Them)

New Africa/Shutterstock.com

The diploma to which we rely on the web for the whole lot from work to leisure means sluggish Wi-Fi speeds are excruciating. Listed here are some frequent causes of Wi-Fi points and what to do about them.

First, Assess Your Normal Community

Earlier than we dive into the frequent causes your Wi-Fi efficiency is lower than anticipated, let’s get just a few issues out of the best way so you may higher troubleshoot your Wi-Fi velocity points.

First, don’t depend on a smartphone (or a laptop computer utilizing Wi-Fi) in your velocity take a look at. Pace testing with a smartphone isn’t an correct technique to take a look at the velocity of your web connection.

So earlier than you level your finger on the Wi-Fi because the supply of your issues, you should definitely conduct a correct velocity take a look at in your web connection first to rule out any greater points together with your ISP or broadband modem.

Second, Wi-Fi speeds are misleading. What your Wi-Fi {hardware} says it may do, so far as promoting and labeling is anxious, and what it may do beneath real-world situations are totally different.

Even with a fiber connection that meets or exceeds the marketed speeds of your Wi-Fi router, you received’t get the marketed velocity to your cellphone or laptop computer.

As an alternative of approaching your Wi-Fi drawback from the standpoint of “Am I getting the total capability of my web connection to each system?” which isn’t how Wi-Fi works, method it as an alternative from the standpoint of “Am I getting anticipated efficiency based mostly on my web connection and the {hardware} I’ve?” and “Has my Wi-Fi expertise not too long ago degraded in high quality?”

You’ll be able to’t make a 5Mbps DSL connection sooner with cutting-edge Wi-Fi {hardware}, and even with cutting-edge Wi-Fi {hardware} and a fiber connection, you’re not going to exceed the inherent limits of the Wi-Fi normal.

However what you are able to do, if the efficiency isn’t what you anticipate, is to work by the record beneath and rule out synthetic bottlenecks which can be resulting in a cruddy Wi-Fi expertise.

Outdated Wi-Fi Routers Affect Efficiency

Everyone hates spending cash, and it’s irritating to exchange purposeful, albeit underperforming, {hardware}. However the actuality is Wi-Fi {hardware} has superior fairly persistently through the years.

In the event you’re nonetheless utilizing an previous router you picked up at Greatest Purchase ten years in the past or the lackluster Wi-Fi router constructed into the router/cable modem combo unit your ISP gave you, you’re not going to have a good time. Additional, whereas a few of the suggestions beneath would possibly assist you to if in case you have an previous Wi-Fi router, there’s actually no substitute for biting the bullet and shopping for a brand new router.

Particularly for folk with in any other case new {hardware}—newer smartphones, a brand new good TV, and so on.—it is sensible to improve as pairing newer units with previous {hardware} is hobbling their efficiency.

Poor Router Placement Dampens Sign Energy

The one factor worse than having an previous Wi-Fi router is parking your Wi-Fi router in a horrible location—and if in case you have each an previous and poorly positioned outer, you’re going to have a extremely dangerous time.

In the event you want vibrant activity lighting in your lounge, you don’t put your high-power LED work mild down within the nook of the basement.

And by that very same measure, in order for you actually robust Wi-Fi the place you truly use your Wi-Fi units—like your lounge and bed room—you don’t put the Wi-Fi router down within the basement with the washer.

Transferring your Wi-Fi router is a simple repair. Simply you should definitely place it the place the sign is most central to your every day actions and keep away from inserting it close to these Wi-Fi blocking issues.

Too Many Gadgets Bathroom Underpowered {Hardware} Down

One of many greatest benefits of newer Wi-Fi {hardware} isn’t simply the improved speeds that include every new Wi-Fi technology however an general improve in energy and the variety of units the Wi-Fi router can deal with.

Even when you’re not chasing efficiency benchmarks to indicate off your new 2Gbps fiber line, you’ll profit from a more moderen Wi-Fi router if in case you have a plethora of units in your house.

We need to emphasize that it’s the variety of units and never the variety of customers that you just need to deal with. More and more units, even after they aren’t in use, have a reasonably excessive bandwidth overhead and place calls for in your community you won’t anticipate.

Cloud-based safety cameras use a variety of bandwidth, as do quite a lot of different good residence units—you’d be stunned what number of bandwidth vampires there are round your house. Individuals take into consideration heavy bandwidth use when worrying about blowing by their knowledge cap, however all these units utilizing the bandwidth are additionally often utilizing Wi-Fi too.

Add up all of the computer systems, tablets, smartphones, consoles, streaming units, good TVs, good residence equipment, and extra present in a contemporary residence, and also you’re taking a look at a listing that simply brushes as much as or exceeds the capability of older routers.

Whereas we’re speaking about too many units in your Wi-Fi community, we’d encourage you consider taking units off your Wi-Fi community. No, we don’t imply dwelling a life with an Xbox or good TV absolutely disconnected from the web—we imply switching any units you may over to Ethernet to unlock airspace in your remaining Wi-Fi units.

Outdated {Hardware} and Cables Scale back Pace

This one is very easy to miss when you’re not a lot of a networking nerd. Whereas the Wi-Fi router itself and the Wi-Fi capabilities of the endpoint units like your smartphone or good TV are an enormous a part of the Wi-Fi efficiency puzzle, you don’t need to neglect the straightforward bodily bits that tie your community collectively.

If in case you have outdated Cat5 cables or an outdated 10/100 community swap combined in together with your community {hardware} you’re unwittingly hobbling your community speeds.

For people with slower sub-100Mbps broadband, you could by no means discover that previous swap screwing up your efficiency, however if in case you have sooner broadband, these previous cables and {hardware} will cut back your most potential velocity.

To keep away from this, verify the bodily community cables linking totally different parts in your community collectively to make sure they’re at the least Cat5E, or higher but, Cat6. And when you’re utilizing community switches improve them from 10/100 switches to gigabit switches. Unmanaged gigabit switches and Cat6 patch cables are dust low cost nowadays.

Channel Congestion Dings Wi-Fi Efficiency

Wi-Fi channel congestion happens when a number of Wi-Fi units are utilizing the identical frequency, or channel, in the identical air area.

In case your neighbor has their Wi-Fi router configured equally to your Wi-Fi router, and you reside shut sufficient that your router broadcasts into their dwelling area and vice versa, it may negatively have an effect on your community.

That is extra of a difficulty for units on the two.4Ghz band than on the 5Ghz band, however it is best to take note of it regardless when you reside in an residence or densely packed neighborhood. You’ll have to determine which channels are probably the most congested and consult with the documentation in your specific router to alter to much less congested channels.

Wi-Fi Extenders Enhance Attain, However Lower Pace

In the event you’ve struggled with Wi-Fi points like gradual speeds or lackluster lined, there’s likelihood you’ve thought of utilizing a Wi-Fi extender and presumably have one in your house proper now.

Regardless of their recognition, from a gross sales standpoint, Wi-Fi extenders have a little bit of a foul repute with regards to precise community efficiency.

Whereas they will definitely prolong the attain of your community when correctly deployed, they will additionally introduce a variety of community congestion, latency, and lowered speeds.

To rule out your Wi-Fi extender as a supply of Wi-Fi community complications, quickly unplug it. With the extender disabled, verify your general community efficiency with units related on to the principle Wi-Fi router. If efficiency improves considerably, there are possible two points at play, presumably in tandem.

First, your Wi-Fi extender could also be poorly configured and deployed—use the following tips and tips to get higher efficiency. Second, the additional protection offered by the extender and all the additional units you added to the community due to that prolonged protection would possibly simply be an excessive amount of in your most important router to deal with, even with the assistance of the extender.

In that case, it’s most likely a good suggestion to simply abandon the router + extender configuration and substitute it with a extra sturdy mesh community. Upgrading to a mesh community is like concurrently upgrading your router and mating it to supercharged Wi-Fi extenders on the similar time.