So, you went all out and bought the pricier internet package for the high-speed internet the company promised, only to find yourself duped with Wi-Fi speeds that were only half as advertised.
Well, before the anger consumes you and drives you to do something you’ll regret, you might want to take a closer look at your home Wi-Fi system and tweak it. Chances are that’s the cause of your sorrow. If tech is not your forte, worry not, it doesn’t matter. Just read the article carefully and you’ll have a good grasp on how a Wi-Fi network operates and how you can boost its performance. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
It’s amazing how user-friendly all devices have become with time. Where once they looked like ugly boxes only those trained could decode, these days they are easier to handle even for the uninitiated. To start off on how to make Wi-Fi faster, you should get well-acquainted with the following three devices:
This is as far as your ISP will come to you. Connecting to your DSL or cable wall outlet, this device is the entry point of the internet connection to your home.
This device is responsible for broadcasting Wi-Fi signals and controlling traffic on your connection
This is a wire used to connect your modem to your router
Before we get to the more technical side of things, here are some easy fixes for you to try:
Your router puts in a lot of hard work each day, every day. So, it can get a bit splotchy if it’s been running continuously for too long. Reboot it and you’ll have faster internet in no time.
If you’re facing latency issues along with slow speed, we’d suggest you get a more direct connection for your desktop. By bypassing a router altogether, you’re sure to have a high-speed connection. What’s more, you’ll help free up bandwidth for other devices. This is especially the go-to option for gamers.
If the above options didn’t work out for you and you’re wondering how to increase Wi-Fi speed, there are two methods by which you can improve signals at home: boosting and segregating. Each one has its own benefits which we’ll explore below.
To start off, it is important to note that routers broadcast signals in a spherical bubble. Any device inside this sphere gets signals, however the greater the distance from the router, the weaker the signals. Another thing to keep in mind is that every device connected takes up your limited bandwidth. Think of it as lanes, if there are only 4 lanes, only 4 people can move at a time. Increase the number of people and you’ll have a traffic jam on your hands. Spectrum internet offers ample bandwidth so that shouldn’t be a problem if you’re using it appropriately. However, since everyone has limited bandwidth at their disposal so only a limited number of devices can work seamlessly at a time. If there are too many devices, speeds will slow down.
Then again, what you do on your device also impacts speeds. If it is data-intense work like streaming or gaming, any extra devices will bog down your connection. But, if it is only casual browsing and checking emails, you shouldn’t have an issue.
With that out of the way, let’s see what we mean by boosting and segregating.
Signal boosting is all about changing the position of your router and network points to boost signal power. Adding signal repeaters and the like also fall under this.
Signal segregating, on the other hand, is concerned with dividing the bandwidth amongst devices by manipulating channels and frequencies. So how can you do that? Keep reading and you’ll find out.
If your router has obstructions in its way, the signals you receive are bound to be weak. The same applies if you place the router at an extreme end of your house. The best location for your router is at the center of your house, elevated, with no think concrete barriers near it. If you’ve already done all of this, the next section should prove helpful.
If you have a large house, then consider adding an antenna to boost the range of signals. For this, we’d suggest you get an omnidirectional antenna as it boosts signals in all directions. If however, a signal issue arises because you simply cannot place your router at the center, you might want to get a directional antenna. This boosts signals in one direction only and is perfect for situations like these.
Every router runs on software and if it is not performing up to par, it’s possible that it might be in need of an update. Newer routers have information on how you can update their operating system through the network admin panel but for older models, you might want to manually check their websites and dig around. For the tech-savvy lot, installing alternative firmware is also an option. Whatever you do though, do it via the Ethernet cable not over Wi-Fi as that can damage the device.
If you want to avoid all this, we’d suggest you get Cox internet. Their 24/7 technical support can guide you along every step ensuring a stress-free update.
Powerline adapters basically have to do with using electrical wiring as a data network. Technically, they can’t improve the wireless network at your home, however, the more devices it takes on, the lesser devices your router has to handle, freeing up your bandwidth.
Unlike Ethernet cables that clutter the room, you can install powerline adapters through electrical sockets already in place. Pretty cool, right?
Extenders are similar to antennae. They pick up the Wi-Fi signal in the house and amplify it. You can place them around the house to ensure complete coverage and high-speed. While you’re at it though, we’d recommend you also make use of the powerline system for the best results.
If you have an extremely old router not compatible with the latest technology, you should consider upgrading to a newer model, preferably a 108.11a. WOW internet offers up to date devices on rent so you should have no problem with them.
Before we get into strategies for segregating signals, let’s spend some time understanding how routers work.
Routers are devices that broadcast signals, which devices equipped with Wi-Fi chips receive. These signals are sent over different wavelengths and channels depending on the router’s Wi-Fi standard, which changes every year. Common standards in the market include the following:
The most recent is the 802.11ax, which is extremely fast. However, it’s the 802.11ac that is more commonly found in homes. Either way, the three standards mentioned above should serve you fine. But for older models, you might need to upgrade.
So, with all this in mind, let’s discuss how you can segregate your signal.
Using tools like Wi-Fi Analyzer on Android devices or wireless diagnostics tools for Mac, find out which channels other networks in your area are using. Armed with this knowledge, you can switch channels to avoid interference.
Old devices with ancient Wi-Fi standard can also be a cause of slow speeds. They can bring down the entire home network. So, how can you avoid this?
Well, we’d suggest you get a dual-band router. It offers two frequencies for signals: the advanced 5.0 GHz Wi-Fi band and the older 2.4gHz band. What will happen is that the newer devices will end up using the 5 GHz band while the older devices will use the other. This division will increase the overall Wi-Fi speeds at your home. RCN internet offers quality routers for rent and if you ask their customer support for dual-band Wi-Fi we’re sure they won’t disappoint.
Quality of Service (QoS) helps reduce latency and increase speed by prioritizing devices and activities on them. The traditional QoS lets you prioritize traffic type manually while the intelligent QoS does it all automatically. For those who don’t want to bother with setting it all up, we’d suggest you get a router with WWM written on the packaging. It stands for Wi-Fi Multimedia standard and has intelligent QoS. TDS internet rents out top-of-the-line routers that are sure to have this feature. So make sure you talk to their customer support when you shop.
So, there you go. If you follow these techniques there’s no reason why you’ll have to put up with slow connection. You know how routers work and their limitations and using this information we’re sure you can optimize its performance. So, what do you plan on trying? Drop us a message and let us know. We love to hear from you!
Yes, if your router has intelligent QoS you won’t have to go into settings and prioritize traffic manually. Router with Wi-Fi Multimedia standard offer this so when you buy a router look for WWM on its packaging.
If you have 802.11n (WiFi 4), 802.11ac (WiFi 5), or 802.11ax (WiFi 6) you’re good to go. Otherwise, you might have to upgrade your router.
Since a dual-band router transmits two signals simultaneously its performance is better. So you should get a router that offers this capability.
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