If you don’t get the internet speeds you pay for, your wireless internet router signal is probably the reason.
Although many factors affect internet speeds, your Wi-Fi signal can make or break your home internet experience.
When Facebook won’t load upstairs due to slow internet, it may be time to make your Wi-Fi signal stronger at home. Use any or all of the following tips to boost your Wi-Fi signal and speed up your internet.
Ways to boost your Wi-Fi speeds
Cut off bandwidth leeches by updating your security
Sometimes improving your home internet speed is as easy as tightening up your home network security. Failure to add protection to your Wi-Fi network means opening your network to freeloaders. Extra users slow your internet connection by taking up internet bandwidth. That’s why ZDNet recommends that all homeowners protect access to their routers with a complex password and WPA2 security. Keeping your home Wi-Fi network safe from intruders is doubly important if your home is automated. Every connected device uses bandwidth, and the more outside devices that use your network, the less likely your automated home devices will get the bandwidth they need. Plus, failure to keep your network secure might provide strangers with a bit too much control over your coffee maker, air conditioner or automated security system.
Optimize your router’s settings
Testing different settings on your router could improve signal strength and speeds in your home.
- Some routers have entertainment settings that prioritize bandwidth while you play video games or stream content. This strategy is less effective when multiple users share a Wi-Fi connection simultaneously, so try turning off the entertainment settings.
- Although it’s technical, you can try to reset the Request to Send (RTS) thresholds on your router. Essentially, the RTS threshold protocol clears a data transmission channel before data packets are sent on it. In a crowded Wi-Fi network, such as an apartment complex, setting your RTS threshold to a lower number could help improve Wi-Fi performance.
- You can also fiddle with the router’s fragmentation and RTS threshold settings. Setting your fragmentation threshold to a lower value can help data packets transfer more efficiently and improve network reliability issues. However, setting the threshold to a smaller data packet size can decrease network performance if you already have a reliable network.
Choose a new Wi-Fi channel
Try switching your router from a standard 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi channel to a 5 GHz channel to boost your internet speeds by getting more bandwidth and less interference. Both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies offer multiple internet transmission channels, but 2.4 GHz only offers 14 channels, and those 14 transmission channels overlap. The channel overlap can cause data packets traveling back and forth on neighboring channels to interfere with one another which clogs up bandwidth and slows down your connection. In contrast, 5 GHz offers 23 non-overlapping channels. Choosing a channel on the 5 GHz band could minimize the number of other users on your frequency. However, some routers are limited to the 2.4 GHz band. If your router is limited to 2.4 GHz, choose either channel 1, 6 or 11. These channels experience the least overlap from other channels, especially if you can get your neighbors to use only channels 1, 6 or 11.
Purchase a newer, high-end router
The biggest issue holding back your home’s Wi-Fi connection may be your aging router. Thankfully, there are numerous advantages to purchasing a brand new router, so you invest in more than faster internet speeds. A new router could also give you improved home security features and be compatible with a wider spectrum of devices. Additional security and compatibility help homeowners interested in automating their home or making their network more secure, I fully suggest reading this Recommend Modem Routers guide.
5. Reset your router
It sounds simple, but sometimes resetting your router can speed up your internet. Just as restarting your computer can suddenly fix unknown computer issues, rebooting your wireless router can alleviate internet connection problems and boost your speeds.
A great way to gauge your current internet signal is testing your internet speed in different parts of your home. If you notice that your internet is significantly faster in your living room than in the basement or in a second-floor room, you may want to consider moving your router or using another one of our tips to enhance your signal range. Using any of these tips can help you maximize your home Wi-Fi signal and enjoy faster internet at home.