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Many Americans rely on wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) for convenient cell phone and computer use at home.
Unfortunately, there are many factors that can degrade wireless Internet performance compared to wired connections. Having many devices connected at the same time, living in a large house, competing wireless signals, and outdated network equipment can all cause problems.
Here’s how to address these common issues and make your wireless home Internet work better and faster.
1. Blame Your Internet Service Provider First
If you’re unhappy with your wireless Internet speed, the first thing to do is determine if it’s a problem with your wireless connection, or a problem with the Internet in general.
The former means the problem is likely in your home. However, the latter may indicate a problem that your internet provider needs to fix (such as bad wiring or faulty equipment) or that you should pay for a better service plan.
Test this by connecting your computer or laptop directly to your router with an ethernet cable.Then run online speed testRun the same test with your wireless connection and compare both results with what your internet provider should provide.
If your wired connection is faster, then you know the problem is your home Wi-Fi, not your provider.
2. Then blame your neighbors
If you can’t identify your internet provider, consider whether your neighbors may be “borrowing” your connection. Does it seem slow at certain times of the day (perhaps when your neighbor is watching Netflix at home)?
It’s unlikely, but it’s worth mentioning early on because it’s a quick fix to secure your network. Make sure your Wi-Fi is password protected, and change the password if it’s already protected. Then see if things magically improve.
3. Consider the location of your router
Ideally, place your router in the center of your home so that your signal reaches as far as possible in all directions and maximizes coverage. It’s worth the effort.
If your home is multi-story, consider verticality as well. A ground floor router on a shelf may reach more floors than a router closer to the floor. I don’t want my router near the floor anyway as furniture can interfere with the signal. HighSpeedInternet.com says.
4. Limit interference where possible
You can’t see it, but there may be many wireless signals transmitting around your home. Many wireless electronics and smart home devices use the same frequencies.
Two common frequencies are 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Some devices also use 6 gigahertz. The higher the frequency, the higher the speed, but the shorter the distance traveled. netgear says.
In other words, moving competing high-frequency devices farther from each other may alleviate the problem.
Some devices, often including routers, allow you to choose your frequency. If so, try setting your wireless router to a frequency that’s less common at home to give your signal more headroom.
5. A big house?Add a wireless extender
Even centrally located routers can struggle to provide reliable internet in sprawling homes. This is usually a cheaper and smaller device than a router that can be plugged into a power outlet.
A wireless extender takes the signal from your wireless router and sends it out.You can read reviews of devices tested by PC magazine Compare prices and features.
6. Keep your equipment and firmware up to date
Just like your computer or phone needs regular software updates for security and performance, so does your router. These are less frequent and are called firmware updates.
If your router hasn’t received a firmware update, it’s a sign that it’s time to replace it. Consumer Reports saysThe publication has instructions on how to check.
If you rent a router, you can also contact your internet provider to get a new model to solve your internet problems.