How To Improve Your Wi-Fi Router Speed
WiFi, in reality, is very fickle, as you can be enjoying a very good WiFi signal this very minute, and 5 seconds later, the quality drops to just one bar.
However, sometimes it is not a natural occurrence and it is only affected by several other factors that are influencing its performance, including physical distance, obstructions, interference, router capacity, and so on. Want to know how to improve its performance once and for all?
See 15 Ways To Improve Your Wi-Fi Router Speed.
1. Choose A Good Spot For Your Router:
Not every spot is suitable for your router. To begin with, you have to avoid placing your router close to metal objects and appliances that emit electromagnetic waves. If you are not aware, metal is a huge disrupter of a WiFi signal, and its presence close to a WiFi router can result in a dead zone.
Other materials like glass, wood, plastics, foam, and cardboard can also affect a WiFi signal, even if their influence on your WiFi signal strength is less ruthless than that of metal. Also bear in mind that a lot of buildings use metal studs for the particleboard mounting, and having your router placed close to them will never be a good idea.
To know the right spot to go for, it is best to use a handheld stud finder or at least a stud finder app on your smartphone.
2. Keep Your Router Updated:
As you already know, there have been lots of reports about malware attacks that are costing businesses and individuals lately. To be on the safe side, it is best to keep all your routers updated from time to time. By so doing, you can avoid your router getting infected and your bandwidth getting affected negatively. Such malware can even spread itself across the network to other devices.
Malware attacks aside, routers with old firmware also perform worse than routers that are properly updated.
3. Get A Stronger Antenna:
The fact is that a lot of WiFi routers come with weak antennas as manufacturers tend to save as much cost as they can. To guarantee WiFi quality at all times, it is best to upgrade your antenna. In fact, compared to the antenna that came with your router, which probably is just a few inches tall and has around 4 dB gain, a 10-dB antenna is anywhere between 10 to 15 inches tall.
If the size does not scare you, you will be getting a new and powerful antenna that will really improve WiFi at home or the office. There are a lot of antennas around, but the best one is the rubber duck option, which is an electrically short monopole antenna that consists of a springy wire in the shape of a narrow helix, sealed in a rubber or plastic jacket to safeguard the antenna.
Ways To Improve Your Wi-Fi Router Speed
4. Fish Out WiFi Leeches:
If your WiFi is not encrypted and password-protected right now, you are making a huge mistake. The reality is that there are so many people depending on WiFi around you, especially the ones that are very fast, so you cannot leave yourself exposed.
Do not expect your neighbors to ignore your WiFi network just because they have their own, they will surely take advantage if given the opportunity. To avoid exposing your WiFi, you have to protect it with a strong password that can’t be easily guessed.
Try to add a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers in your password, and avoid common passwords like 123456, qwerty, and so on. Also, make sure the password is at least 8 characters long as short passwords can be easily guessed.
5. Invest In A WiFi Repeater/Booster/Extender:
They are called several names, but WiFi boosters, repeaters, and extenders are basically the same thing. WiFi repeaters are known to take an existing signal from your WiFi router and rebroadcast it as a new network. This new network will simply be an extension of your main network, and all data that go through it also go through the main network.
WiFi boosters and extenders are quite identical to the above, but they also amplify the existing signal before rebroadcasting it to create a second network. And because WiFi boosters regularly have a greater range than WiFi repeaters, they are the reasonable option when the original signal is very weak.
6. Switch To Another WiFi Channel:
There are several WiFi channels on which a WiFi router can broadcast. Even if most nations have 6 non-overlapping channels (1, 6, 11, and 14), a lot of users leave their router set on the default channel, which is usually either Channel 1 or Channel 6.
This leads to a WiFi traffic jam because various packets are trying to drive on the same line. However, the solution is easy, simply know which channel is occupied the least and switch to it. And this can happen with NetSpot, a professional and easy-to-use WiFi analysis, and surveillance tool.
7. Control Bandwidth-Hungry Apps and Clients:
Only one bandwidth-hungry app or client is enough to make download and upload speeds drop for everyone else on the same WiFi network. Luckily for us, modern routers support services like QoS (Quality of Service), which allow users to prioritize specific apps over others.
Ways To Improve Your Wi-Fi Router Speed
With Quality of Service, your online gaming session will never be disrupted again by someone watching a 1440p clip on YouTube or someone downloading a large Linux distribution on the internet. Be aware that some routers make it very simple to configure QoS settings, while other routers are quite complicated to work with.
8. Use The Latest WiFi Tech:
Be aware that the latest wireless tech, IEEE 802.11ac, guarantees top-quality download and upload speeds plus enhanced range compared to older WiFi technologies like IEEE 802.11b. To take advantage of the most recent WiFi technologies to improve home WiFi, you have to ensure both your home router and your WiFi-enabled devices support them.
Also note that when choosing a new WiFi router with support for IEEE 802.11ac, you should not go for the cheapest option around. Unless your budget is very low, it is always better to spend extra to buy a router with a brilliant range and modern features like MU-MIMO, Quality of Service, guest networks, gigabit Ethernet ports, and so on.
9. Switch To 5 GHz:
It is common knowledge that the 5 GHz wireless frequency offers quicker data rates at shorter distances and it is definitely less busy than the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. If your router supports it, it is better to switch to it for an immediate short-range speed boost.
One disadvantage to note though is that the 5 GHz wireless frequency does not penetrate solid objects as well as the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency. This could be an issue in office buildings and residential areas, and in that case, it is best to use 5 GHz in conjunction with 2.4 GHz if that is your reality. By so doing, you will get the best of both worlds.
Ways To Improve Your Wi-Fi Router Speed
The common rule, “If it doesn’t work, try switching it on and off,” applies to WiFi routers as well. A simple reboot can help to boost your WiFi speeds as it clears the router’s memory and allows updates to install.
11. Measure Wired Internet Performance:
If the solutions above fixed nothing, it is time to shift your focus from your WiFi and measure wired internet performance. To make that happen, you need an Ethernet cable and a laptop or desktop computer with an Ethernet port.
12. Set Up A Mesh WiFi System:
At times, a single router can’t reliably cover the entire living space with a strong WiFi signal. In such cases, it is best to set up a mesh WiFi system, which consists of the main router and several satellite units that offer seamless WiFi coverage together.
13. Change Your DNS Address:
The good news is that most modems allow you to change your DNS address, which is one of the easiest ways to boost WiFi performance. There are several public DNS servers you can choose from as well, including Google’s DNS server (184.108.40.206) or Cloudflare’s DNS server (220.127.116.11).
14. Buy A Better Internet Plan:
If you’ve been using the same internet plan for the last decade and it has coincided with poor WiFi performance over the years, you have to look at other internet plan options for a change.
15. Reach Out To Your Internet Service Provider:
You should also consider reaching out to your internet service provider to ask for help. If the ISP really cares about their customers, they will help you remotely diagnose your WiFi performance issues or even send over a technician.
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