WiFi is great to have in the home — until it is as slow as molasses going uphill. It is frustrating to try to watch a movie or work from home only to have a slow connection put a dent in your day.
Fortunately, you don’t have to accept a sluggish WiFi connection as an inevitable part of your at-home internet access. With these tips, you should be able to make sure your WiFi is as fast and efficient as possible:
Place the Router Up High
When you first unboxed your new router, you probably put it in an empty spot on a desk, in a cupboard or maybe on the floor under your printer. Bad choice. Having a router that is on the ground or too close to other objects will result in noticeably slow performance. Instead, move your router to a higher spot in the house; this will help extend the broadcasting range of the radio waves and reduce the chance of any interference. If you can, put it on a top shelf in the office or a more central location like a family room.
Minimize Wireless Interference
When you think about it, your WiFi is not the only thing in your home that is emitting some type of signal. A number of electronic devices around the house can cause interference in the WiFi and cause it to slow down. For instance, your microwave oven can mess with your WiFi, mainly because it operates at a frequency of 2.45GHz, which is really close to a router’s 2.4GHz Wifi band.
Also, if you have any Bluetooth devices in your home, they also operate at 2.4GHz. To prevent any sort of frequency clash, try moving the router as far from these devices as you can. Also, try switching off your Bluetooth devices to see if you notice a tangible difference in your WiFi signal.
Shut Down Certain Apps
If you move your router and keep it far from your microwave and Bluetooth devices and your connection is still slow, it’s time to look at other culprits. It’s now time to play detective and investigate which programs might be using up a ton of bandwidth. For instance, if you regularly download programs with BitTorrent, browsing the web will be slow.
Also anytime files are being synced behind the scenes on your computer—for instance, when Dropbox or Google Drive are moving things around—it can really consume a lot of bandwidth and cause the WiFi to crawl along. If you install extensions like Privacy Badger or AdBlock Plus you should find that they should prevent some of the bandwidth-gobbling animations and videos that can slow down your WiFi.
Also, see if you can limit or schedule when downloading and updating takes place to the times when you are not typically using your WiFi; this way, you can successfully stream a movie or show without having it constantly crash.
Look Into Your Security
Another reason for slow internet is inadequate security that might be allowing others to steal your bandwidth. Without proper password protection, others can take your bandwidth and data, which will slow down your Wifi speeds.
These Tips Should Help Make a Tangible Difference
Yes, a slow WiFi signal can be immensely frustrating. Fortunately, you can take a number of tangible and effective steps to improve the situation. By trying these suggestions, you should find that you can watch movies, stream shows and get your work done without any interference from a sluggish WiFi.