We’ve all been there — frustration builds as we silently ask ourselves, “Why is my Wi-Fi so slow?”
There are several answers to this common question ranging from poor signal strength to operating on an overly crowded bandwidth.
Follow along as we give you some simple hacks to try to solve your slow Wi-Fi speed:
HACK # 1: ENSURE PROPER ROUTER PLACEMENT
Routers are the fun little contraptions that allow your devices to connect to Wi-Fi. And while they may seem magical, they are in fact radio waves that can easily be affected by certain physical barriers in your home.
Routers can lose signal strength when they run into walls, blinds, closed doors, corners — you name it. Essentially the more “obstacles” the signal has to get through the weaker it becomes.
The moral of the story here is to keep your router in as central of a location in your home as possible — or in as close proximity to where you regularly use your laptop, stream films, or surf the web — so signal strength and data transfers are at their speediest.
Pro Tip: Combat poor Wi-Fi speed by removing the router from any “dead zone” areas or places where something is obstructing your signal. And make sure your router is positioned properly to reduce interference from other household appliances such as smart refrigerators, baby monitors, microwaves, and cordless phones.
HACK # 2: PRIORITIZE NETWORK TRAFFIC
You see when it comes to Wi-Fi in your home, you’re only granted a certain amount of bandwidth at any given time. Think of it like pieces of a pie, the more people that want a slice, the smaller the shares get.
So, one way to deal with this is to prioritize network traffic.
Each activity you do on your TV, phone or Wi-Fi enabled device uses MPBS or megabits per second. Things like downloading giant amounts of files (think: OS updates) will cause your Wi-Fi performance to take a hit. Whereas sending an email isn’t nearly as taxing on your signal.
Pro Tip: Turn off any devices not in use, including gaming systems, tablets, computers, and phones. And postpone any heavy-bandwidth tasks that aren’t immediately necessary to speed up your connection. Check to see if your router has a Quality of Service (QoS) feature that can automatically manage and assign bandwidth limits to different devices to ensure your network isn’t overly saturated at any one time.
If this becomes a frequent problem, you may want to talk with your internet provider about upgrading your current package.
HACK # 3: SWITCH CHANNELS
It may help to look at the internet as the information superhighway it is when considering why your Wi-Fi seems slow.
Industry experts agree that one of the biggest reasons people experience poor Wi-Fi speeds has to do with the sheer amount of connectivity that surrounds us.
The idea here is to leave the overly crowded 2.4GHz band or channel that most of your neighbor’s Wi-Fi enabled devices run off of and search out less populated channels such as 5 GHz band.
Pro Tip: A dual-band router is the easiest way to ensure your older devices that may not have 5 GHz capabilities will still work.
Hopefully, after trying these simple solutions, your slow Wi-Fi speed will be resolved. If not, it may be time to check-in with your internet service provider to confirm you have the right amount of Wi-Fi coverage for your home size and service needs.