How to Make Wifi Faster: A Guide
Bad apples can ruin a great batch. No, we’re not talking about the fruit – or the tech company. A bad apple is a slow device on your wireless network that has an inferior connection.
Old phones that might be charging from the wireless routers. Unused laptops may be updating in the basement. Bad apples drain the internet speed potential of your network. The slower the trickle of data onto the bad apple, the more network capacity that device occupies.
Even brand new apples with great connection will struggle to access faster speeds on a network plagued by a bad apple. If you’ve recently googled ‘how to make WiFi faster’, this guide is for you. Let’s unravel a few essential tips to boost your WiFi speed.
Checking the Source
Sometimes bad apples aren’t the whole picture. Before you blame any faulty devices, the first step is to check the source of your network – your modem. Your modem will plug straight into the fiber optic cable that goes to your ISP.
Connect straight to your modem with an ethernet cable and use your computer to check your internet speed. You can use a speed test to check your internet speed. If the speed doesn’t match what is guaranteed on your ISP bill, you should call your ISP and replace the modem.
If your speed test results in a speed similar to your ISP plan and yet still feels too slow, then it might be time to learn about an upgrade. If your speed test comes back fair and the speed is fast while connected, check your wireless connection. Stand next to the modem and connect wirelessly; if the speed is slow, you may have an old modem.
Suppose your wireless speed from your modem is acceptable. In that case, the wireless coverage in your household may be inadequate. This may need a router replacement, moving it, or adding external WiFi boosters.
Once your modem is checked and works well, the issue is likely farther upstream. Try updating your router’s firmware first. Most routers have an update button built into the interface, or automatically update themselves. Once you’ve updated the firmware, make sure to reset your router to refresh incoming connections.
Regardless of your WiFi speed, regular firmware updates are essential for performance, security, and new features. If you want to get rid of bad apples on your network, you can change the password. After doing so, re-login on each essential device and leave others unconnected.
Your router may just be old. If you are using a router older than WiFi 4, you should replace your router (and at a low cost). Older routers have shorter ranges, less bandwidth, and slower speeds.
If you are using an old router, you may be paying for a fast network speed from your ISP and not be taking advantage of it. Buying a new router shouldn’t be the first course of action, but it can resolve many speed-related issues.
Rerouting the Router
Many households tend to place WiFi routers inside cabinets, under furniture – generally somewhere hidden. Routers aren’t the prettiest decoration. Yet, setting your router somewhere hidden can slow the connection.
Ensure your router is far away from electronics like Bluetooth speakers or microwaves, as signals can hinder your connection. Once your router is free to breathe and away from damaging signals, make sure it’s in the right place. You may need the most robust connection in your home office or living space, make sure your router is close to where it’s most used.
If you need a great connection throughout the house and your router won’t cut it, consider a WiFi booster. Boosters can connect to your router and extend your network via a wireless connection or sometimes through the electrical outlets in your house. Boosters are usually not too expensive.
If your router has external antennas, make sure that they are positioned perpendicular to the area you need connection in. Antennas emit signals at right angles to the direction they point in.
If you lost or damaged your antennas, you can find replacements quite easily. Most router manufacturers sell antennas separately. You can choose between omnidirectional antennas (which send signals in all directions) or directional antennas. For weak network areas in your house, a directional antenna is most suitable to fix that problem.
The Right Frequency
Most routers have at least two different frequencies, 2.4GHz and 5GHz. 2.4GHz is more commonly used as the range is better than 5GHz and more devices rely on it. However, 5GHz can offer faster connection speeds and less interference as more devices use the 2.4GHz frequency band.
Routers offer both frequency bands under the same network name. Make sure to set devices that can use the 5GHz option to connect to that network by default.
Ban the Intruders
If your network has a weak password, no password at all, or you shared your password so many times that everyone uses your network – you might have too many network hitchhikers.
If your neighbors are using your network and downloading large amounts of data or streaming movies, you’ll struggle to do the same. Your router interface should display who connects to your network. Again, changing your password to a strong WiFi password can solve this. Make sure to secure your network using WPA2 rather than WEP alone.
More on ‘How to Make WiFi Faster’
These tips are useful, but there are many ways to improve network efficiency and set up. If you’d like to read more tech tips and guides, please read more on our blog!
WiFi problems can feel frustrating to deal with, but most fixes are straightforward, and you’ll be famous for doing so. We hope that these tips help you stop searching ‘how to make WiFi faster’ and start enjoying faster internet speeds.