Slow WiFi connections can prove to be frustrating these days. You can improve your quality of life by improving your WiFi speed, whether you are working remotely or simply want to stream a movie from Netflix. These are some tips and tricks that will help you increase your WiFi range and speed so that you have the strongest signal possible.
Do a WiFi Speed Test
To determine how fast your WiFi is, do a speed test before you change your router’s settings or upgrade your hardware.
After you receive your speed test results, compare them with the maximum speeds in your internet plan. You might have a slow internet connection if your upload and download speeds are lower than the price you pay.
Use the 5GHz Network
Although you might be able to connect faster than you think, you aren’t using it. Two radio frequency bands are used by many WiFi routers to wirelessly transmit data. The 5GHz band has a shorter range and is slower, but is more reliable.
If you want to increase your WiFi signal speed, you only need to connect your device to the WiFi 5GHz network. If you need to connect to distant devices, connect to the 2.4GHz network.
To find out if your router is dual-band and the name of each WiFi network, log in to your router. Each router is different, but you should still be able to see your WiFi network names (also called SSID) under the WLAN section.
You can change your WiFi channel
Your WiFi speed can be slowed down if you have too many people using the same WiFi channel. You can increase your WiFi signal speed by switching to a less crowded WiFi channel, particularly if you live near densely populated areas.
Channels 1, 6, and 11 should be used if you’re using the 2.4 GHz band. They are the only channels that don’t overlap with one another. You might choose channels 36, 40, and 44 for domestic purposes if you’re using the 5GHz band.
Modify the QoS settings of your Router
Newer WiFi routers include a Quality of Service (QoS) feature that allows you to prioritize traffic to specific apps or devices. This feature is great for preventing bandwidth-hungry devices from slowing down your WiFi network.
To make sure your video calls don’t drop, or lag, you can set priorities for traffic to your computer. If someone else surfs the internet or streams a 4K movie over the same WiFi network, your computer will experience a slowdown.
While older routers don’t offer QoS settings for most devices, newer routers allow you to set bandwidth caps for specific apps and programs. To find out which QoS settings your router has and how to access them, check the manual or online documentation from the manufacturer.
Updating the Firmware of Your Router
You can ensure that your router is using the most recent security features by updating its firmware. This will fix any connectivity problems that may be slowing your WiFi signal or fixing bugs.
It will vary depending on the type of router you have. Some routers automatically update, while others require that you download the file from the manufacturer and then upload it to your router’s settings page.
Strong WiFi Passwords
Strong WiFi passwords will prevent your neighbors from using your WiFi to steal your data and slow down your network. You can be hacked by hackers if you use a weak password for WiFi or if you don’t have one at all.
Log in to your router and change the name or password of your WiFi networks to keep it secure. It is important to remember that after changing your WiFi password or name, all devices will need to be reconnected to your network.
Modify the Security Settings of Your Router
You can increase your WiFi signal speed by changing your security settings after you log in to the router. WPA2 security with AES encryption is available if your router allows it. This will ensure that you have the best protection possible and the fastest WiFi speeds.
tests show that changing to WPA2 security settings can increase WiFi speeds by up to three times, particularly if you have been using WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy). Although WPA3 offers faster encryption, it doesn’t yet work with most devices.
Reboot your Modem and Router
Rebooting your router or modem is the best way to fix a slow or stopped working WiFi. Rebooting your router or modem will reset all connections and your network, which can instantly improve your WiFi signal.
Unplugging your modem and router for 60 seconds can be enough to reboot them. This can alter the IP addresses of connected devices. You may need to reconnect them to your WiFi network.
Reposition your Router’s Antennas
Adjustable antennas on routers shouldn’t be positioned in a straight line. The WiFi signal radiates outwardly from the antennas so it is possible to boost your signal by placing them perpendicularly.
Watt stated that some MacBooks are designed to receive WiFi signals horizontally and others vertically in an interview with Mac Observer. If you live on multiple floors, it is a good idea to position your antennas perpendicularly. You can then cover one floor with horizontal signal and all floors with the vertical signal.
Move your router
A map showing the strength of Wi-Fi signal strength at a router in the corner of a space. (Image Source: Jason Cole)
Most routers transmit WiFi signals in all directions. To get the best signal, place your router in a central area. WiFi signals can also be absorbed by walls so it is best to place your router near the center of your house.
Your router can be placed as high as you like to boost your WiFi signal. You should avoid placing your router too close to any metal objects like your fridge. This is because WiFi signals bounce back off metal surfaces rather than pass through them. Avoid placing your router in close proximity to a pool, fish tank, or tub as water can absorb WiFi signals.
Replace your Router’s Antennas
You can upgrade or replace detachable antennas on your router to boost its WiFi signal. There are two options: omnidirectional antennas that can send and receive signals from all directions or directional antennas that can increase the range of your WiFi network.
You should look for high dBi levels when shopping for a directional antenna. This indicates how far your WiFi signal can travel. High-gain antennas are also recommended, as they can further concentrate your WiFi signal and increase your network’s range.
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Use a WiFi adapter
A WiFi adapter is a great option if you experience slow WiFi speeds when using your laptop or computer. Simply plug the adapter into your USB port and it will instantly improve your WiFi abilities.
A WiFi adapter is a best and cheapest way to increase your WiFi signal, especially for older computers. A WiFi adapter can double your WiFi speed and can allow your computer to use both frequency bands.
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Make use of a WiFi Repeater/Extender
You can use a WiFi repeater, extender, or booster to bring internet to any WiFi “dead areas” in your house. These devices can boost your WiFi signal range but also slow down your WiFi speed.
WiFi repeaters connect wirelessly to your WiFi network and broadcast that signal. A WiFi repeater must receive strong WiFi signals. The further it is from your router the weaker the signal.
WiFi extenders connect directly to your home network via a wired connection. It then creates a new WiFi connection, so you’ll need to switch WiFi networks as you move about your house.
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Updating your computer’s drivers
Network drivers allow your computer to connect to the Internet. Windows and Mac computers both update their drivers every system update. However, sometimes your drivers may become out of date.
Click the magnifying glass icon at the bottom-left corner to update your drivers for Windows 10. Next, type Device manager in the search bar. Click Open. Right-click the network adapter that you wish to update in the Device Manager menu and select Update Driver.
Open System Preferences, click Software Update to update your network drivers. Click the Update Now button. If this button isn’t visible, it means that your drivers are up-to-date.
Modify your DNS address
Your internet service provider will assign you a DNS address (Domain Name System) by default. This converts domain names to IP addresses. You might be able to boost your WiFi speed with a third-party service.
Your router may allow you to change your DNS address. Some of the most used addresses are Google’s DNS server (188.8.131.52) and Cloudflare (184.108.40.206). You can also use Google’s secondary DNS server at 220.127.116.11, or Cloudflare’s 18.104.22.168 if you are asked.
Continue reading How to modify your DNS server on a Windows/Mac computer
Reset your Modem and Router
You might need to reset your modem and router to factory settings if your WiFi is slow. To do this, hold down the Reset key on your device’s back. This will wipe all of your personal settings, including WiFi passwords.
After you have reset your router, you’ll need to enter the default WiFi network name or password that was included with it. You can find this information on the bottom of your device. To change your settings, log in to the router.
Resetting your router or modem should be done only as a last resort if your internet service has been cut off.
Buy a new WiFi router
Your router will determine your WiFi range and speed. An older router might not be capable of supporting newer WiFi standards. An 802.11n router supports speeds of up to 600 Mbps while an older 802.11g router only supports 54 Mbps.
802.11ac is the most popular WiFi standard. It supports speeds of up to 3.400 Mbps (megabits/second), at least theoretically. To ensure fast WiFi speeds, you should make sure your new router has 802.11ac (wireless AC) or WiFi 5.
You might consider upgrading to a WiFi6 router if you want to ensure your network is future-proofed. You can enjoy faster speeds and lower latency while connecting more devices at once. The next-generation WiFi technology is called 802.11ax, or wireless AX.
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Mesh WiFi System
A mesh WiFi system includes a router and at most one access point (also called a “node”) Each of these nodes works in the same way as additional routers. These nodes can be placed in any place you wish to increase your WiFi signal range.
You can buy as many mesh WiFi nodes as your heart desires, so that you can provide reliable WiFi coverage throughout your home. You won’t need to change networks while you move throughout your home because each node will have the same password and network name.
Although it is more complicated and expensive than setting up a traditional router mesh system, it can provide a long-term solution for slow WiFi.