Anything we do these days seems to take place online, from YouTube videos and music to online gaming. As a result, if your internet connection is slow, it may put your whole life on hold. If you’re having trouble keeping up with your internet while WFH (Working from Home) or for entertainment reasons, these are the eight things you can do to speed it up.
1. Double-check if you’re getting the speeds you’ve paid for
To see if you’re getting the same speed your internet service provider promises in your service contract, use a website like Speedcheck.org or Google’s internet speed test. If you aren’t, call the Internet service provider to see if there is an issue on their end. If they don’t have an issue with them, they might be defrauding you of money. Consider changing your provider.
2. Make a router upgrade
Let’s start with the basics: if your router is older than five years, upgrading to a new model will make a significant difference. Be sure to get a router with at least two bands, preferably three, and use the 5GHz bands (as we’ll discuss later).
3. Put the router in the middle of the room
If at all feasible, locate the router in the center of your house, fairly close to every point where Internet access is needed. Alternatively, instead of depending on a single router in the center, invest in a mesh network router, which uses several nodes that you can place in your home.
4. Switch to a channel with fewer individuals on it
Your router will send data over a number of different channels, each with its own bandwidth allocation. If you’re having trouble connecting, go into your router’s settings (usually via a mobile app or by entering your IP address into an internet browser) and change the channel from “Auto” to one of the other options. To find a channel that isn’t already crowded, you may need to experiment. In the 2.4 GHz band, channels 1, 6, or 11 are usually the best bets, while any of the 23 channels in the 5 GHz band should suffice.
5. Check that your router’s antennas are correctly angled
If your router has twistable antennas, tilt them for the maximum transmission across your walls and floors. If your house has one floor, make sure all of the antennas are pointing straight up and down. If you live in a multi-story house, place one antenna vertically and one horizontally.
6. Make sure your bandwidth isn’t being misused
It’s possible that your connection is slow because others are using your Wi-Fi signal, leaving less for you. Make sure your router is using WPA2 encryption with a strong password (you can verify this in a web browser’s settings page). You can also check what “client devices” are linked to your network using your router’s settings page or mobile app. If you don’t remember any of them, you can disconnect them from the network and modify your Wi-Fi password.
7. Upgrade to a higher-speed internet package
If you’re receiving 20Mbps or more from your internet provider, upgrading won’t help much unless you have genuinely big data needs. However, if your internet plan is just 5Mbps, consider upgrading — tweaking your router won’t get you any faster with such a sluggish bundle.
8. Examine how much time the family spends on the internet
Your internet can be sluggish at times because other users in your home are using up your bandwidth. Check to see whether other people are watching different movies at the same time if you’re having trouble streaming content. You may want to use the parental controls feature (usually found in the router’s mobile app or on the settings page) to set limits on when and what your kids can do with their devices.
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