As technology advances, our lives and digital capabilities evolve. WiFi speeds averaged 9Mbps in 2017, but that world average rose to 11Mbps in 2019. This seemingly small bump represents an exponential increase in WiFi capabilities.
Most consumers have complaints about their WiFi from time to time. ‘Why is my WiFi so slow’ currently produces almost 230 million results on Google. While Taiwan boasts an average download speed of 85 Mbps (yes, 85, that’s an HD movie in eight seconds) – not everyone enjoys this luxury.
Some of us feel like we are stuck in Yemen – with an average speed of less than 300Kbps – or an HD movie in four hours. Wherever you might live, there are always tried and true ways to boost your WiFi power.
Let’s dive into eight key tips on how to get faster WiFi that you can apply today for a smoother online experience.
The Old Turn Off
Switch off your router, modem, WiFi boosters, and anything you use to connect to the WiFi. Sometimes your devices need a break.
If that doesn’t have much of an effect, a hard reset can help. Resetting your router will refresh its memory and let it restart tasks that were traffic-jammed.
Alternatively, resetting your modem can be useful. Your modem is responsible for translating signals from your home’s network to the ISP (internet service provider). Switching your modem on and off can sometimes fix issues. You can also call your ISP to ensure your modem is set up to align with your ISP’s signals.
Moving the Router
Often, we place our routers inside cabinets, wardrobes, or under furniture to hide them – they’re usually not very pretty. Besides causing the router to heat up too much, placing it inside or under furniture can block its signal. Signals can also be blocked by walls (obviously), floors, ceilings, or anything thick and heavy.
Radio signals emitted from other devices, such as phones, microwaves, speakers, or baby monitors, can also interrupt WiFi signals. Make sure to place your router in a central location within your home. If not, at least in the center of the zone within which you want to receive a signal.
Like the now-defunct Apple Airport Express, WiFi boosters can help you boost a signal in faraway rooms or through thicker walls. Ensure your WiFi router is out of the basement or loft and in the center of your living space.
Some routers have small adjustable antennas sticking out. WiFi signals, counterintuitively, emit perpendicular to the antenna. If your antenna is vertical, WiFi signals are horizontal – and vice versa. Check that your antennas face the correct direction to send the signal where it’s needed most.
Some WiFi routers have internal antennas that cannot be adjusted. If your router has internal antennas, then you can skip this step.
Routers usually emit signals on two frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5GHz. The 2.4GHz WiFi band has been used for longer and a wider variety of connections, meaning the band can get crowded. It cannot handle the max speeds that 5GHz is capable of but has a more extended range.
Often, routers emit these two frequency bands as separate networks, each with the same name but ending in “2.4GHz” or “5GHz”. Find which WiFi band is suitable for your devices and reconfigure your connections.
Cut Unused Connections
If your bandwidth is limited, running unused connections can help your router. Searching through WiFi connections via your router can be time-consuming. Especially if devices are only listed under their IP address.
One of the more straightforward ways to reset your connections is to change your WiFi password. Changing your WiFi password forces you to reconnect all of your devices. Doing so will help you decide which devices are essential to connect to your WiFi.
Sometimes unused devices take up significant bandwidth, for example, by updating or receiving messages or emails.
After logging in to the router’s interface, you can check for firmware updates. Firmware updates will boost WiFi security and efficiency with software upgrades. Most new routers update automatically, but you should double-check whether your router does so.
As we discussed in the intro, WiFi technology advances quickly. Even the best performing router that is a few years old may be limiting your WiFi speeds.
At the time of this article, WiFi 6 routers can be expensive, but WiFi 5 routers should be affordable and still perform well. Make sure, for new purchases, that your router can handle higher speeds than your internet plan.
Upgrading your Internet Plan
Hopefully, your WiFi router and connections are back up to spec after these tips. However, it may be that your router is performing well, but your internet plan is too slow. In that case, it may be better to upgrade your plan instead.
Luckily, manual connection upgrades are not super expensive as you can now purchase routers that connect to mobile networks. That means you don’t have to lay any new cables or replace old ones. Find a telecommunications company that makes your new set up easy to implement.
More Tips on How to Get Faster WiFi
If you’ve read this far, we hope that one of these tips worked for you.
Internet access is becoming more and more fundamental to our work and play. There are numerous ways to increase internet speeds, so be sure to check more tech guides at our blog for other top tips on how to get faster WiFi.