Fast Wi-Fi is like good air-conditioning or clean tap water: You don’t notice it until it’s gone. For most chronic multitasks, dealing with a slow, ’90s-era Internet connection can mess up their entire workflow. A YouTube video that is slow to buffer? An email with a massive spreadsheet that takes eons to send? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
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Things you can do to speed up the Wi-Fi in your home.
1) Move your router to a better location
The best position for your router is at the center of your home. The reasoning behind this is rather simple; the further away you are from your router, the weaker the Wi-Fi signal. In addition to moving your router to the center of your home, make sure it’s in an open space, a few feet from the ground and away from any other electronics or physical obstruction. Steel structures, concrete, aquariums, and even air-conditioning systems are examples of things in your home that can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal.
2) Upgrade your router if it’s old
This is particularly a problem among many who pay for high-speed Internet access but are clueless as to why their signal isn’t performing up to its potential. Older routers perform according to older Wi-Fi standards and are not as well-equipped to handle multiple devices. A newer router will maximize your current Wi-Fi signal so you’ll get the fast speeds with the lowest amount of interference.
How can you tell if your router is dated? According to How-To Geek, you can Google your router’s model number and find out its wireless standards. If your router’s wireless standards are 802.11ac, which are the newest wireless standards, you’re good. Anything else, and it might be time for an upgrade.
3) Position your router’s antennas correctly
For an optimal signal, position your router’s antennas so that one is vertical and one is horizontal. It might sound a bit absurd, but positioning the antennas so they are perpendicular to one another ensures that at least one of them will align with your particular device’s antenna.
Some devices have antennas that are vertical, while others, such as Mac Books, have antennas that are positioned horizontally. Horizontal signals and vertical signals are not compatible, so you will run into problems if you have a router sending a vertical signal and a device with a horizontal antenna.
In the Wi-Fi world this is like someone on your roof moving your old free-to-air VHS antenna around with your picture fading in and out. Basically, every time you change the orientation of the device you are also changing the orientation (read: polarity) of the antenna of that device – and most of today’s Wi-Fi AP’s can’t do anything to deal with this.”
Using the same principle, if you have a newer router with internal antennas, make sure it’s upright and not to the side.
4) Change your wireless channel
Your neighbor’s router, and other routers in your vicinity, can further bog down your Internet speed. Most routers default to the same channel, which results in interference and a slower signal for everyone. Solve the problem by find a less crowded channel for your router. Use an app like iStumbler or Wi-Fi Analyzer to find a channel with the least amount of interference.
Both apps show you a list of nearby Wi-Fi networks and the current channels they’re using. With this information, you can manually switch to a less crowded network.
Wi-Fi Analyzer is available on Google Play. For iOS, try iStumbler or Network Analyzer.
Want to have a faster Internet speed? Try these tips to make the most of your current bandwidth.
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