1. Obsolete or Outdated Equipment
One of the most obvious culprits of slow WiFi is the use of obsolete or outdated equipment. As the demand for WiFi grows, router technology is improving in parallel. If additional devices are added into your home, it is possible that your existing router does not have the capability to meet your wireless needs. The good news is that commercially available routers can handle the new demand. When shopping for a new router, you need to pay particular attention to the model designation. Models labeled “B” or “G” are older and likely do not have the bandwidth to meet your family’s needs. For example, “N” routers have maximum bandwidth capability of 4 x 40MHz. New “AC” routers, on the other hand, have a capability of 8 x 160MHz which is a sizable leap.
2. Wireless Interference
One common problem is having too many devices on the same wireless frequency. Wireless routers can connect to two different frequencies; 2.4 or 5GHz. Each frequency has different channels to connect to. In the case of the 2.4GHz frequency, there are 11 different channels to select from. You can try each one of the channels to find an uncongested connection with faster speeds. If the 2.4GHz frequency is slow, you want to give the 5GHz option a try. A dual-band router allows each wireless device to select the optimal frequency for performance. This is another feature to shop for when replacing an obsolete or outdated router.
3. Internet Freeloaders
Another way you can suffer from slow speeds is when internet thieves tap into your bandwidth. Internet theft is typically a byproduct of a weak password or poor router security. There are a few different free software programs that allow you to see what devices are connecting to your network. Start off by writing down the IP addresses for each wireless address that you use. Next, check what devices are connecting to your network and look for IP addresses that are not recognizable. If others are connecting to your network, it is time to improve your router security. At a minimum, implement a complex password using a combination of capital and lowercase letters, as well as special characters.
4. Router Security
The security settings on your router can actually result in slower connection speeds. This is a separate issue than internet thieves tapping into your router’s bandwidth. First, make sure that your network settings are not open. Also, use of the WEP network setting is discouraged because it is easiest to hack into. Two security protocols, in particular, are known to cause slower connection speeds. These protocols are WPA and TKIP. Industry experts recommend that you select the WPA2 with AES protocol. This is a newer setting that is known to promote higher connection speeds and is regarded as more secure than other protocols. Using newer capabilities ties back to the first section in which we noted the problem of using outdated or obsolete equipment.
5. Router Location
This is one of the easiest things to change. Sometimes, you are simply trying to connect from an unreachable distance. Each router comes with a variety of technical characteristics including range. If you are out of range, or at the edge of coverage, slower connection speeds are likely to occur. Make sure that your router is located in an optimal position given its range capability. Like router security, there are free tools to help you find the best home. These tools show where the strongest WiFi signals are located in your home. If you cannot relocate the router, there are other options at your disposal. You can purchase a new router with greater range capability. Also, there are WiFi extenders that can boost the router’s transmission range.
6. Don’t Rule Out the Device You Are Using
There are many cases where the router is not responsible for slow connection speeds. It is possible that the device you are using is the culprit. This is a simple experiment to perform. Break out another tablet or computer and try to perform the same task. If the new device is working properly, it suggests that the issue lies with the other unit and the router is working properly.
7. Contact the Internet Service Provider
If none of these reasons pan out, you should contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) for assistance. The issue may be attributed to the ISP instead of your equipment and devices. When you reach out to the ISP, they are likely to perform a series of remote tests to check your connection speeds. Also, they will perform a series of remote troubleshooting steps to try and alleviate the problem. If these steps are unsuccessful, the ISP may send out a technician to your home to investigate the issue.
Slow WiFi – Wrapping It Up
Nothing is more frustrating than a slow WiFi connection. No businessman or woman wants an important video conference to drop off due to a bad connection. The steps outlined in this article will help improve your connection speed. Replacing obsolete equipment or relocating your router are proven troubleshooting solutions. If you want to learn more about correcting slow WiFi, please contact us to schedule an appointment today.