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Why Does Your WiFi Speed Stink?

Image Source: Flickr

Almost all of us have faced this problem at some point in our life. And those were some frustrating times indeed. Slow WiFi can constrain even the calmest person to throw their router right out of the window. But why does this issue arise repeatedly? The following points can help you with that.

1. The first thing that you should do is to conduct a speed test

The first thing that you should do is to perform a very basic speed test. Any speed testing site can help you in this purpose of yours.

The best example is Speed Test. Give it a try; you would love it for sure.

2. The network that you are using is not a 5GHz network

The 2.4 GHz network channel is already crowded with not only your neighbor’s router using the same frequency, but at the same time, it also constitutes your cordless phones, baby monitors, microwave ovens and many more similar devices.

Modern 802.11ac and 802.11n routers come with “dualband” proficiencies, meaning they are capable of sending two network signals together; one at 5GHz and another at 2.4GHz.

The 5GHz channel is far less crowded than the one at the 2.4GHz frequency. The advice, therefore, is to switch to the 5GHz network for maximum efficiency.

3. You are using the most crowded network channel of all

The day you set up your router, it automatically recognizes the least crowded channel available out there and makes it its default one to get on to.

However, with the arrival of new neighbors (or to be more specific, we should say brand new routers), the situation can change rapidly almost within the blink of an eye.  You may suddenly notice one channel used by a handful of routers while others are deserted at one, and the same time.

A huge range of tools is available in the market today that can help you determine whether you should get off your current WiFi channel of not. A few examples are:

4. You are using an old router

The latest standard of WiFi connectivity is 802.11ac.

If your router has a standard of 802.11b or 802.11g, you must change your router ASAP. The latest router can definitely give your WiFi connectivity a boost in the right direction.

Here’s how you can check the standard of your router that you are working on:

  • Click on the WiFi shortcut. You should find this icon at the bottom right corner of your screen.
  • Hover your mouse pointer over the broadband service that you are using at the moment.
  • You will see the standards listed next to the “Radio Type.”

5. Not liming the frequency band of your router

Sometimes you may not get the luxury to operate your router at a 5 GHz frequency band for your own purpose. In such cases, it is advisable to limit your router to sending out signals at periodic intervals of 20MHz bandwidth.

For small businesses with guest WiFi, it is advisable to limit guest access to 20MHz to give your employees a stronger WiFi signal with fewer drops in connection.

6. Outdated firmware

This age old issue can still play a significant role in bogging down your bandwidth.

So here’s a constructive piece of advice for you: Ensure that your router’s firmware is thoroughly up to date for your own good.

7. Router overheating

Router overheating can result in a number of issues such as:

  • Lost internet connectivity
  • Snail-like connection speed
  • Complete hardware failure. Some computer users have also claimed to have burned themselves at the slightest touch of a scorching router.

Possible fix:

Router overheating can be typically solved through the aid of a fan. Laptop cooling pads can also come in handy in situations like these.

8. Power saving mode turned on

Some routers come with their default power saving mode turned on to save a few milliwatts of power. The idea is commendable indeed, but unfortunately, this plays a huge role in decreasing the overall bandwidth of your connectivity.

Hence, it is advisable to switch it off, especially at the time of your use.

With that, we’ll bring this article to an end for now. Hope you had a good and enlightening read.

Written By

Bradley Booker is the Director of Support and Installation of Inspire WiFi, the nationwide leader of WiFi networks for the multifamily, hospitality and healthcare industries. He oversees the team responsible for hundreds of WiFi networks across the United States. When not keeping all the lights green, he likes to snowboard, hike and spend time outdoors.

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