How to Improve Internet Speed at Home
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Published by TOP4 Team
Here are some tips and tricks to speed up your Wi-Fi at home.
Conduct a signal check.
Call the internet service provider and have them evaluate your home signal level — the decibel level of internet being transmitted to your home — not only your bandwidth. Internet service providers are generally required to repair signal deficiencies for free and can find poor cable connectors or construction in your area disrupting the connection. You should also double check if the bandwidth of internet you’re paying for can support the number of devices used. Free websites like SpeedTest or anything recommended by your internet service provider will show how much bandwidth you actually have versus how much you’re paying for, allowing you to see just how much work you need to do to get internet up and running at full capacity. Other free analytics tools can provide more insight into signal strength, interference and other factors. The average household (consisting of 4-5 people) needs a speed of 50 Mbps on downloads and 5 Mbps on the upload stream, based on Wi-Fi device manufacturer.
Secure your Wi-Fi password.
One of the most basic steps consumers can take to speed up Wi-Fi is to make sure the neighbours aren’t stealthily tapping into their service. Many Wi-Fi networks come with preset passwords that can be easily found in online forums or guessed. Make sure to give your network a new password that’s not easy to guess (don't use your address, for example) and consider using a guest network for friends.
Upgrade your router.
Most internet bills include the cost of equipment rented out by the internet service provider each month, and purchasing your own can help you save hundreds of dollars over several years. Check your internet service provider’s website for compatible devices. When selecting a router, be sure to search for a dual-band device that uses 802.11AC, the newest wireless standard, to deliver the fastest speed. Also, evidence suggests routers with an external antenna provide more powerful signals, but consumers may find the visible antennas unsightly and opt for a built-in variety. Some experts suggest spending at least $200 on a router to make sure it’s fully functional. However, historically new and better hardware has a much bigger impact on the internet performance.
Select your frequency wisely.
There are two different kinds of Wi-Fi available commercially: the older standard of 2.4GHz and the newer frequency of 5GHz. Dual band Wi-Fi routers offer both, but experts suggest moving as many devices as possible to the 5GHz network. That’s because 5GHz has more channels to choose from than 2.4GHz, leading to less crowding and faster connections. This is especially important in cities where overlapping networks in apartments are competing for connections. Free tools can scan networks then tell you which channel within the frequency is the least crowded, but most modern routers pick the least crowded network automatically.
Find the perfect location for your router.
Instead of spending tonnes of time trying to pinpoint an open Wi-Fi channel, you should focus on the location of your router and internet access point. A router should have room to breathe: put it high above ground, if possible, especially if you’re on the ground floor of a building, as earth beneath the living space can reduce your Wi-Fi functionality by half. Unlike 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, 5GHz doesn't penetrate walls, so think of the connection coming from your router as a spotlight and give it a path to get into all of your living spaces. Even simply placing a mirror near the router or putting it in front of heating ducts can guide the Wi-Fi to hard-to-reach spots and improve the connection. Consumers should also place a router in the most central location possible at home. The more you can reduce the distance between the furthest device and the Wi-Fi source, the faster your internet will be.
Invest in adapters or extenders.
If you’re unable to move the router to a central location, or you’re experiencing dead spots in your home Wi-Fi network, investing in an extender might seem like an obvious solution. Yet, such devices can actually divide your connection and reduce bandwidth by 40% to 69%. Instead, you should purchase an internet access point, a device separate from the router and modem acting as a hub for the network and creating another gateway to the connection without dividing its power. These include products like Securifi Almond and access points from brands such as D-Link and TP-Link, and can be connected to your modem with the use of an Ethernet (the option with a better connection) or a powerline adapter to connect wirelessly. This leads to fewer dead spots and 2-5 times more Wi-Fi speed for your devices.
Consider seeking the help of the top internet service providers in Australia today.