It is almost impossible to have a perfect Wi-Fi signal all the time. You may be streaming a movie, listening to online radio, and then it crashes, or you just can’t complete your download because it keeps stopping midway. There are millions of people connecting to Wi-Fi all over the world, and everyone is looking for how to improve their connection. In this article, you will discover how to get faster connection results with your Wi-Fi, regardless of the Wi-Fi generation on your device.
There have been innovations such as the Wi-Fi 6 technology that makes your connection 3X faster than previous Wi-Fi generations. Before we look into the ways you can boost your Wi-Fi speed, let’s see what makes your Wi-Fi connection slow.
Keep in mind that the speed of your Wi-Fi is dependent on the speed of the actual internet connection. So, test the internet connection speed before proceeding.
What Makes Your Wi-Fi Slow?
Before we diagnose the issues and find out the cause of a slow Wi-Fi connection, you should know the things that will make your Wi-Fi connection slow or act strange.
Reason 1. Router Capacity
Firstly, you need to understand that sometimes, the problem with your network is not the Wi-Fi signal, but the internet capacity. If you use your Wi-Fi to do too many things at the same time, such as streaming to multiple devices, downloading heavy files, and playing games at the same time, your network will move slowly. Not all routers are very powerful. Some can only work for a few people, not a big company with hundreds of employees using various Wi-Fi devices such as printers, security cameras, and fax machines.
Reason 2. Obstructions
Is there anything in the way? Your Wi-Fi signals may be blocked by brick walls, furniture, home appliances, ductwork, and even people. If you’re using a 5GHz Wi-Fi network, your connection may be affected by these obstructions.
Reason 3. Interference
If you stay in densely populated areas where many people are using Wi-Fi, your Wi-Fi signal may be affected by other Wi-Fi networks around the area. Also, other devices with the same radio frequency band of Wi-Fi such as your cell phones, microwave ovens, radios, baby monitors, and walkie-talkies may affect your Wi-Fi signal.
Reason 4. Distance
How far are you from your Wi-Fi? Wi-Fi routers do not transmit with the same power as cell towers. That’s why you’ll still get a good signal strength when your cell tower is far away, but you would barely have any signal when the Wi-Fi router is at a long distance from your device. Some cheap Wi-Fi routers can barely cover an entire apartment. To know how far your Wi-Fi router is, you can use a Wi-Fi analyzer app.
For further reasons, read our article why is my Wi-Fi slow.
7 Methods to Boost your Wi-Fi Speed
Now you know the things that can impact the speed of your Wi-Fi connection. It is the time to fix it. Follow these methods to have a better speed on the Wi-Fi connections.
Method 1. Pick the right spot
You can’t place your router anywhere and expect the best speed. Firstly, take the router away from metal objects and other things that emit electromagnetic waves such as radios. When your router is close to a metal, the metal creates a dead zone around it, so you barely see any signal. Other materials that may disrupt your connection include plastics, foam, wood, cardboard, and glass. So, if everything prevents fast connection, where do you put your router?
You can use a stud finder app on your phone or get a handheld stud finder to locate a good spot to place your router. Keep it as far away as possible from other electrical appliances in the house. Also, make sure that you place the router above the floor level. If your Wi-Fi is serving a wide area, it is best to place it in the center to ensure an even connection in the room.
|Protocol||Freq (GHz)||Bandwidth (MHz)||Indoor Range||Outdoor Range|
|802.11||2.4||20||20 m / 66 ft||100 m / 330 ft|
|802.11b (Wi-Fi 1)||2.4||20||35 m / 115 ft||140 m / 460 ft|
|802.11a (Wi-Fi 2)||3.7/ 5||20||35 m / 115 ft||120 m / 390 ft|
|802.11g (Wi-Fi 3)||2.4||20||38 m / 125 ft||140 m / 460 ft|
|802.11n (Wi-Fi 4)||2.4/5||20 – 40||70 m / 230 ft||250 m / 820 ft|
|802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5)||5||20/40/80/160||35 m / 115 ft|
|802.11ad||60||2,160||60 m / 200 ft||100 m / 300 ft|
|802.11ay||60||8000||60 m / 200 ft||1000 m / 3000 ft|
Method 2. Use the Latest Update
Using old firmware leaves your connection open to malware attacks. This has caused a lot of individuals and businesses billions yearly. When your router gets infected by a malware, it can spread through the network to the connected devices while stealing your bandwidth. Also, using updated routers ensure that you get the best connection and performance. To check if you’re using the latest router:
- Connect the router to your system and launch the browser on your device.
- Enter the IP address of your router (located on the sticker behind the router) into the web browser.
- Log in with the username and password on your router.
- Select the router update option. You can do a little bit of research to find which update is right for you.
- Install the latest firmware your router finds. Don’t interrupt the process.
- Disconnect the router and reboot it.
Method 3. Remove Wi-Fi intruders
Some people put on the Wi-Fi on their devices just to log into someone else’s router. In this present day, you cannot leave your router exposed. It must be encrypted and protected with a strong password that no one can easily guess. Your password should contain numbers, symbols, lowercase letters, and uppercase letters. Use a password that is at least 8 characters long. If other people (guests) also use your router, make sure you change the password regularly. You can also create a guest network which uses different login credentials.
Method 4. Buy a Wi-Fi Booster
You might know this as a Wi-Fi extender or repeater. They all perform similar tasks. The Wi-Fi boosters and extenders have a greater range than the Wi-Fi repeaters, but they all boost the existing Wi-Fi signal to create a second network. You will find good Wi-Fi boosters for less than $100. Before you get one, use a Wi-Fi booster app to analyze your Wi-Fi router coverage, so you can find the best way to boost the speed and maintain stronger connections.
Method 5. Get another antenna
Many people only use small antennas that come with their routers. However, this antenna is very weak. You can connect your router to more powerful antennas to get the best speed. These antennas are usually a much taller than normal antenna (about 10 to 15 inches tall). You might not like how big it is, but it does a good job of boosting your Wi-Fi connection.
Method 6. Limit the number of connected devices
You don’t expect your Wi-Fi to go as fast as possible when you’re playing online games, streaming videos and movies, chatting, and still downloading large files at the same time. This is the same situation as over 40 people connecting to a small Wi-Fi router. You should either reduce the number of connected devices or prioritize some tasks and cancel others.
Method 7. Change the Channel
Apart from limiting tasks and devices, you should also channel selection. If you and your three neighbors are running on the same channel, that channel will be congested. Use a Wi-Fi analyzer to identify the router channel that will give you the best speed. Some routers (new ones) also have auto-switch features that allow to move between frequencies when there’s a congestion. Sometimes, people find the auto setting not working well for them. In this case, sign in to your router’s administrator interface and select your preferred channel manually.
There are several other tips you can follow such as upgrading the hardware, switching to 5 GHz frequency, and adding access points. However, if all these tips fail, then the building is too big for just one router. You can buy a range extender to increase its reach or get another router entirely.