We have spent the past year relying more on the internet than ever before for our work, education, and socialization. Computers, phones, and other smart devices all use our home Wi-Fi to help us do the things we need to get done and remotely connect us with friends and family. Is your Wi-Fi still up to the challenge? See below for some things you can do to improve slow internet.
Ways to Improve Your Wi-Fi Signal
1. Run an internet speed test
The first step is to check your internet plan to see what speed of internet is coming into your home. Then run a speed test from your internet provider website. Check by using a wired and then a wireless connection from your computer to the router. You want to make sure what you are paying for is what you are getting and understand your plan. If the speed doesn’t match, contact your internet provider. You may need to replace your router. If the speed does match but seems slow, you may need to upgrade your plan.
2. Check the wireless connection
When running the speed test wirelessly, run it while next to the router, and then again in another spot further away. If your internet is fine next to the router but not at a distance, the problem is your Wi-Fi and not the actual internet coming into the home.
3. Reboot your router
Router manufacturers constantly update the firmware to secure vulnerabilities and solve problems. Rebooting your router may update its software if needed. Hold the power button or unplug it from the power source for 60 seconds.
4. Place your router in the best spot
The placement of your router will affect the Wi-Fi signal. It should be at the center of your home if possible. Don’t stick it in a cabinet or a corner! It works best when away from walls and not blocked. Routers need airflow, just like computers, to make sure they don’t overheat. Make sure any antennas are pointed upwards. It may work better in an elevated spot like on a piece of furniture or a bookcase than the floor.
5. Limit the number of devices at a time
These days most homes have people using multiple devices at once. Smart devices, thermostats, cameras, computers, and phones all share the same pool of internet bandwidth. If you find you don’t have enough speed and have an important meeting coming up, ask others to log off or at least shut down some extra devices for a while. That way, you are less likely to get kicked off your Zoom call.
6. Secure your router
Don’t let freeloaders hop on your network! Secure your router with a strong password. This will ensure only people you give the password to can access your Wi-Fi.