Diagnose the Problem
Is your WiFi router slowing your Internet down? To find out, plug an Ethernet cable directly from your computer into your modem and run a Speed Test. Next, unplug it, try connecting with WiFi and run another speed test. If the latter is slower, it’s probably your router – in which case you can try the suggestions below to increase your WiFi speed.
1. Relocate Your Router
Since radio waves travel down and laterally, the best place for your router is towards the center of your top floor. Avoid placing it next to things like microwave ovens, bulky cabinets, concrete walls and fish tanks, as they can all disrupt the signal. Keep your router a few feet off the ground with antennas pointed perpendicularly.
2. Change the Channel and Frequency on the Router
By default, your router will most likely be set to channel 1, 6 or 11. Toggle between these 3 and you may find your signal improves. To do this, access your router’s settings page by typing your IP address in your browser’s address bar (your IP address can be found in the router manual). If you use more bandwidth for things like streaming video or gaming, you should also switch the band/frequency from 2.4 GHz to 5 GHz. This too can be done on the settings page (if your router has that functionality).
3. Update Router Firmware and/or Network Adapter Driver
If you are using a store-bought router, updating the router can help solve a lot of connectivity issues. To update your router, connect to the Internet via a wired connection, open a browser, then search “firmware update” along with your router’s brand name and model. You should be able to find it relatively easily. To update the driver on your network adapter, just visit your network settings, click on the name of your adapter and see if there’s an available update for it.
4. Set Up a Range Extender
Range extenders pick up the wireless signal and rebroadcast it to the corners of your house where you’re not getting any connectivity. Be sure to get one that matches your router’s type and speed.
If all else fails, sometimes nothing works better than a good old-fashioned reboot. Unplug your router and modem, wait ten seconds, then plug them back in. If you find yourself having to do this regularly, it may be worth your while to invest in a regular outlet timer that can do it for you each day.
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