Full Tutorial to Increase Wi-Fi Speed


1. Move your router to a better location

Wi-Fi can travel only so far, and its signals can get interrupted or blocked by walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, appliances, and basically any large physical object. These signals can also get interrupted by radio waves from other devices, including cordless phones, baby monitors, microwaves, and Bluetooth speakers.

So if you place your router at an edge of your home’s space, you may have issues with Wi-Fi at the other end. The best place for your router is in a central and elevated location, near where you use the internet most often. Don’t relegate your router to a basement or closet—that’s just setting yourself up for connectivity issues.

2. Use an Ethernet Cable


Ethernet. It still works. 
We sometimes forget: Wires still exist! You don't need Wi-Fi. A wired connection to your router is usually preferable to a wireless one. It's faster and more stable and can't be affected by other devices or large fish tanks. The downside is that it limits where your devices can be, and it's less convenient.

Still, for hardware that needs the fastest internet possible—a gaming console, desktop PC, or streaming box, for example—it's often well worth the effort to run a wire. The router will have a handful of Ethernet ports to spare, so all you need is a cable.

3. Switch your Wi-Fi frequency band

Modern routers work primarily on two radio frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The band you use for your connections can affect your speeds and the quality of your connections at different distances from your router.

Whatever frequency band you’re on may be experiencing some temporary interference, so try switching to the other band. It will show up as a different Wi-Fi network on your device, usually with a label in the network name that identifies the network as either 2.4 Ghz or 5 Ghz.

The 2.4 GHz band is the most commonly accessed Wi-Fi connection. It’s used for many other wireless communications other than Wi-Fi, so the airwaves in this frequency can be a little crowded. This band trades speed for range—meaning it’s better at passing through walls and other objects—whereas 5 GHz has better speeds but a shorter range.

The two frequency bands often appear as two separate Wi-Fi networks. To reorganize your connections, log off from the incorrect band and connect to the correct one on each device.


4. Upgrade Your Router


Routers vary significantly in functionality and price. If you have dead or slow zones in your house, you probably need to change where and how far your Wi-Fi is broadcast. If you have a large home, you're likely better off with a router that can pair with "repeaters" that broadcast signals into the farthest reaches of your space. Smaller homes and apartments can generally get by with a simpler system.

5. Cut Off Unused Devices

Having dozens of things tapping into the Wi-Fi at once can be problematic. Plug anything you can into Ethernet, and unplug anything you have connected but don't need (like that "smart" tea kettle you never once got to work). Make sure only the things that need internet get internet.

Good routers (all of the routers listed above, for example) offer controls to prioritize a particular device or service. It's a handy way to make sure your games never get interrupted by someone else streaming videos on Facebook.

6. Check Your PC

This tip is specific to computers: If the internet on your PC or laptop is perpetually slow but other devices seem fine, open your Task Manager or Activity Monitor and see which programs are running in the background. Certain programs could be set to auto-update that don't need to be. If they're always updating in the background, that could be the cause of your slow internet. Check it out and adjust the settings.

7. Upgrade to faster internet

While we hope these tips will do the trick for you, sometimes your internet connection is simply too slow to sustain your internet consumption. If that’s the case, you’ll need to upgrade to a faster internet plan to get better speeds.

Unsure what internet speeds you need to support your online habits? Check out our guides to internet speed for online gaming and video streaming requirements.

And if you’re confused because you’re sure you’ve paid for enough internet speed but your connection still doesn’t cut it, that might be because your internet connection doesn’t always perform at 100%.

Internet providers advertise speeds up to a certain speed—they don’t promise that you will always get those speeds. So even if you have a 100 Mbps plan, you might not always get that much bandwidth. In that case, you might need a bit of a buffer or a plan that’s actually faster than you think you would need. That way, network slowdowns will still happen, but you’ll probably notice them less.

8. Get a Wi-Fi Extender


If messing around with your router settings seems too daunting, and you have a few dollars to spare, invest in a Wi-Fi extender or repeater. These devices plug into a spare wall socket, connect to the wireless internet getting beamed out by your router, and extend it.

They're (usually) simple to set up, easy to use, and can instantly get rid of Wi-Fi dead zones in your house. The extended or repeated wireless signals won't be as strong as the ones coming straight from your router, so, again, positioning is important. Try to use these devices to connect gadgets that don't need a huge amount of bandwidth.


9. Add a Password to Your Wi-Fi


We probably don't have to tell you this, but you need a password on your Wi-Fi network. It's good for keeping hackers away and keeping neighbors from Netflixing off of your bandwidth, which will definitely slow you down. Make sure you use AES encryption, which is both the most secure and most speed-friendly security option.


10. Restart your Router & Modem

First, let’s power cycle everything to see if your Wi-Fi speed improves.

Restart your modem:

Unplug your modem or wireless gateway, wait 30 seconds, and then plug it back in. This process allows the modem to clear out any glitches.

Your modem translates internet signals between your home network and your internet provider. If your internet is acting up, a power cycle is a good place to start troubleshooting, as it often fixes connection issues.

Restart your router:

Next, repeat the process if you have a standalone router. Like with the modem, a power cycle clears your router’s memory and gives it a fresh start on tasks that were bogging it down before.

Finally, turn off the Wi-Fi on all your wireless devices. Wait a few seconds and then toggle Wi-Fi back on. Allow these devices to reconnect and see if your connection improves.

A power cycle might seem simplistic, but turning your home networking equipment off and on again can really give your network a boost. We recommend rebooting your equipment regularly, at least once every few months. But keep in mind that doing this will leave you without internet for a few minutes, so plan to restart your equipment at a time when no one needs an internet connection.

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