An increasing number of people are relying on the internet for work, education and entertainment. Internet demand during the pandemic has increased as much as 70%. Almost 60% of internet traffic is video, which utilizes more bandwidth. This has placed greater demand on the network infrastructure, reducing the bandwidth available for each user, and is leaving people frustrated at seemingly slow internet speeds.
While internet service providers may not be able to instantly respond to these changes, there are a few tricks you can use to boost your home internet’s speed.
Why is your internet slow?
Internet use requires a reliable connection between your device and the destination – website/application server. The connection will pass through many points on the internet, however it will also pass through devices on your own home network. Slow performance maybe due to devices on your network or overall demand on your home network, the internet or server you’re connecting to.
Wireless connected devices are more common then hardwired in a home. Smart TVs, thermostats, door bell, cameras, tablets, smartphones all connect wirelessly. Your work laptop is sharing the bandwidth capacity of your wireless signal throughout all devices in your home.
Can your wireless access point or router handle the capacity?
If you have an older device, it may not have the capacity to accommodate devices with the latest 802.11ac WiFi, which is much faster then 802.11n. Devices connect with 802.11ac will perform at least 3x faster (or more depending on the device) then 802.11n connected devices. Also, older wireless access point router devices have lower transmit power, which means that signal will be weaker and slower as you are further away.
Is there a signal interference problem?
Cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, wireless security cameras and wireless speakers all operate on same frequencies and can lower your WiFi speeds. Even electronics such as fluorescent lights, wireless controllers, older Bluetooth devices, and plasma TV's can interfere. Adjust the channel on your wireless access point router to reduce interference.
Is your wireless access point setup properly?
When setting up an access point router, make sure that you change the default login credentials and use a complex password (alpha numeric with minimum 8 characters and at least one special character). Use the best security option, which is WPA3 or WPA2-AES.
Turn off WPS and be smart about choosing an SSID (network name) that doesn’t identify you. Plus use a complex password for your WiFi connection to prevent anyone from connecting that is not authorized. If someone else such as your neighbours are connected, they maybe stealing some of your bandwidth. Change your SSID password periodically, so that others who may have connected at one time such as neighbours or friends will not be able to connect, until you authorize them.
Also, place/position the access point device(s) away form other electronics that will interfere with the signal strength as mentioned above. And place it as close the area where most wireless devices will be used for best signal strength and performance. For larger homes, you may need to setup multiple wireless access point devices to provide the best signal coverage and performance throughout the entire home.
Does your wireless access point have the latest firmware software update?
Ensure that your access point device(s) have the latest firmware software for optimal performance and the latest security protection. Check for firmware updates periodically and install them as they become available.
What else can you do to improve WiFi Internet performance?
If your access point device supports 5GHz WiFi signals, switching to this can provide a faster data rate, but over shorter distances. While 5GHz can transfer data faster (with 23 available channels), 2.4GHz provides a wider range. If you want speed, go for 5GHz. For better coverage, choose 2.4GHz.
How to improve your Internet Service Provider performance issues
By optimizing your WiFi router configuration, you will improve the performance within your home. Unfortunately you can’t really influence the network performance outside of your home. However, it is worthwhile to contact your provider for assistance, as there maybe new better service options.
Prioritize your work traffic (advanced)
In a scenario where your kids are home from school streaming movies and playing online games while you're trying to work, there are a couple of things you might be able to do to keep their internet traffic from impacting yours.
Most devices have an optional guest network, sometimes with max speed settings that can help keep your kids from eating up too much bandwidth. Some will even let you run the network on a schedule, in case you want to cut them off entirely at certain hours.
Another feature worth looking for is Quality of Service, which allows some routers to prioritize traffic to specific devices or for specific purposes. For instance, you can specify that video calls are a higher priority than gaming traffic. If it's an option with your router, it's worth experimenting with.
Update software on all devices
Technology is always changing and cyber criminals do not rest. Ensure that you install software and security updates on all devices. Updates will improve security protection as well as optimize the performance of the device.
Upgrade your home Wireless Access Point
If you’ve come to the conclusion that it's time to upgrade your home WiFi access point router and you want to do it yourself, consider a device from Asus. The Asus products are easy to setup and have a great reputation of being powerful home devices providing fast wireless connections. Below is an option to consider.
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