Although some people have enjoyed elements of lockdown restrictions, like the ability to slow down and spend time at home, it has resulted in added reliance and strain on WiFi connections around the world. Because of this, many people are looking at their WiFi slowing down and considering their options. Thankfully, there are some easy fixes, and whilst some are more obvious than others, we have compiled a list of some of the potential issues and solutions to help get you back up to the speed you pay for.
The Usual Suspects
Some of the reasons behind the slow internet can be put down to the following:
Depending on their usage, other users in your home can be a drain on the internet. Streaming games, downloading videos, and uploading content can all reduce your speeds down to a crawl. Although some of these are only temporary, it can be frustrating for everyone else. Check on what everyone else is using the internet to see if there is an obvious reason behind the slow speed. It could be that everyone is getting their fill at the same time when everyone is home from work or school.
If this doesn’t get you any closer to finding out the reason, or you live alone, then it is time to move onto one of the other potential reasons and tick them off one by one.
Location of Router
One of the main culprits is where the router is placed. Is it hidden out of sight, low in a corner of a room making it difficult for devices to pick up a good signal? If so, and you are concerned about the signal, put it on a side table to raise it up and move it out of the corner, a little closer to where you are looking to use your mobile or laptop. With a clear line, you are going to get a better connection, and if there is an alternative place to put it closer to the middle of a room or in places where you are more likely to sit and use the internet, then even better.
Anyone can switch a device off and on, but for better internet, sometimes the solution is un turning everything off and on, starting with all devices. Unplug your computer from the modem, turn off every connecting device, including your smart home gadgets. When everything is off, turn your modem back on, wait for it to load completely before turning on your devices one by one and reconnecting.
Perhaps your internet is running as it should, it just isn’t as fast as you need. Before you upgrade, check it over. Downloading a sped testing app and stand close to your router without anything in the way such as a couch and run a speed test. Then, move further away, even into the next room, and test again. If you’re getting a decent speed close up but it is significantly slower in the next room, the problem can be the router. 15 Mbps and below is on the slow side, 25 Mbps is will allow you to stream 4k video (although this is as a minimum) to give you an idea.
Size of Your Home
Another reason why the internet seems slow is that it is having to work too hard to reach certain parts of a home. If your house is on the large side then don’t expect one router to be enough. A WiFi satellite hub might be a good bet for making sure all corners are getting the WiFi you need.
Although a lot of people want a smart home with all the latest gadgets in every corner, this can be to your WiFi’s detriment. Dated technology can also be a drag as their internal technology is slow, which in turn, slows the internet for all other devices. If you have an iPhone 5 or similar for example, it is going to be more of a drain than modern technology built for speed. Downloading anything on these devices will take longer, so the internet will be slower for longer for everyone else.
When it comes to smart tech, make sure you need them on. If you have a multitude of gadgets connecting to your WiFi, it won’t hurt to turn a few off when you aren’t using them.
The Internet Provider
If this is the case then you might find that there isn’t a lot that can be done your end, start by calling an advisor from your provider. It is rare for them to be able to do much to make a significant increase in the speed but it can happen. They are more likely to recommend upgrading to a faster speed which will of course cost more.
It’s not uncommon for a microwave to cause wireless interference which can impact the speed of the internet and connectivity. Other culprits include baby monitors and whilst no one is recommending that these are turned off when you need them, make sure they are not running on the same channel as your internet.
A fast way of getting rid of this issue is by allowing auto-channel functions on the access point to determine the clearest channel from those available.
It might not be the internet that is slow, but the computer or device you are trying to use. When restarting, it is common for programs to load in the background without you even knowing and some of them can be a significant internet suck. Although you might not want to delete the culprits, it can be a good idea to check and make sure they are shut down when you are not using them.
Opening Task Manager is a quick way of getting a quick glimpse of what is running. From here, you can see what you don’t need, anything that has crashed but is still running and shut them down individually.
The above are some of the most common reasons and easiest to check without much prior knowledge. Make sure you’re not accidentally putting a strain on the internet before you start to blame your internet plan.