9 simple tips to speed up your home Wi-Fi network

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Among your Macs, iPads, Apple TV, smart speakers and iPhones, you probably have many devices that depend on a fast and stable Wi-Fi connection. But what if you dont have that?

If you find yourself with less than ideal Wi-Fi speeds and performance, then there are a number of things that may be to blame. Here are some ways you can increase the performance of your own home Wi-Fi network.

1. Replace your router (if necessary)

Old router? It may be holding you back.

Its a simple fact that newer hardware will offer better performance than older equipment. So, if your Wi-Fi performance is suffering, you should check your router.

Older routers often use older or even obsolete versions of the Wi-Fi standard. (In addition to providing better performance, newer routers will also address some of the issues described in this article below.)

Using the things you have is usually a better option. But if you havent updated your router in years, it may be time to look for a new one. Just be sure to check with your ISP before you buy one.

2. Set a password

No password? Wi-Fi thieves may be hogging your bandwidth.

There is a recommended practice that you should use on all your electronic devices: if you have the ability to set a password, do so.

This is because unsecured Wi-Fi networks are basically open for anyone to use. Someone may be stealing the bandwidth you pay for, and as a result, slowing down your Wi-Fi connection.

Therefore, set a password on your Wi-Fi router if you dont already have one. Its also best to avoid using the routers default password. Its quite simple for Wi-Fi thieves to find the default password for a router if they know its manufacturer and model.

3. Restart your router

You should reboot your router from time to time to get the best performance.

When was the last time you restarted your router? If the answer is “too long to remember”, then that may be the culprit in your slow Wi-Fi connection.

For most routers, a reboot usually means simply unplugging it, waiting 30 seconds, and then plugging it back in.

Other routers may have physical on/off switches. If that is the case, just make sure you wait at least 30 seconds before turning it back on.

4. Update your routers firmware

It is recommended that you regularly update your routers firmware.

It is recommended that you update your routers firmware as firmware updates often contain hidden improvements and important security patches.

It could also have a positive effect on your Wi-Fi performance. Unfortunately, updating your routers firmware is completely dependent on your devices specific manufacturer and model.

Updating the firmware could be as simple as logging into your administration panel and pressing an Update button. Older routers may require you to download a firmware file from the manufacturers website. We recommend that you Google the specific model of your router to find the firmware upgrade process.

5. Check the position of your router

Position your router wisely for optimal coverage.

Your router is probably not a very attractive device, so many users will probably place them somewhere secluded and hidden. But that could have a negative impact on Wi-Fi speeds.

Routers work best if they are in the center of a house so that their signals can reach more areas of the environment.

More than that, youll want to keep the routers out in the open and away from obstructions. Walls can affect a routers signal, while kitchen appliances and other electronic devices are sure to cause problems.

6. Use the correct frequency

5 GHz networks are faster but have some disadvantages.

Many users these days have routers that offer two bands of Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. If you do, you might consider switching your devices to the 5GHz band.

This is because the 5 GHz bands usually offer faster speeds than the 2.4 GHz bands. They are also less likely to encounter interference because the 5 GHz band is not as common as the 2.4 GHz band that is used much more frequently.

That said, 5 GHz networks have some weaknesses. Specifically, they are not as long as 2.4GHz networks and cannot penetrate through walls and other obstructions. So, while it may be faster, it may not go as far as your 2.4GHz band.

7. Change channel

Like lanes on a freeway, some Wi-Fi channels are more congested than others.

Wi-Fi transmissions work a bit like highways, with overlapping channels through which traffic travels. And just like highways, those channels can become congested by too much traffic, particularly from other Wi-Fi devices or networks within your area.

In general, the automatic channel setting on a router will select the least congested channel. But not all routers offer this kind of functionality. If they do not, you may need to take additional steps.

You may need to change the channel to either Channel 1 or Channel 6, depending on the brand of your router. Google how to change the channel on your router brand and experiment with different channels.

8. Look for bandwidth pigs

Some devices may be using more bandwidth than they should.

If your Wi-Fi network is not receiving interference from external sources, then you may want to look inside to find the problem. That is, one of your own devices may be using more bandwidth than it should.

You can find out which devices are using too much bandwidth through the administrator panel of your router. Again, there are too many routers to list, so Google the exact make and model of your own device.

This is usually the result of a hardware malfunction or a software error. Therefore, it is always a good idea to reboot the devices in your network periodically and keep them updated in terms of firmware and software.

9. Consider these accessories

If all else fails, consider a range extender or an external antenna.

If all else fails, you may want to invest in signal booster or range enhancements for your home Wi-Fi network.

Many routers, for example, allow users to add external antennas to increase signal strength. You will want to know if your router supports them. If so, look for an omnidirectional antenna and “high gain” if possible.

You can also look for wireless range extenders, which can allow your Wi-Fi network to cover more of your home. There are many of these on the market, so choose the one that best suits your needs, budget and existing Wi-Fi equipment.