Top 7 Issues That Affect WiFi Speed and How to Fix Them
Many factors can affect your WiFi speed, leading to a frustrating internet experience. Before you troubleshoot or call your provider, run a speed test to see how your WiFi is performing. Then compare the speeds to your plan. If the speeds are lower than your plan, it’s time to troubleshoot and see what could be causing the slowdown.
1. Your Equipment is Outdated
Outdated equipment can cause slow WiFi. Old technology leads to slow data speeds, choppy signals, and insufficient coverage. In most cases, updating to a newer router will resolve these issues. In fact, as of 2014, most wireless routers use a new wireless standard, the super-fast 802.11ac, capable of handling gigabit speeds. However, a new wireless router may not improve your WiFi speed if you’re using old devices. An old computer is unlikely to benefit from the new router’s fast data speeds.
2. You Haven’t Updated Your Firmware
When a firmware update becomes available – do it! Most ISPs offer updates to their routers and other devices’ firmware. These updates help to fix any bugs, connection problems, and security issues. To get the best WiFi experience, always stay up-to-date.
3. Material Obstruction
Many material objects can interfere with a wireless network. Everything from brick walls, ceiling heights, and other building materials can affect your WiFi speed. Signals have difficulty penetrating thick materials like walls, concrete structures, and insulation material. To overcome this, place additional access points in areas of your home that have trouble getting a solid connection.
4. Your WiFi Channel Assignments
Other devices, such as large appliances or even your neighbor’s WiFi, may cause interference. For example, a microwave oven can emit tremendous energy and interfere with your WiFi network. So make sure to pop your popcorn before you start watching Netflix! The problem is particularly bad on the common 2.4GHz frequency band. Avoid using that frequency when possible.
5. Your ISP is Throttling Your Service
Throttling your internet is when your provider purposely slows down your internet speeds. Internet service providers can legally slow down your internet and limit your connection, and they don’t have to tell you. Typically, throttling occurs when you have hit the maximum data your plan provides, or if you’re flagged as a heavy internet user. To avoid this frustrating experience, look for an ISP that does not limit your data.
It’s important to note that throttling isn’t always bad. It can also benefit you. Sometimes ISPs use this to regulate traffic and ensure that the internet is equally distributed to customers in a particular area and no one person hogs all the bandwidth.
6. The Location of Your Router
Wireless routers have limited range, and the further apart the devices that are trying to communicate with each other are, the more the signal strength drops. As a result, you may experience a slow signal or have problems finding and connecting to the network depending on your location and any obstructions that may be in the way. Therefore, we recommend placing your point or wireless router in a central location in your home.
7. The Number of Devices Connected to Your Network
You might be surprised how many devices are connected to your WiFi. Over ten devices are connected to WiFi in an average American home. We tend to think about only our computers, but devices like your smartphone, TV, and gaming devices are all connected, creating problems with bandwidth.
Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data your internet can handle. When multiple devices are connected, they send data over your WiFi, and each takes away bandwidth. Consider getting fiber optic internet to overcome bandwidth issues in a highly connected home. It’s better suited to handle the demands of a highly connected home because it can transmit up to 1,000 times the data than cable or other types of internet.
Conclusion: Top 7 Issues That Affect Your WiFi Speed
There you have it, our top seven issues that affect your WiFi speed. Use this list to troubleshoot your home to get the most out of your internet connection. If you still find your WiFi isn’t fast enough, but you are getting the speeds your plan has promised, call your provider and see if a quicker plan is available that can meet your demands.
If you’re interested in learning more about our fiber internet, contact our specialists at 877-722-3833 or submit an inquiry, and we will help you pick the right service for you.