Whether you are trying to watch a movie, play an online game or use your social media, nothing can be more frustrating than a slow internet speed. Staring at a page as it buffers or loads bit by bit is enough to send even the most patient people into a spin. If this is a problem you have been facing but are not sure what to do, we have put together this handy guide explaining how to make your internet faster, with tips on how to maximise your internet speed. Read on below for our top tips!
Know Your Current Speed
- know the speed beforehand
- good for context
- can compare as you make improvements - identify what works and doesn’t
Before you get started with trying to improve your internet speed, understanding what your current internet speed is a good place to start. Not only is this handy to know anyway, but this way as your progress with these tips you can identify what works, what might not and how much improvement you made.
There are several online internet speed tests you can use to check what your current speed is, and compare it to what your plan indicates it should be. It is worth noting that plans generally list their maximum speed and this can change depending on busy time periods when more users are likely to be online in your area.
It is also worth keeping in mind that if your speed is relatively close to what it should be but you are still finding your connection or experience is slow you may need a faster internet plan because your current connection is simply overwhelmed.
Restart Your Devices
- reboot modem and router
- restarting router can also clear it and create a fresh start so it isn’t getting caught up on tasks that were slowing it down before
- important at this step to disconnect and reconnect your devices from wifi
Starting off with the oldest trick in the book, turning your modem, router or both on and off can sometimes fix your internet speed issues.
Restart your modem
Restarting your modem is a straightforward process - unplug it, wait around 30 seconds and then plug it back in. This allows the modem to reset and clear itself. The role of your modem is to translate internet signals between your internet provider and your personal network so if you are noticing your internet is slowing down, a power cycle tends to be the best first step in troubleshooting and oftentimes can fix the connection issues.
Restart your router
If you have a standalone router, you should repeat the process you did for your modem. In the same way powering down can clear your modems memory and give it a fresh start, the same can be true for your router.
Once you have done both of these things, you should disconnect and reconnect your devices to your Wi-Fi. Turning Wi-Fi off for a few seconds off then back should give you an idea if the connection has improved.
Rebooting your equipment is recommended every few months, so if you haven’t done it in a while although it may seem like such a simple step, it could very well be the solution you’re looking for.
Change your router location
- walls, distance and other appliances can all play a role in blocking your signal, so you can always try and move your router somewhere more central to see if it solves your connectivity issues
- try to find somewhere central or elevated - tucked away is bound to cause issues somewhere
If you’ve completed a power cycle and reconnected your devices and found the connection hasn’t improved, it may be time to take a look at where you’ve actually placed your router in your home. Wi-Fi is limited in how far it can travel and there are plenty of ways the signal can be interrupted. Your Wi-Fi signal may be getting blocked by ceilings, walls, furniture, floors, furniture and so much more.
Placing your router somewhere central in your home may be the solution you need. Often if it is tucked into a closet or too far away at one end of the house, the signal will either be interrupted or struggle to reach all points of the household. Placing it somewhere central or elevated is the best solution to ensure your signal isn’t fighting to reach your devices.
Change WiFi frequency band
- change frequency bands -> often 2.4 or 5
- your chosen band can affect speed and quality, so sometimes changing can be the solution
- 2.4 is more common but 5 has shorter range (albeit better speed)
Sometimes if you are having issues with your Wi-Fi it might not be your equipment or its location, but rather the frequency it's on that’s causing the poor performance. Modern routers will typically work on one of two frequencies - 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. The band you are operating on can influence your quality of connections and speeds depending on the distance from your router.
If you’re experiencing issues they may be happening on your frequency, like a temporary interference, so switching to a different band may help. When you do this you may see your network name change (usually just with the band name after it) so you know which to join.
The experience you get will depend on the frequency you are on. For example, the 2.4 GHz band is most popular for Wi-Fi connections, but other wireless connections use it too which can occasionally lead to airwaves overcrowding. The 2.4 GHz band is best for range meaning it is better at passing through walls and objects (which explains why it is often the popular choice) however the trade of this can be speed, so the 5 GHz is faster but has a shorter range.
Extend your Wi-Fi network
If you are confident your router is already in the best location but still don’t seem to be getting the strong signal you need throughout your home, you may need to extend your Wi-Fi network. There are a few different devices you can enlist the help of in order to boost your network's range.
Wi-Fi boosters for example are placed in ‘dead’ areas and work to redistribute or amplify Wi-Fi signals in the surrounding area. Alternatively, you could use a wired access point to connect your router using an ethernet cable and distribute Wi-Fi signals as an extension of your router. Another option is changing to a Mesh Wi-Fi system where your single router is replaced with one or more devices placed at multiple points in your home that then work together to create a Wi-Fi web which covers your whole home.
The solution that addresses your issue will depend on a few factors, one of which is your home plan. If you struggle with multiple points in your home due to its size or layout a mesh system might be the best solutions, whereas if you really only have one dead area a booster can probably solve it.
Upgrade your devices
The equipment you use could be causing your internet to slow down. Your modem and router are responsible for processing your internet data and if they are old and outdated, they simply might not be up for the task, causing your connectivity issues.
They may be old models or even out of date, but updating your equipment whether you rent them from your provider or have bought them outright could help get your connection back on track.
Upgrade your internet
By now you have likely tried one or all of these solutions, but still haven’t seen the results you want. As much as we hope you have, the final option you have may simply be upgrading to a faster internet connection. Your current plan may be too slow to keep up with your families consumption, in which case upgrading your plan is likely just the fix you need.
At Southern Phone we offer a range of internet plans for you to choose from, so you’re getting the speed you need. Browse them online or contact our friendly staff to learn about all the options available to you.