When Wi-Fi slows down, so does our entire life. Our email and browsers stop loading. Our streaming movies freeze. Our smart speaker stops responding. Our phones revert to mobile data plans. Everything buffers at the same time, ruining the momentum of your routine.
There are plenty of reasons your Wi-Fi keeps slowing down: asymmetrical Internet connection, signal congestion, router location, firmware issues, hardware limitations or even the physical size of your home.
Here are eight ways to boost your home Wi-Fi and reduce the risk of connection failures.
Check your Internet planMany activities we do online use both upload and download capabilities. If you often game online, make video calls, share your content on social media or upload any data to the Internet, you need to check the available upload speed.
In recent years, upload speed of 10 Mbps and below may not be enough. We have adopted the use of a video doorbell to keep an eye on home deliveries while they’re away or use their smart speaker to play their favorite songs, even refrigerators can access the home network. Add in the shift to more people working from home and exponential growth of video streaming for entertainment and access to equally fast upload and download speeds is crucial.
Mostly Internet providers of Cyprus may offer asynchronous service with its faster download speeds and lower upload speeds. Alphanet’s symmetrical Internet plan is a perfect fit for families with several devices streaming and a parent working from home with our unlimited data and upload and download speeds up to 200 Mbps.
If you want to know more about the symmetrical Home Internet plans, click here.
Get an updated routerOften Internet Service Providers provide their own router as part of the installation fee. They usually offer outdated models. It’s important to make sure your router supports the right amount of gadgets at the same time and provides coverage throughout your home.
If you’re in the market for a new router and you want improved Wi-Fi speeds and reach across your home or office, aim for at least an 802.11 AC or AX router with dual capabilities.
AC+ routers have a maximum spectral bandwidth of around 8×160 MHz, compared to the 4×40 MHz standard of N routers. In other words, the increased bandwidth allows more data to be transmitted without slowing down.
Additionally, by having multi-bands, you could keep older 2.4GHz devices on their own bands while keeping newer devices that support the latest Wi-Fi standards on the higher bands. This is like having multiple routers in one.
Newer routers also have advanced features not found in older routers. Look for specifications like beamforming, Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO), multiple USB 3.0 connectors and Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Our engineers tested many different routers and settled on this model:
- SNR CPE ME2 Lite for 60 euros. Supports stable operation of up to 10 gadgets and is great for apartments and houses up to 70 sq.m. This is a new generation of inexpensive routers that supports all modern gadgets and those that you bought 10 or more years ago.
Choose the right bandWi-Fi bands are not created equal. If you have a newer router, check to see if it supports the 5GHz band. Newer routers typically support this band. Unlike B/G routers that only transmit on the crowded 2.4GHz spectrum, AC+ routers could transmit on 5GHz as well.
Newer routers usually have dual-band capability. By enabling dual bands, you could keep older devices that only support the slower G specification on the 2.4GHz band and newer devices on the beefier and speedier 5GHz band. This is essentially like having two routers in one.
Change channelsYou can also select a different channel for your router. This is especially helpful if you’re tuned to that 2.4GHz frequency. Moving from one channel to a less crowded one may help speed things up.
To check the optimum 2.4GHz channel for your area or the least used channel, try using a Wi-Fi scanner.
For Macs, Apple provides a free tool called "Wireless Diagnostics." To access it, hold the Option key while clicking on the Wi-Fi icon on the right-hand side of the menu bar, then choose Open Wireless Diagnostics.
For Windows, download the free Wi-Fi utility, Acrylic Wi-Fi Home. Similar to the Mac’s Scan tool, this application will instantly give you information about the Wi-Fi signals in your area including the channels they utilize.
For Android users, there are a many Wi-Fi scanning tools available, but a popular one is Network Analyzer.
Change locationAnother important factor that affects your Wi-Fi network’s connectivity is its physical location. Try placing your router as close to the center of your home as possible. It’s also a good idea to keep it elevated and free from any physical obstructions like furniture and appliances.
You may also avoid reflective surfaces like glass, mirrors, and metal because Wi-Fi signals tend to bounce off these types of materials. Walls, especially those made of concrete, can also severely degrade your Wi-Fi signal.
You may even adjust your router’s antennas. Your router’s antenna is omnidirectional, so the signal goes every direction equally. If you put your router along an outside wall, you’re sending half your signal outside.
If your house is too big for a single router, you may need a boost. For distance issues, try installing Wi-Fi extenders around your house to boost your network’s range.
Try a mesh networkIf you have a large house that require consistent network speeds, a mesh Wi-Fi network is worth the money. Unlike standard Wi-Fi routers that require extenders for added reach, next-generation mesh routers are designed to spread a Wi-Fi network’s coverage through multiple access points.
These systems usually come in sets of two or three separate units that work together to envelop your home or office with Wi-Fi coverage. As far as your gadgets are concerned, the Wi-Fi mesh is one big continuous Wi-Fi network.
Our engineers recommend the following model of Mesh system:
- Mesh system AC1200. Provides reliable Wi-Fi connection in a large house up to 370 sq.m. You can connect up to 100 devices to it. You can manage your home network through a mobile application.
Check your securityWhen unauthorized devices mooch your Wi-Fi, it slows down your network. But even the type of wireless security you use can impact your overall speed.
First off, if your network is Open (no security) or uses WEP, change the security setting immediately. Obviously, an open network will make it easy for someone to steal your Wi-Fi, and the older WEP security is easily hacked. This leaves you with WPA, WPA2 with TKIP or WPA2 with AES. WPA and TKIP are older protocols and are now considered insecure. The way to go is WPA2 with AES.
Update your router’s firmwareThe reason to do this step is twofold. First, you can take advantage of any additional features and improvements of the new version of the firmware. Second, your router usually receives any important security updates.
Usually, you will have the option to check, review, download, and install your router’s new firmware on its administration page. The exact steps depend on your router’s make and model, so check the router manufacturer’s support site for detailed directions.
Also you can always contact us for assistance. We consult, set up the router remotely or send an engineer to your home. By the way, this service is free for our clients.
If you want to contact us, click here or visit our office at:
- Omonoias 133, Limassol 3045
- Georgiou A 93−101, Germasogeia, Limassol 4048