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Slow browsing, lack of streaming, dropped Wi-Fi signals, wireless dead zones—all of these problems are staggering in a world where being online is as necessary as breathing for some. (Okay, maybe not
How To Make My Wifi Faster On Pc
If you think your Wi-Fi is slow, there are a few tools you can use to test your internet speed. There are also some tricks you can try to solve your network problems. However, if the only way to get your wireless router up and running is to get decent reception, these simple tips can improve your network.
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Before you blame your Wi-Fi, make sure your home Internet is working as it should. Find an Ethernet cable and plug your computer directly into your modem – if your laptop doesn’t have an Ethernet port, you may need a USB to Ethernet adapter (opens in new window).
Run a speed test to see your internet speed (opens in a new window). If your Internet speed doesn’t match your bill, you may need to call your ISP or replace your modem. If your speed test matches your internet bill but still seems slow, it may be time to upgrade to a better plan. (My mom was convinced the Wi-Fi was faulty, only to tell me it was on a 3Mbit/sec connection with a snail.)
If the modem looks fine, stand next to the router and try wireless again. If you get similar good speeds with your router, but not elsewhere in the house, your Wi-Fi connection may be to blame. If your internet is still stuck with your router, you may have some old hardware that needs to be upgraded.
Before you start fixing things, it’s a good idea to update your router. Router manufacturers are always changing the software to get extra speed. How easy or difficult it is to update your software depends entirely on the manufacturer and model of your device.
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Most current routers have an update process in the control interface, so it’s just a matter of clicking the button to update the firmware. Other models, especially larger ones, require you to go to the manufacturer’s website, download the firmware from your router’s support page, and upload it to the administration interface. It’s inconvenient, but that’s a good thing because it’s such an easy fix.
In fact, even if your wireless network isn’t sick, you should regularly update your software for performance improvements, better features, and security updates. To help with this, we have a guide to accessing your router’s settings.
If you really want to get the most out of your current router, adventurers should look into third-party firmware, such as the open-source DD-WRT (opens in new window). It can improve performance and access more advanced networking features, including the ability to set up a virtual private network (VPN) on your router. It’s a little complicated to set up, but for tech-savvy users, it’ll be worth it.
Impress your wireless coverage. It might seem logical to put the router in a closet and out of the way or to the right of the cable entry window, but that’s not always the case. Instead of moving it to the far end of your home, if possible, the router should be in the center of your home, so the signal can easily reach every corner.
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Also, wireless routers require locations away from walls and obstacles. So if you’re trying to keep this crappy black box in a closet or behind bookshelves, you’ll get a better signal if it’s surrounded by open air (which should prevent the router from overheating). Also keep it away from heavy equipment or electronics, as the operation of nearby devices can affect Wi-Fi performance. Also, if you can remove the wall between your workstation and the router, you can improve productivity significantly.
If your router has external antennas, place the cover vertically to cover it. It also helps to upgrade the router if you can – mount it on a wall or a top shelf to get a better signal. There are many tools available to monitor your network environment. We like Ekahau’s Heatmapper (opens in a new window) or MetaGeek’s inSSIDer (opens in a new window), which shows the weak and strong spots in your Wi-Fi network. There are also new mobile apps like Netgear’s WiFi Analytics (opens in new window).
Take a look at your network’s admin interface and make sure you’ve configured it for optimal performance. If you have a dual-band router, you’ll get better bandwidth by switching to the 5GHz band instead of using the more common 2.4GHz band.
Not only does 5GHz offer faster speeds, but you’ll experience less interference from other wireless networks and devices because the 5GHz frequency isn’t used as often. (It can’t handle interference and spacing well enough, so it definitely can’t reach the 2.4 GHz signal range.)
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Most modern dual-band routers offer the option of using the same network name, or SSID, on both bands. Check your router’s management interface, find the 5GHz network option and give it the same SSID and password as your 2.4GHz network. So your devices will automatically select the best possible signal.
(If your router doesn’t offer the option to use the same SSID, give it a different name—SmithHouse-5GHz—and try connecting manually whenever possible.)
Participation is a big issue, especially for people living in densely populated areas. Signals from other wireless networks can affect speed, not to mention some wireless phone systems, microwaves, and other electronic devices.
Did you play with rides as a child? You will remember how the units must be on the same “channel” to hear each other. If you’re on the same channel as your neighbors, you can hear someone else talking, even if they’re using a completely different set. By the same token, all modern routers can switch to different channels when communicating with your devices.
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Most routers will select a channel for you, but if neighboring wireless networks are using the same channel, you’ll experience signal congestion. A good router with automatic configuration will try to select the least congested channel, but older or cheaper routers may choose a normal channel, even if it is not the best. This can be a problem.
On a Windows-based PC, you can see which channels your neighboring Wi-Fi networks are using. From the command prompt
, and you’ll see a list of all wireless networks and channels in use around you. The network analyzers mentioned above can often show you this information in an easy-to-read graphical format.
For example, most of our networks and neighbors at the office use channels 6 and 11. In general, you’ll want to stick to channels 1, 6, and 11 for 2.4GHz, since they’re not the only ones. Do not overlap with other channels (may reduce performance). 5 GHz usually uses non-overlapping channels, but it should make it easier to choose the right one.
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If you find that the automatic setting doesn’t work for you, go to your router’s admin interface, go to the Basic wireless category, and try to select one manually (preferably (ie, one that is not used by many networks in your network) field). Run another speed test to see if the automatic setting provides a better signal and faster speed for your problems.
Keep in mind that channel traffic can change over time, so if you choose a channel, you may want to check if it’s the best.
The problem may have nothing to do with interference or Wi-Fi range. If your network is open or your password is weak, you may have an unwanted guest or two piggybacking on your network. If your neighbor is downloading a few 4K movies over Wi-Fi, your video chats will suffer.
These tools can help you identify uninvited neighbors by helping you find a list of devices on your Wi-Fi. Also, your router’s admin interface can be a kind of traffic analyzer that can tell you which devices are using the most data – you can even find out if any of your own children are using too much data. (If so, show me how to remove them).
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Once you’ve found the intruder and fixed the problem, secure your network with a strong password, preferably WPA2, because WEP is easy to crack so others can’t join.
Most modern routers come with Quality of Service (QoS) tools to limit bandwidth consumption by applications.
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