5 things you can do to make your internet go faster
Is there anything worse than slow broadband? Of course there is! It just doesn’t feel like it at the time!
So to help you minimise those rage-inducing buffering times and glitchy Zoom calls, here are five things you can do to make your home internet go faster.
Start at the beginning!
Switching the internet off and on again really does work. So start there. Unplug your modem or router, give it a 30-second break, and then plug it back in again. The little rest allows the modem to clear out any glitches or minor bugs.
Turning off the Wi-Fi option on all your devices can have the same effect.
Even if everything is working fine, IT experts recommend rebooting your equipment regularly—at least once every few months. Just make sure no one else in your house is doing anything important online when you decide to reboot. This is how important work is lost, high scores are missed, and arguments start.
Move your router
Wi-Fi signal degrades as it travels through the air. Connections get progressively weaker as you move away from the source, i.e. the router. Walls (especially those with reinforced concrete) and other obstacles, like fish tanks, create barriers that Wi-Fi struggles to pass through.
Keep a clear path between your router and your devices. Try putting it in different locations to see where you get the best connection. Areas to avoid include the kitchen, low down on the floor, underneath mirrors, or the loft.
Avoid placing a router next to or behind your TV. And keep it away from computer consoles, PCs, and other heat-producing appliances. The heat generated from these devices can seriously impair router performance.
Switch the frequency band
Most modern routers use two radio frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz.
The 2.4 GHz band is slower but has an extended range. The 5 GHz frequency is optimised for speed but has a much shorter range. It’s ideal when using your devices at home or near a router.
Not many people know about the 5 GHz range. So it tends to be less crowded, and all that extra network space creates a faster and more secure connection. Switching over to the 5 GHz range is like using a back-lane shortcut while everyone else is stuck in a traffic jam on the main roads,
Swapping between frequencies is simple. The two frequency bands should appear as two separate Wi-Fi networks on your settings. They’ll look something like this:
Just log off from the Wi-Fi, then log back onto the network you want to use. It’s the same Wi-Fi password for both.
The bands work better or worse with different devices or technologies. Use a 2.4 GHz band for smart speakers, smart home devices, and security cameras. The 5 GHz band is best for gaming consoles, PCs, smartphones and tablets, and smart TVs.
Adjust your router’s antenna
Router antennas radiate Wi-Fi signals vertically and horizontally. If you only need to use the internet on the first floor of your home, or if you live in a flat, place your antennas vertically, i.e., facing sideways. That way, the Wi-Fi signal is sent out on a similar level to your devices.
If your router is upstairs or downstairs, position the antenna at a 30-degree angle. In other words, have it pointing upward but leaning to one side by an inch or two. This creates a wider area coverage, guaranteeing a solid connection in every room or floor of your house.
Please be gentle when adjusting antennas. They’re very fragile and can break easily. A damaged antenna will severely disrupt your Wi-Fi signal, and you may have to pay for a new router. Some can cost up to £100.
Widen your network
Boosters, mesh systems, and powerline extenders are three devices that can make your internet go faster. They’re positioned at key points around the home. Instead of traveling straight from the router to a device, the signal passes through the boosters or extenders first, protecting your connection from degrading.
Most broadband providers offer boosters or mesh systems, although you will have to pay extra. Alternatively, you can purchase them online.
If none of these tips works, then it’s probably time to think about upgrading to a new network. Comparison sites like Broadband Market can help you find the best deals in minutes. Now that is fast!
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