There are few things more frustrating in 21st-century life than sluggish wifi. Slow broadband is something that most homeowners have experienced at one time or another, whether you’re watching your favourite Netflix show and see the dreaded buffering sign or are trying to WFH, and the file won’t load. Even with UK average broadband speeds currently above 50mbps, too many homes still suffer from a slow connection. But what and how to improve home wifi?
From using a cable to buying a booster, here are some top tips for a better internet connection in your home.
Check your connection
First things first, you should check your internet connection. There are plenty of websites online that allow you to see your speed. Sometimes it can seem like your internet is performing below average, but your actual speeds are fine. To find out if it’s a temporary problem or something more significant, perform a speed test to see if it matches the number promised by the provider.
If you’re thinking of buying a new home and want to check its broadband rating, amongst other things, you can do so with a Move iQ Property Report.
Use an ethernet cable
It’s easy to forget that cables are still a thing in 2022. Having wifi might offer added convenience, but an ethernet cable usually always provides the fastest speeds. That’s because it provides a direct connection from the router to your device, allowing the speeds to travel through a cable.
Connections are also more stable with an ethernet cable. Of course, the downside is it limits where you can use your devices. Plus, you’ll need to connect it to every device you want to use with the internet, which isn’t particularly handy if there are multiple devices in the household.
Still, if you can connect a cable, it’s worth doing so. You’ll get better speeds, a more stable connection, and it’s easy to set up. Simply connect the cable to the ethernet port on the router and run it to your device.
Move your router
Sometimes the best fixes for slow wifi are the most simple ones. Giving the router a clear pathway to communicate with your devices can boost wifi speeds. It’s a big no-no if it’s in a cupboard or there are significant barriers – like walls – between your router and devices.
Physically moving the router can significantly affect speed and how far the wireless transmissions reach. Ideally, you don’t want to hide your router in the cupboard or inside a draw. The more space and freedom it has (on a flat surface), the better your chances of a faster wifi connection.
Change the channel band
Changing the channel band can improve your wifi performance, even if it does sound a bit complicated. Wifi signals are divided into channels, with your router using a particular channel to transmit the internet.
If two neighbours live close to each other, routers may be using the same channels, and everything can get congested. Switching channels can solve this problem, speeding up your wifi in the process.
You’ll need to check the documentation or call your internet provider to change the channels, as each router usually handles it differently. Generally speaking, channels 1, 6 and 11 are the best ones to try as they typically have the least interference.
Change the GHz
As well as changing the router channel, you can switch GHz for better wifi performance. Most new routers use dual-band technology, which broadcasts both 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz for frequencies.
However, if you’re having issues, it might be worth switching to just one. 5-GHz is known as the faster of the two, but 2.4-GHz has a longer range. Try and see which one works best by testing your internet on both frequencies. Again, you’ll probably need to call the provider to see how you set this up.
Get a booster
Boosters, otherwise known as wifi extenders, can give you more range when you live in a larger house. This is also a good option if you don’t fancy playing with the router settings.
Boosters plug into the wall socket and connect to the router wirelessly to improve your range. They’re reasonably easy to set up, meaning you can be up and running just minutes after plugging it in. Prices range from relatively inexpensive to hundreds of pounds.
Upgrade your router
Most households use the router given to them by the internet provider. But sometimes, upgrading to a newer and faster router can significantly improve the internet performance in your home.
Newer routers tend to be faster and have a greater range, especially when you start looking at products from specialist makers. If, however, you’re in a smaller house or apartment, a regular router should be good enough to give you a decent performance and is unlikely to be the reason why your wifi is slow.
Get rid of unused devices
Now, we’re not telling you to throw away devices you no longer use, but it’s worth seeing if they’re still connected to the internet. In a family house with several smartphones, tablets, televisions and laptops, the number of devices connected to the internet can soon add up.
The more devices you have, the more likely it is that you’ll suffer from a slower wifi connection. That’s why you should only connect the devices you use with your internet regularly. The result could be a faster connection for everyone in the household.
If you find that you’re still not getting the desired speeds, contact your internet provider. They can look into it for you and hopefully find a resolution. However, with our handy tips, hopefully, small changes like moving the router can result in a speedy wifi service and browsing the internet with a nice, smooth connection.
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Last Updated: March 18th, 2022