woman sitting by the window - Upgrading Your WiFi Speed: What You Need to Know

If your WiFi speeds don’t match the speed you pay for, there are several things you can do to improve your network. Start by running a speed test to see where the problem lies.

Newer routers with Wi-Fi 6 technology offer data transfer speeds nearly 3x faster2 than older Wireless-AC solutions. You can also change your frequency band to reduce interference and boost your internet speed.

1. Upgrade Your Router

A new router is one of the best ways to improve your Wi-Fi speed. Router technology gets better every year and an outdated router can hold you back from your internet’s full potential. Newer routers, such as those with the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard, offer more bandwidth and faster speeds than older models. If you’re considering upgrading, it’s worth checking out a HomeFi router review for insights into how this particular model may enhance your home network performance.

If you’ve recently upgraded your devices, including laptops, smartphones, tablets and smart home gadgets, a new router may be necessary to keep up with their increased data demands. You can also rent a router or mesh system from your fiber or cable provider, which can be less expensive than purchasing one.

One of the biggest signs that your router needs an upgrade is a noticeable decrease in internet speeds. A slow connection can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to work, play or stream video. It could indicate that your router is no longer capable of handling the amount of data that’s being transmitted or simply that it’s old and has reached the end of its life.

A quick power cycle—unplugging your modem, router and wireless gateway for 30 seconds and then plugging them back in—may be all you need to resolve a slow network. If not, you can try repositioning the router to an open, central location in your home and blasting the ports and airflow vents with a can of compressed air to clear out dust build-up.

You can also switch between the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz Wi-Fi frequencies to prioritize which devices connect to your network. But remember that the 5-GHz band can have a shorter range than 2.4-GHz, so it’s not a perfect solution for every home. If you have a large home, a WiFi extender might be a better option to improve your Wi-Fi speed in hard-to-reach rooms.

2. Change Your Frequency Band

Modern Wi-Fi routers can work on two radio frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Changing your router’s frequency band can help you get better internet speeds. The higher 5 GHz band has less interference from other home appliances (like microwaves and audio-visual equipment), which can cause slowdowns on the 2.4 GHz spectrum. Your router may automatically switch between the two bands depending on the environment, but you can manually select which one to use if your router doesn’t do it for you.

WiFi channels can get crowded, which can decrease your internet speed. When this happens, it is a good idea to move your network to a different channel. This will ensure that you are not sharing your connection with other people using the same channel. To do this, you will need to change your router settings.

You may also want to consider using a mesh Wi-Fi system or powerline extender kits to boost your WiFi signal and improve internet speeds throughout your home or business. In addition, you can try moving your router modem to a central location within your building. This can improve the signal strength and reduce dead spots in your network. Additionally, you can try upgrading your internet plan to fiber for faster speeds. If you’re still having problems, then it might be time to contact your service provider directly and ask them to provide a speed upgrade for your connection.

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3. Disconnect Unnecessary Devices

Nothing ruins your day like buffering, slowdowns or drop-offs. Luckily, it’s possible to avoid those problems with some simple fixes.

As the number of devices connected to your home WiFi grows, your download speeds will suffer. This is because the bandwidth gets used up, and you may not be able to use your full internet speed.

The good news is that a few easy changes can help improve your download speeds without the need for a router upgrade. In most cases, all you need to do is make a few changes to your settings or remove unnecessary devices from your network.

You can do this by using an app that analyzes nearby wireless signals, such as Wifi Analyzer for Android or WifiInfoView for Mac. This will show you the list of devices that are currently connected to your home Wi-Fi network. If you see any devices that you don’t recognize, you can disconnect them by banning their MAC address or changing your Wi-Fi password so they can’t reconnect to your network.

In addition to removing unnecessary devices, you can also try running virus scans on your computer and router to prevent malware infections from slowing down your download and upload speeds. This is an important step because viruses can slow your internet down and cause your connections to become unreliable. Some internet service providers help their customers stay safe online by providing a virus scanner and security app.

If you can’t increase your download speeds with these tips, you may need to upgrade your router or your internet plan. For example, fiber internet can offer significantly higher speeds than cable or DSL.

4. Remove Unauthorized Users

When unauthorized devices join your network, it can cause many issues. For one, it can lead to data theft. Unauthorized devices can access sensitive information, like passwords, bank account details, and credit card numbers, putting your finances at risk. It can also compromise your privacy. Unauthorized users can spy on your household activities and may use connected-home devices to listen in on conversations.

Often, unauthorized devices can be detected by looking at your router’s list of connected devices. The most obvious sign is when the device names don’t match the list of authorized devices. The MAC address, which is a unique identifier for network devices, can also offer clues. If you see a MAC address that is not in your approved list, it’s time to take action.

Unwanted devices can also reduce your internet speed. If someone else is hogging your bandwidth, it can cause lag and buffering when you’re trying to surf the web or stream movies. This can be very frustrating and make it difficult to get work done online or enjoy your favorite TV shows or movies.

The best way to remove unauthorized devices from your wireless network is to log into your router’s settings and locate the “Connected Devices,” or “Device List” option. From here, you can identify the unwanted devices by their device names or MAC addresses and then either disconnect them or block them from accessing your Wi-Fi. This will improve your security and optimize your network performance. It’s also important to understand that increasing your internet speed does not automatically increase your Wi-Fi speed. These are two different things: your Internet speed determines how much data you can transfer at a time, while your Wi-Fi speed determines how far your wireless signal can travel.

5. Run a Speed Test

Your Wi-Fi speed may not be as slow as it seems. Many factors can influence it, like location in the house and the number of devices on a network. Fortunately, running a speed test can help you pinpoint what the issue is and what to do about it.

You can find a range of speed tests on the internet, but we recommend using Bing or Google’s built-in ones as they tend to be less aggressive about collecting data. Run a few tests in different areas of your home and check the results. Then divide the number of devices in your household by the speed tier you’re paying for to get an idea of what your maximum Wi-Fi speeds should be.

When you run a test, be sure to plug your computer into your router directly with an Ethernet cable and close other programs and apps on your computer. This will help you see the real numbers and avoid any factors that might be affecting them. For example, a virus could be causing problems with your connection. Running a regular antivirus scan is vital to ensure your computer and router are free from cyber threats.

Another factor that affects your internet speed is how close you are to your modem or router. For this reason, you should try to place your router in a central location inside your home where it can easily reach the majority of your rooms. Then, if possible, move it closer to the devices you use most often. This can make a huge difference in your internet speed. If you still can’t seem to improve your Wi-Fi speeds, then it may be time to talk to your service provider and ask them about a new router or a different tier of service.