Why is my Internet still slow when I’ve just upgraded to a new speed? Consolidated is offering lightning fast speeds, but if your Wi-Fi router is out of date or is not set up correctly, you will not get the speed you are supposed to be getting. Here are some tips that will save you time and headaches.
1. Choose the right channel and frequency. Routers have numerous channels. Sometimes, just changing the channel can make a huge difference. Channel 6 is the default channel of most routers, so we would advise against using this channel as you run the highest risk of it being congested, especially in apartments and condos. The safer bet would probably be to use something closer to 1 or to 11. Routers also have different frequencies as well. Generally speaking 2.4 GHz is better for bigger homes with multiple floors because the signal travels farther and through walls. 5 GHz is great for smaller rooms or homes because it offers faster speed, just at a shorter range.
2. Move your router to it’s ideal position. Keep your router centrally located and keep away from thick walls made of brick or concrete, water and windows. The true fix for Wi-Fi issues is to install a wireless access point in the locations which have issues. A wireless access point will more or less “boost” or “repeat” the signal in the areas in which it is installed. Installation involves running an Ethernet cable from your router to the location of the access point. Once connected, traffic will run from the router, through the Ethernet cable, and be broadcasted wirelessly from the new access point.
3. Make sure your router is secure. Putting a password on your router or limiting which devices can access your network will keep other people from using your network and slowing it down.
4. Get a newer router. This is a big one! There are so many consumers that don’t understand how many devices they actually are trying to run on a home network. You may only have 3 people in your house, but if each of you has a computer, phone, tablet, plus a gaming console that will easily exceed your entry level router’s capacity. One of the main things we see with a customer’s slow Wi-Fi, and internet for that matter, is that their router is causing the issue. This is essentially the brain of your network as EVERYTHING runs through it. A HIGH Wi-Fi signal is not an indicator of FAST Wi-Fi speed. You may have the correct channel selected, a security key, and a fast internet speed package, but if your router cannot handle the amount of traffic you are trying to put through it, you will see no improvement.
5. Check your PC. WiFi technology advances quickly and if you upgrade your router to the “latest and greatest” but your PC is 5+ years old, chances are it cannot utilize the latest technology of the router. For example, if your router is an AC router capable of 1300Mbps and your laptop has a wireless G card capable of 54Mbps you will always be limited by your laptop no matter what router you have. If the router and laptop combo is of a recent generation and other devices are fast on your network you should also check to see if any malware/viruses may be causing speed issues on the PC itself.
**Real World WiFi Speed. Wireless speeds can vary greatly depending on what WiFi standard you utilize. Below are the current WiFi standards:
These are the theoretical maximum speeds of each WiFi standard and can vary significantly due to:
Distance – distance from the access point
Interference – other wireless networks and devices on the same frequency as your wireless network
Shared bandwidth – available bandwidth is shared between all of your users on your network
Network Protocol Limitations – the WiFi protocol is half duplex, meaning half the speed is used for traffic in one direction and the other half is used for the other direction. This cuts your speed in half right off from the beginning.
Router & Access Point Hardware – your router and access point are just like a PC in the fact that they have a CPU, memory, storage etc. The more resources you have available on your router and/or access point the greater your speed can potentially be.
The factors above will not allow you to reach the theoretical maximum speed as advertised. It is misleading but this is how router manufacturers have been advertising speed since WiFi has existed. The best possible scenario is to have the factors above optimized to give you the best possible wireless environment.