If you’ve been having Wi-Fi connection issues and you can’t wait for your ISP to solve them for you, you actually can solve some of the problems yourself. It’s trial-and-error, but with several tricks up your sleeves, one might just work:
- Check your PC. Many people blame their routers instantly when connectivity issues arise, but it could sometimes be a problem connected to your computer use. Open your task manager to see activities and programs running in the background that could be slowing your Wi-Fi connection significantly down. This issue is simple to fix – just adjust settings appropriately.
- Get wired. If you’re not going to be working on a laptop or portable device, the quickest way to speed up your connection is to get an ethernet cable and connect to your router directly. Wired connections still trump Wi-Fi connections when it comes to speed and reliability, so if portability isn’t a factor for you, then skip Wi-Fi and go back to using ethernet cables.
- Find a better spot for your router. Sometimes, the router is placed in a spot that isn’t suitable for your computer’s location. Maybe it is placed inside a closet, or a big piece of furniture like a bookshelf is positioned in between your computer and the router. Try physically moving your router near your computer.
- Check your network usage and change Wi-Fi passwords. When you check your network, you’ll be able to do several things such as:
- Learn how many devices are connected to your network (if you are able to turn off Wi-Fi from YOUR unused gadgets, then good. Sometimes, all our smart devices are connected to the internet and are all competing with your computer).
- See if your neighbor is eating up your bandwidth. Maybe you let a neighbor access your wi-fi one time and just found out they’ve been using your internet full time and heavily too! If too many devices are connected to the Wi-Fi, this could definitely affect the speed of your connection.
- Change your Wi-Fi password. While you’re here, change your password to ensure no hackers would get to use your connection for free again.
- Tweak Your Router – This may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can tweak the router by changing the band/channel. Your router should have instructions/documentation how to do this since every brand and model handles this differently. Either way, changing bands/channels decongest a busy Wi-Fi connection and you’ll be able to refresh the settings.
Got money to spare? If you do, the following solutions would help improve your connection:
- Buy a Wi-Fi Extender – Whether you’re gaming, live streaming, or doing something heavy online, you could invest in a wi-fi extender or Wi-Fi repeater for a strong connection. This device plugs into a spare wall socket, connecting to the wireless internet and then extending the connection to a wider distance. This works if your house has dead Wi-Fi zones, or if you have a third or fourth level that only gets weak internet connections.
- Buy a new router or mesh network. It is also possible that your current router is outdated or isn’t advanced enough for your use. You have a lot of options when it comes to brand name and functionality. In general, go for a router that can broadcast within the distance you need (for example: how far your router could broadcast to all computers in the house).
- Mesh networks: If your house is too big for just one router, you might need to invest in a mesh network so multiple router nodes are installed all over the house to accommodate your specific connectivity requirements. A good example of a mesh network is Vilo, Google Nest, Netgear’s Orbi system or the Eero Wi-Fi System, among others.
When shopping for either a router or mesh network, an important function to look out for is the ability to prioritize devices. It’s super-handy especially if you have a smart house. (You wouldn’t want your smart ref eating up all the bandwidth before your gaming computer, right?)
- Powerline Networking Kits – For those who just bought a new router but still have some issues with lag or weak Wi-Fi, try adding electrical wiring as an alternative to Wi-fi repeaters. Brands like TP-Link and Netgear offer powerline kits, which consist of a plug (that you connect to the router), and put the plug into a wall socket and another plug in another room or spot in the house with Wi-Fi dead zones, then enjoy wireless or wired connection from that new location.
Don’t be afraid of troubleshooting your Wi-Fi yourself. But if these techniques still don’t work, well, there’s always an option to get upgraded speeds or invest in new hardware.
Of course, you should always try to contact your ISP for a solution that they may provide only from their end. They employ experts, so the ISP crew might find an issue that you may have overlooked.