You’ve planned an evening in front of the couch to watch the latest film that everyone’s been raving about on Netflix and the troubles start as soon as you hit play. Whether you’re trying to catch up on the latest films and TV shows or you’re simply trying to browse the internet, there’s nothing worse than a slow connection.
With more of us at home than ever before and ISPs all over the world saying their networks are under increased strain due to coronavirus, it’s likely you’ve experienced your fair share of internet hiccups in the last few weeks.
If you’re struggling with slow internet speeds and are looking for ways to improve your connectivity, sometimes all it takes is a couple of small adjustments to your home Wi-Fi network. Here’s a list of our top tips to make sure nothing slows you down online.
Ways to Make Your Wi-Fi Faster
1. Upgrade Your Router
The quality of your wireless router can often determine the strength of your connection, primarily due to the antennas it uses to pick up a signal. If you’re still using a router that was given to you when you first had your internet installed in the house, it’s time to consider an upgrade.
Depending on your ISP, you may be able to contact them directly to explain you’re having difficulties with your connection and they may offer you a new router for absolutely free.
2. Utilize a Booster
Does your connection drop out depending on where you are in the house? As you move further away from your router, your signal may have to pass through numerous walls or other obstructions. Solving this is easy, you just need to buy a Wi-Fi booster. It’s a simple device that goes into your plug socket and carries the signal from your router.
It’s essentially like having another router in a different part of your home. These are relatively cheap to purchase online but if you’ve got an ISP that prides itself on quality customer service, there’s nothing stopping you from picking up the phone and explaining the difficulties you’re having to see if they might offer one at a discounted rate or, even better, for free.
3. Raise or Move Your Router
If you’ve got your router sitting in the furthest corner of your home or stashed under the television next to lots of other electrical devices, would you be surprised if we said it’s probably in the wrong place? Your router should live in an area of the home that’s high enough for its antennas to pick up a decent signal and well away from any potential interference from other electrical devices.
While you’re checking its location, make sure you also check the antennas on the back of it; they should be upright and straight.
4. Secure Your Router
You’d be surprised, but there are lots of people around the world who’ve set up a router in their home that isn’t safe. If you can’t remember ever needing a password to your router, or if you’re not sure it’s password-protected, now’s a very good time to check. You may be sharing your bandwidth with lots of other people.
If you are, you’re paying for it too. Secure your router immediately and contact your ISP to see if you can arrange a home visit from an engineer to make sure the router isn’t infected with any potential malware.
5. Update Your Router’s Firmware
Routers, like any other device connected to the internet, require regular updates. You should check your router is fully up-to-date with the latest firmware. If it isn’t, it probably explains why your internet is slowing down.
Update your firmware by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Newer routers can be updated directly via a button on the router but older routers may require you to visit a specific website.
6. Switch Frequencies
Log into your network’s admin interface and check what frequency band you’re connected to. You should have a choice between 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ.
Most routers are set at 2.4GHZ, but 5GHZ is newer and offers faster connection speeds as it interferes less with other electrical devices. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach as far as 2.4GHZ, so it’s only an optimal connection when you’re located relatively close to your router.
Make a note of when your internet is slowing down and be aware that connection speeds do tend to drop slightly during peak times.
That said, if your internet is so slow that it’s becoming a nightmare to use and you’ve tried all of the tips above, make sure you contact your ISP to explain your situation. If you’re paying for a quality connection, it’s your ISP’s responsibility to make sure it’s working correctly.
Once your internet is back to its usual speeds, did you know you can make it even faster by using a VPN? You can click here to take a look at the best VPN deals that are out there right now.