Need to speed up your internet connection, but don’t want to commit to a higher plan or switch internet service providers? The following techniques may just be the solution to boost your connection:
- Reset Your Router and Test Your Speed
A reset is the most popular solution many people know. Sometimes, it is everything your connection needs to restart and go back to its normal speed. If you reboot your router and the speed improves, then you’re lucky.
If not, you have to do a bit more digging, starting with a proper speed test. You don’t need to be super-techie to test your connection’s speed. You just need to download an app or visit a speed-testing website, then press a button and you’ll be given information about your network’s download/upload speeds, ping time, etc.
- Move your router
Another “free” and easy method to boost an internet connection is to try and move your router around your home.
Your goal is to find the center of your home that has no physical obstructions going to your office or spot where you use your phone’s wi-fi the most. Here are some guidelines when picking a spot:
- Elevated spot – There are fewer chances of obstructions if your router is placed at an elevated spot. If you have a multi-level house, you can try to position your router by the hallway upstairs.
- Common area – There might be times when the router gets out of its place (blown by air, shaken by sudden movements, etc.) and it is ideal that the router is accessible by anyone.
- Angle Wi-Fi Antenna differently
You can also try to angle the wi-fi’s antenna to a different side.
Because signals of wi-fi move perpendicularly to your router, the signals may weaken at certain angles when blocked by walls, furniture, and other objects. If it is possible to angle its antenna (note that not all routers have antennas), then this technique is worth a shot in boosting signals.
- Tinker with Your Router Settings
Your router has several settings that can improve your connection’s signals and eventually speed up your internet. Obviously, different brands of routers have varying settings, but you can find some models that:
- Lets you prioritize bandwidth (via entertainment settings).
- Lets you reset RTS thresholds or set them to a lower number. When you request-to-Send (RTS) thresholds, you clear the router of data before more data packets “arrive.”
- Find another Wi-Fi Channel to Use
WiFi channels are smaller bands within WiFi frequency bands that are used by your wireless network to send and receive data. All routers have wi-fi channels, but some are only limited to the 2.4 GHz band, while others have up to 5 GHz channels.
Switching up your router’s wi-fi channel could boost internet connection because other channels have less interference or more bandwidth than what your router has been using.
- Update Password and Security Settings
Don’t be afraid to get into the settings of your wi-fi network, especially if you feel like your internet connection’s speed is going slower than normal. Sometimes, people nearby could be sharing your bandwidth and causing the slow down of your connection.
Updating your password is easy, but is often forgotten. Make sure to keep your network secured with up-to-date passwords and WPA2 security, so you’ll automatically shoo freeloading strangers away from your wi-fi.
- Buy an internet extender or wifi repeater/booster
If none of the free solutions above worked, you can buy an internet extender, which as its name suggests, “extends” your internet signals to reach other rooms. The wi-fi repeater or wi-fi booster works in a similar sense, but these devices are known to limit your bandwidth a bit more than wi-fi extenders.
The most advanced device in this category is a powerline Ethernet kit, which connects to your router via an Ethernet cable, so it doesn’t require any of your wi-fi’s bandwidth to boost your connection.
If you know your way around routers and LANs, it is best to build-your-own wifi repeater using a second or third router. It works similar to powerline Ethernet kits but is much more affordable.
- Buy a Better Antenna
Check if your router’s antenna is replaceable (some manufacturers make this feature removable while others do not). If it is, then buy a flexible antenna that you can angle any way you want.
Newer routers have omnidirectional antennas, so you don’t need to angle the antenna as a way to boost the internet connection.
- Upgrade Your Router
If all else fails, upgrading your router is your last solution before you make a drastic move. Sometimes, your hardware may just be too old to function properly. Or it may have been damaged a while back and is showing the signs.
When you buy a newer router, it would ultimately give you faster internet speeds no matter the brand.
Upgrading an internet plan or switching providers are not your only options to improve your wifi speed. Try some of the tricks above before taking a BIG step. If you’re lucky, one of these methods could solve your dilemma without spending too much money.