How Can I Optimize My Wi-Fi?

With a range of technology continuing to encompass upgrades and versions improving on previous ones, there are constantly new ways for people to improve their Wi-Fi speed. Considering the most recent developments, the below provides instructions for minimizing obstacles to your connection speed while optimizing it as much as possible.

Watch this great video from Steve Dotto below.

How Can I Use A Speed Test For Optimization?

Speed tests can be helpful to locate problems and potential in your Wi-Fi network. The two most fundamentally concerning or relevant aspects of your connection are the speeds by which it can upload or download data. This can affect aspects of your operations including:

  • How quickly you can send large files in your business
  • How quickly manual or automatic updates take to download
  • Media and a range of aspects of web browser speeds
  • Computer, internet of things (IoT) devices, and cloud file transfers
  • File attachments in emails
  • Sending live video streams
  • Uploading media such as images

Running a speed test allows you to view measurements of the ping, or the effective response time of the Wi-Fi connection, which is measured in milliseconds. Users naturally want to have a low number for their measurement. Many free speed tests are available online, such as Speedtest.net recommended by LinkSys, created and maintained by OOKLA, an online metrics business. The test offered through their organization has over eight billion tests of experience, and functions by using sample uploads and downloads analyzed through their program.

Before starting a test, users are recommended to ensure that their connection is maintained in a normal manner so that the reading is accurate. For example, if multiple family members are using hotspots, streaming, using online gaming, using downloads, etc., it is recommended that the user wait until the use of service ends so that ideal testing conditions are established. Additionally, users are recommended to ensure their router or routers are not obstructed in some way.

After testing, if you are not satisfied with the results, you can take some actions in an attempt to make improvements. You could also consider upgrading your router or changing Wi-Fi providers. Purchasing a superior router can also give you better security as you browse. Some users, especially those in large offices or homes use a range extender to improve performance.

Other options include resetting your router, then retesting to ensure that the low speed observed wasn’t simply random or a ‘fluke.’ Next, you can attempt to transfer your router or routers to a more open area of your building to be sure that electronics or building materials weren’t responsible for a reduced signal strength causing the speed drop.

Beyond this, check to see if your modem is outdated. If you have a dual-band router, you can enter into its settings to see if you can increase a common 2.4 GHz frequency set to a 5 GHz one, which will reduce signal congestion. Lastly, you can compare your ethernet to your Wi-Fi connection with an ethernet cable to determine the extent that your speeds are due to your internet service provider (ISP) or a device. Your ISP may not actually be providing the speeds that they advertise. If you determine that the ISP is the culprit here, contact them and explain that you’ve checked to make sure that your slow speeds are not due to any other thing and insist on them taking action on their end.

In addition to the link provided above, NetSpot recommends users consider their speed app or one of four others listed on their website: Wifiner, Network Speed Test, LAN Speed Test, or Google Speed Test. Click the link for details regarding these tests and other relevant information.

How Can I Begin To Take Steps To Increase Robustness And Reliability?

Beyond the basic steps listed here, you can begin to take more involved steps to optimize your connection. Firstly, you can update the firmware of your router. There may be a new version that has been created since your last install. Firmware updates are important because they involve better security or other speed related upgrades that can improve your service. The administration page of your router’s firmware generally has access to this.

In addition to building material interference and excessive use bogging, you may be experiencing interference from other devices you use. Home telephones, Bluetooth speakers, microwaves, baby monitors, and other devices, according to USA Today, can affect a Wi-Fi network. Creating a ‘heat’ map of potential issues using an application such as HeatMapper could assist you with finding them. You can also attempt to change the channel you established for your router, or use network settings and rules to limit the bandwidth or accessibility of other users to reduce their capacity to affect your speed.

The Quality of Service (QoS) feature available in some routers can also potentially help, as it allows users to prioritize their traffic in accordance to the nature of the information that is transferred in the process. Applications that are sensitive to latency, such as Skype, streamed media, and online games can have higher prioritization than other types of activity; this can be addressed for better results in practical use.

How Can I Further Optimize My Router?

Beyond changing the settings and updating the firmware, you can upgrade. If you navigate to the settings feature of your existing firmware, you should be able to enter into “Advanced Settings” and access channels. Changing the channel to a ‘clear’ one that no one else is using can help. LifeWire has more channel-related recommendations.

How Can I Use A Powerline Or Wi-Fi Signal Strength Increaser?

Wi-Fi extenders, which are devices made specifically for the purpose of improving your wireless power, can also be a worthwhile investment. According to TechRadar, such devices have been increasingly useful in helping people experience greater improvements to their network capacities. Relatively inexpensive, they significantly increase coverage without the extent of installation or restructuring required in implementing new network cables. The most effective use of them is their placement in areas where the signal in the network has been observed as weak. Specific devices that TechRadar recommends for this use include:

  • Netgear’s AC1200 EX6150 and EX6200 models
  • D-Link’s DAP-1520 Dual Band Range Extender model
  • TP-Link’s RE350 AC1200 model
  • Linksys’ RE6500 AC1200 and Velop models
  • D-Link’s DAP-1320 N300 and DAP-1650 AC1200 models
  • Trendnet’s 1200 AV2 model

Speed up WIFI

How Can I Make The Most Of The Netgear Genie Program?

Netgear Genie is a desktop application program that can be configured to manage home routers for the purposes of:

  • Network speed tests
  • Live parent controls
  • SSID and password changes
  • Guest network controls
  • Viewing a connected device map

Most of these help users do what has already been discussed here more easily. The network map feature shows when connections are problematic.

What Should I Do?

Use these recommendations as a basic guideline. While you may not need to upgrade your hardware or even your software, it’s likely that you can take some action to increase your Wi-Fi performance.

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