A slow connection during a busy day feels like the worst thing in the world and will undoubtedly damage your productivity. It’s made even worse when you take time and effort to fix it, but your Wi-Fi doesn’t improve. After trying seemingly everything, looking up further solutions feels like a waste of time. If you’re plagued by slow internet, make sure you’ve tried all of these solutions before giving up.
1. Install an Extender
Sometimes the issue can be nothing more than the size of your coverage area versus that of your home. Wi-Fi routers can only reach so far, and if your workstation isn’t within optimal range, you’ll certainly feel the effects. Rather than moving closer to the router, you can install a Wi-Fi extender to increase the optimal range. To do so in multiple areas, you can go further and install a system of Wi-Fi nodes, or mesh system.
One downside of mesh systems is that they don’t account for how much connection strength a certain area needs. Adaptive Wi-Fi systems, however, work similarly but use AI to allocate bandwidth for optimal Wi-Fi connectivity in high-traffic areas.
2. Do a Full Tech Reset
If you can’t figure out what is causing your connectivity issues, your best bet is to restart your Wi-Fi equipment. This is a common and mostly reliable fix for any problem that you believe is not being caused by hardware. Restarting these devices will end their current processes and allow them to restart according to preset protocols. That way, any software glitch or malfunction that occurred after the equipment’s last start will be removed.
Once it all starts up again, your connection should be reset and the network back to normal. If it’s not, it can be a sign of problems with your router hardware or even your devices themselves. Luckily, you can apply similar logic to those devices and restart them for a possible fix.
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3. Observe Your Signal Speeds Over Time
Most people use networks and routers supplied by their internet service provider, so they aren’t privy to the inner workings of their equipment. Diagnosing issues, as a result, is difficult with nothing but anecdotal evidence (all you know is the issues you’re experiencing).
To get more detailed information on how your network is operating, take note of its speeds over time. ISPs commonly offer speed-testing on their websites, which, when used periodically, can give a good view of your connection.
After monitoring your speeds over time, you can get an idea of where and when the signal changes. Record the location and time of each test on a particular device to help you conclude which situations are slowest.
4. Reduce Your Excess Traffic
You can use this information in two ways: to share with support teams or adjust usage to account for it. Remember that the more devices connected to (and/or actively using) your network, the more the network has to handle.
Try to only keep devices and programs connected that need to be or that someone is currently using. For example, streaming services demand a lot of bandwidth even when they are not being actively used.
Other sources of network traffic include smart devices, video game systems, and even open phone apps you aren’t using. Anything at all that puts pressure on the network can make a noticeable difference in your speeds when it’s disconnected.
5. Consider Your Plan and Provider
Ultimately, your Wi-Fi issues may simply boil down to the limitations of your current plan or even the company’s infrastructure. In a high-traffic household, certain network plans just won’t provide the speed and connection levels that everyone requires day-to-day.
Your observations on the network’s speed compared to your plan can help you figure out whether this is the case. You can also try to seek out online feedback from other local customers to see if the problem lies with the provider.
Sometimes ISPs will have a local reputation for poor service. This is beneficial intel to keep in mind if you’re experiencing such problems. It’s possible your provider is prone to service issues in your area or is even known to throttle speeds. If that’s the case, it’s time to look for a new ISP.
6. Try These Other Tips and Tricks
If nothing else works, try to look out for more unexpected or hidden causes of your Wi-Fi woes. For example, test your electrical outlets with a multimeter to ensure they are outputting enough energy for your equipment. Confirm the equipment hasn’t been damaged by overheating or a power surge. (To prevent the latter from happening, plug equipment into a surge protector.) Something as small as a buildup of dust on the surface can clog heating vents and make this more likely.
Overall, try to ensure your equipment is set up exactly as instructed so it runs smoothly. Following the manufacturer’s instructions will help you get the best possible performance from your devices.
Once you’ve worked to diagnose and fix your connectivity issue, your productivity-zapping troubles will be over. Whatever the problem was, you can finally breathe easy and get back to work!