Slow internet/Wifi Problems? 3 simple ways to fix it now

For home

The internet is such a crucial tool for everyone. With WiFi, we are given access to this tool wherever we are at home or work. Give yourself a minute to think about what you would be doing right now if there was no internet. Probably not reading this article.

Sometimes the internet can be a pain, especially if it's slow. The year is 2020 and we shouldn't have to wait for videos to buffer (load) every 2 seconds. However, sometimes that is the case. So here is 3 simple ways to fix or mitigate slow internet.

Hold up for a second, you get what you pay for.

Before attempting anything I mention in this article, check with your internet service provider (Spectrum, Hawaiian Tel, etc) on what tier/package your paying for.

Your looking for the maximum download speed that your package offers, For example, Spectrum's base internet only package includes up to 200 Mbps (Megabits per second). That's enough to reliably support 10-15 devices with heavy usage.

If you don't want or can't check with your ISP then head to https://speedtest.net and hit the big "GO" button. This is a site I use all the time to test my clients internet speed. After about a minute you'll receive a result like below.

Result of internet speed test on speedtest.net

I ran this test as I was writing this article and got 839 Mbps for my download speed and 40 Mbps for my upload speed. Your download speed dictates how fast you can browse the internet, download, files, watch videos/netflix, etc. Your upload speed is what controls how fast you could upload a file or video to the internet.

So run the test and see what you get. If you got a result with a download speed of less than 200 Mbps, your going to run into issues. For a single device or user 50-100 Mbps is just fine but for multiple devices or users, it's not.

That max speed you have is shared without everyone and everything that is connected to your router. So if your trying to connect 15 devices to a 50 Mbps connection, that theoretically leaves each device with a 3 Mbps connection. 3 Mbps will not cut it, just remember your internet connection is shared with all the devices in your home.

So if you have reached the max with your connection, there is no sense in trying these steps. If that is the case then I would recommend checking with your provider about upgrading, at least to a plan with 200 Mbps.

Fix #1 - Good placement of your router

If you are not hardwiring your devices to your router (I recommend to, if it's possible) then your using WiFi. WiFi signals, depending on the band, can only travel so far. Walls or other type of obstacles also affect the effective range or your router (The thing that transmits your WiFi signal).

So ensure that you place your router, preferably high up and away from any obstacles. If you can move it, point the antenna in the direction that your devices are. Also it is very important that you keep the router away from other electrical devices. Things like microwaves, tv's and other routers.

If you don't, then your router will be receiving interference which will lower your speed. Sometimes, depending on the strength and distance, your neighbors Wifi signal could be overlapping and cause issues with your internet because of interference.

To solve this you would have to change the channel that your router broadcasts on. To do this however, would include logging into your routers admin panel and changing the setting. I wouldn't recommend it unless you know what you are doing.

If you think this might be an issue, you know who to call.

Fix #2 - Check what band your're on 2.4Ghz/5Ghz

Most routers are dual band now, meaning they can broadcast on two different frequencies, 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Your frequency dictates the max speed you can get with Wifi. The 2.4 frequency supports up to 150 Mbps while the 5 supports 450 Mbps and up.

The catch is the 2.4 can travel farther and through obstacles better then the 5. So here is a good rule of thumb. If your're close and have a line of sight between you and the router, use the 5, otherwise use the 2.4 band.

You can tell which band your on by the name of the WiFi your connected to. When connecting from a device, look at the name. Most times you'll see the band number in the name. It would look something like this "Your router name (5G)".

screenshot of available wifi networks and their respective band frequencies

If your router name doesn't have the band numbers then most likely its not a dual band router. So your probably only running the 2.4 band.

Fix #3 - Hard reset

Sometimes technology just needs a reset, your router stores small files in whats called a cache. Things happen and it can get corrupted/clogged, etc. So a simple, yet effective solution is to perform a hard reset.

To do so, unplug your routers power cable for 30 seconds and then plug it back in. That's it, your router should be fresh and ready to go!

Note: Router vs Modem

Most times your ISP will set up two pieces of equipment, a Router and a Modem. The difference is that your Modem receives the signal from the coaxial/fiber cable that comes from the wall and turns the signal into something your router can use.

Your router then broadcasts that singal for you to use. Sometimes you may only have one piece of equipment which means you likely have a router/modem combo. So if you've tried these steps, have a plan that offers a good speed, then you may have a problem with your modem.

You need to talk with your ISP about that as they are the ones who configure and program your modem. They will probably tell you to to perform a hard reset on your router and your modem before they come out to check it.

Anyway, I hope your internet issues have been solved! If this post has been helpful to you in any way, please share it. If your having issues still, try contacting your isp or contact me by the button below and I will come and have a look.

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Have a wonderful day/night!