7 Ways To Give Your WiFi a Boost
Want to get more out of your home internet?
Slow WiFi can be caused by a multitude of reasons, which makes it confusing to troubleshoot. Our guide will go over the most common causes of slow WiFi and how you can fix them at home.
Run An Internet Speed Test
The first and easiest place to check for any issues is a router speed test. A wired speed test will measure what kind of speeds your router is getting before it's converted to a wireless signal. Optimum's speed test will tell you your download and upload speeds, as well as ping and jitter speeds. Simply plug your device directly into your router using an ethernet connection and visit our speed test and click "Go." When running a speed test, it's good to know what Mbps your plan provides. If you see a deficit number, you know your problem lies outside of your device.
Reposition Your Router
If your Internet passes the speed test but your WiFi connection is still slow, you might want to check where you've positioned your router. The signals your WiFi is sending could be getting stuck behind solid materials such as brick walls, metal appliances, or large volumes of water. The general rule of thumb for router positioning is to place your router in the most central location possible. The idea is to give each device using WiFi the clearest, strongest connection possible. This step may seem simple, but it can be very effective.
Make Sure Your Connection Is Private
Your WiFI could be under the extra stress if a large number of devices are using it at the same time. If you haven't password protected your WiFi network, do so now! There is a high possibility that your neighbors are connecting to your network and slowing down your WiFi. If you're unsure if you have WiFi freeloaders, your router's software can show you a list of all the devices on your network. If you find you don't have any unauthorized users, it's entirely possible your WiFi is overwhelmed by the number of devices in your home. For example, if several people in your household are streaming video or music, that can significantly slow things down. Again, check the list of devices connected to your network and only allow connections that are absolutely necessary.
Make Sure You're Connected To The 5Ghz Band
If you use a dual-band or tri-band WiFi router, you should be connected to the 5GHz band. The majority of smart home devices such as smart speakers or video doorbells can only connect the slower 2.4GHz band, but devices such as smartphones, laptops, and smart televisions can all be connected to 5GHz. In order to get faster speeds on your technology, be sure to connect to this band. You can check which band you're using through the WiFi settings on each of your devices. If you are unable to find a 5GHz band, contact your service provider to see about an upgrade.
Switch To A Less Congested Channel
Your router most likely has numerous channels it can connect to when broadcasting the WiFi signal. To be clear, a channel is not the same thing as the frequency band. The majority of routers will connect to a particular channel automatically, which leads to congestion. A large amount of devices connecting to one channel will slow down your WiFi. If you do have an app connected to your router, you can easily switch to a different channel and see if that improves your WiFi performance. If you do not have an app, check your router's user guide.
Update Your WiFi Router
How old is your router? If it's outdated, your router's performance can be seriously stifled. Before you run out to buy a new router, see if your router can be updated automatically. You may be able to log on to your service provider's website and check. If you cannot check online, check your router's user guide. If all else fails, reach out to your service provider to ask about router upgrades.
Upgrade Your Router Or Add A WiFI Extender
Replacing your router is a last resort option. It can be expensive and time consuming, but if your router is not meeting your standards you will be happier with a newer, faster model. If you live in a large space and your router is still functional, consider adding a WiFi extender. WiFi extenders are a small and affordable way to strengthen your WiFi signal and extend it further throughout your home. Location matters with extenders as well. You'll need to place them close enough to your router so they can connect, but placed strategically so any dead zones in your home are covered. One complication with extenders is that you may need to have two separate WiFi networks in your home and you may have to change to the new network if you're moving to a new spot in your home.
Are you getting everything you need from your home internet?
Have a question about Optimum Internet service? Explore our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us for answers.