Check For Bandwidth Hogs & Remove Unnecessary Background Programs
If the internet is slow on your primary laptop but works flawlessly on your phone or another PC, then it probably has nothing to do with your router or its cables. Its time to figure out whats bogging down the internet connection on that one device. The following steps apply to computers running Microsoft Windows.
To check whats going on and to maximize your internet speed, first open Task Manager.
Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
Under the Processes tab, click on Network. This will display the most bandwidth-hungry processes:
In this example, OneDrive sucks up 12 Mbps of bandwidth as its busy uploading files. To stop programs from draining bandwidth, close them or pause any activity.This will only help you temporarily, as these programs will likely start up again after the next boot. A longer-term solution for your PCs bandwidth hogs is the Sleep Mode in Avast Cleanup, which detects resource-draining programs and allows you to freeze their activity when youre not using them. That means that only programs you are actively using can drain your CPU, RAM, hard disk, and your network connection saving your computers resources and therefore speeding up your internet. Try it free:
Move Your Wireless Router To An Elevated Clear Spot
The location of your Wi-Fi router has a big impact on the strength of its signal. Position the device in a high, open space with limited obstructions for better Wi-Fi signal results. As we already mentioned, signals travel perpendicular to your router. If your router is on the ground, many of your Wi-Fi signals will travel horizontally along the floor and reach fewer parts of your home.
You may be able to improve the signal and raise your internet speeds by setting up the router on the second floor if you have a multi-level home. Placing your router too close to materials like concrete or brick can limit its ability to broadcast to the rest of your home. The denser the objects around your wireless router are, the greater the signal loss.
Check Out Antenna Upgrades And Omnidirectional Antennas
Another alternative is to upgrade your antenna. Some router models are equipped with a visible antenna, and high-speed internet customers with these models are in luck. Why? Because some third-party manufacturers produce replacement antenna with more robust signals than the ones provided by your cable and internet provider. Some antennas are omnidirectional, so their positioning is irrelevant to maximizing your hardware upgrade you wont even have to angle the antenna to boost your Wi-Fi signal.
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Achieve Optimal Router Placement
Not all homes will distribute Wi-Fi signal equally. The fact is, where you place the router can hugely affect your wireless coverage. It may seem logical to have the router inside a cabinet and out of the way, or right by the window where the cable comes in, but that’s not always the case. Rather than relegating it to a far end of your home, the router should be in the center of your house, if possible, so its signal can reach to each corner with ease.
In addition, wireless routers need open spaces, away from walls and obstructions. So while it’s tempting to put that ugly black box in a closet or behind a bunch of books, you’ll get a better signal if it’s surrounded by open air . Keep it away from heavy-duty appliances or electronics as well, since running those in close proximity can impact Wi-Fi performance. If you can eliminate even one wall between your workspace and the router, you can drastically improve performance.
If your router has external antennas, orient them vertically to bump up coverage. If you can, it even helps to elevate the routermount it high on the wall or on the top shelf to get a better signal. There are plenty of tools to help you visualize your network coverage. We like Ekahau’s Heatmapper or MetaGeek’s inSSIDer, which show you both the weak and strong spots in your Wi-Fi network. There are plenty of mobile apps, too, such as Netgear’s WiFi Analytics.
How Wifi Boosters Work
There are a few different types of WiFi boosters: WiFi repeaters, WiFi range extenders, and WiFi network extenders. There is also mesh WiFi.
The difference between the 3 types of boosters is the way they re-broadcast your existing WiFi signal.
A repeater and range extender are pretty much the same thing, and they re-broadcast the same quality of signal that they receive. These devices sit between your router and the hard-to-reach area of your home and create a separate network for your devices to connect to. This separate network is the extension of your original one so that the coverage goes farther.
A network extender does the same thing as a repeater or range extender. However, the difference is that it doesnt create a separate network to do it.
Mesh WiFi is completely different than the rest, even though it is also a booster that improves your Internet. Mesh WiFi requires specific equipment that works together, including a mesh-specific router and nodes that you place throughout your home to extend the reach of your WiFi signal.
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Which Is Better 24 Ghz Or 5 Ghz Wi
Swapping from 2.4 GHz to the 5 GHz frequency could speed up your Wi-Fi. On the other hand, if you need to boost your Wi-Fi range, swapping to 2.4 GHz is a better solution.
Heres a quick look at how the two Wi-Fi frequencies compare and which one is best for which devices.
2.4 GHz Wi-Fi frequency
- Longer range, but slower max speeds than 5 GHz frequency
- Can be crowded, resulting in lower speeds
- Best choice for smart home devices, like light bulbs and thermostats, and security cameras
5 GHz Wi-Fi frequency
- Faster max speeds, but shorter range than 2.4 GHz frequency
- Usually less crowded, which lowers interference that can slow Wi-Fi down
- Best choice for work computers, gaming consoles, and cell phones
If your devices refuse to connect to the right frequency, there might be a workaround. Check out Craigs tips for switching Wi-Fi frequencies on your smart home devices.
Tip #: Find An Optimal Spot For Your Router
One easily overlooked way to improve your WiFi connection has to do with the position of the router . Find a spot for your router that’s as centrally located as possible. Places that are higher up will typically get you better coverage.
Also, do your best to move the router so that no heavy walls, thick windows or large appliances are blocking the path between your router and your devices.
Here’s why: You might be surprised by how much your internet speed can be impacted by where your router sits. For example, if youve placed your router on a bookshelf, tucked behind books and other objects, this could cause interference in transmitting the signal.
The distance between the router and your device has a major impact on your WiFi connection speed and performance.
Physical obstructions can also slow down your WiFi. Try to avoid having your router close to any of these barriers:
- Brick or concrete walls or floors
- Thick, heavy doors or windows
- Large containers of water
- Large metal appliances
If moving the equipment isn’t an option and there are doors between you and your router, try opening doors between rooms to get as clear a path as possible.
Finally, heat sources can cause problems as well. Make sure your modem is in a place that has good air circulation, and is away from radiators or windows that get full sun exposure. Excessive heat can cause it to work poorly or malfunction.
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How To Make Wi
1. Switch your router off and on again It sounds like common sense, but so many of us forget to do this before we start pulling everything apart. Switch your router off completely and give it a minute before switching it back on again. If your router is covered in dust, wipe it over with a microfiber cloth while its switched off. That way, the fan wont have to work so hard.
2. Adjust the antennas Most routers nowadays house internal antennas and if this is the case for you, you can skip this step. But if yours has antennas, try adjusting them to better direct the signal. Antennas send out signals perpendicularly to their direction so if theyre vertical, the signal will be horizontal and vice versa. So if you need a better signal upstairs, try directing them horizontally.
3. Test your speed Test your Wi-Fi and internet speed with the best speed test apps from different points around your home. Using this, you can work out where the signal is strongest, and conclude whether theres an issue in a specific room or if the signal is generally poor.
4. Switch off other devices which may be using the Wi-Fi Even if left on standby, a lot of gadgets will continue to access your Wi-Fi and ultimately slow down the available signal, be it smart light bulbs, robot vacuums or smart appliances. Consider which devices you actually need running at all times.
- These are the best cell phone signal boosters right now
Combine Your Internet Connections For An Extra Boost Of Speed
Between home internet, mobile data and public Wi-Fi hotspots, you typically have access to multiple internet connections at any given time, but youre not using them.
Instead of letting all that extra speed go to waste, you can use all of your internet connections at once using a tool like Speedify . Your Wi-Fi and mobile connections can work together to produce a speed that is almost as fast as both of them added together.
Another advantage of doing that is redundancy. Wi-Fi is great when it works, but if your internet provider experiences an outage, you could drop off an important Zoom call and spend several agonizing minutes trying to reconnect. By using multiple connections from multiple ISPs, that problem is a thing of the past.
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What Is A Wi
So, a mesh is a whole-home Wi-Fi system. It has two or three components. If you have a larger home, its good to opt for three-component hardware.
The first and most important part of the mesh network is the main router. The main router connects to the modem, to the main internet access point.
The other two components are known as nodes. These nodes need to be plugged into an electrical outlet.
The best thing is that all three components run the same software. This enables all the access points to communicate with each other intelligently. So, they provide a great signal across the whole home.
When it comes to 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, the mesh network can transfer data to users using both of them. If our devices only support the 2.4 GHz band, the nodes and the main router broadcast this frequency.
However, the nodes and the main router communicate with one another using the 5 GHz band.
Find The Best Spot For Your Router
The next thing to consider when youre trying to optimize your Wi-Fi signal is where you place your router. In general, the farther your router is from the devices connected to its signal, the weaker that signal is going to be.
Ideally, you want to place your router in a central location in your home so youre never too far from it even if youre moving about with your mobile devices. If you use Wi-Fi primarily for streaming to televisions in your home, youll benefit from the router being closer to those TVs.
Other things that can help are making sure the router is elevated and that its not surrounded by other electronic devices.
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How To Give Your Home Network A Boost
Again, if you are improving your entire home network, then boosting and optimizing your WiFi speeds for gaming will also work for other online activities you enjoy as well .
There are a few ways that you can boost your home network to make sure you WiFi speeds are suitable for gaming. The two things you want to focus on are your WiFi signal and your WiFi speed. If the signal suffers, the speed suffers.
Here is a list of things to try for boosting your WiFi signal :
Review Your Internet Plan
Its possible that the problem with your internet speeds could come down to your internet plan. Most internet service providers sell tiered plans. Lower-priced plans tend to come with slower maximum speed than the more expensive plans. If you have a plan that is capped at speeds of 5-10Mbps, youre probably not getting enough bandwidth to support your internet needs, especially if you are currently working from home. It might be time to contact your provider and look into their faster internet plans.
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How These Wifi Boosters Improve Your Internet
WiFi boosters can do more to improve your Internet than just extend your signals reach. By filling in dead spots, they help improve speed. Your WiFi signal is directly related to WiFi speed. So, when your signal is strong and reaches every corner of your home, your Internet performance improves as a result.
Using a combo wired/wireless WiFi booster is a win-win solution. This is because it leverages the speed and reliability of a wired connection to reach a far corner of the home. Combo booster devices use your homes existing wiring to extend the home network. For example, coaxial cable wiring for MoCA-based devices.
It can be hard for a single WiFi router to cover an entire home with a fast and robust wireless signal. But with Hitrons offerings of WiFi Boosters supporting your router, you can stream video, online game, and browse the web easily no matter where you are. Hitrons offerings work with Ethernet, MoCA, or WiFi. Ask your Internet service provider about Hitrons WiFi boosters to improve your Internet today. Want more like this? Check out Hitrons Learn Page.
Use The 5 Ghz Frequency Band
If you have a dual-band router, you can use the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequency bands. These bands each have their own WiFi network names and passwords. By default, most routers label these networks with a 5 or a 2 at the end of their names.
With the 2.4 GHz band, youll get a weak WiFi signal that has a long range. So, this band should be reserved for devices that are far away from your router. It is also the best band to use for devices that dont use up much bandwidth, such as smart home devices.
With the 5 GHz band, youll get a stronger WiFi signal with a shorter range. Using this band will instantly boost your WiFi signal, but it also means youll have to be closer to your router to get a good WiFi signal.
While it might be tempting to use the 5 GHz band on all your devices, that could slow your WiFi down. To get the best signal, you should only use the 5GHz band with a few devices at once. Then switch all of your other devices over to the 2.4 GHz band. This way, all of your devices wont be competing for traffic on the same band.
If you want to know more about the difference between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, check out our article here.
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