Home Wi-Fi networks have become more overwhelmed than ever during the pandemic. People began working remotely and kids were introduced to virtual learning.
The remote working trend looks to be here to stay, with 62% of employees saying they work remotely at least some of the time, and 85% of managers stating that remote teams will become the new norm.
Another factor that has increased demand on home networks is the proliferation of internet-connected devices, such as Alexa-powered speakers, smart thermostats, doorbell cams, and smart coffee makers.
The more devices connected to a network, the more demand there is on your Wi-Fi signal. And when work and video streaming are now being done more often, signal quality and speed can suffer as resources battle for the bandwidth.
Have you suffered any issues with lagging gaming, movie buffering, or dropped video connections? We have several tips to help you improve your Wi-Fi speed and performance.
1. Set Quality of Service (QoS) Rules on Your Router
When all your devices are trying to use bandwidth at the same time, you can end up with one internet activity taking resources from another. Without any “traffic cop” in place to allocate resources, this is what often happens.
Most routers will have a little-known setting called Quality of Service (QoS). This setting puts that traffic cop in place for your bandwidth. It allows you to prioritize which internet activities or devices you want to have priority over others for bandwidth allocation.
So, you could set your Zoom or another video conferencing software as a top priority, while making file downloads or backups a low priority. This improves the quality of your connections by ensuring your most important activities don’t have bandwidth taken by less urgent ones.
2. Update Your Router’s Firmware
Routers need to be kept updated just as apps, smartphones, and computers do. It’s not unusual for people to visit their router update page just once, when setting up the router for the first time, and then never check it again.
If you haven’t properly updated your router, it could be slower than it should be. You should either set your firmware updates to install automatically or regularly check your router admin panel for them.
3. Optimize Router Placement
Wi-Fi routers are pretty good at sending signals out throughout an area, but they do have their limitations. If you have a multi-floor home and have the router on the very bottom floor, then you can have a spotty connection the farther away you get.
Things like large furniture and solid block walls can also interfere with a router signal.
Make sure that your router placement is as optimized as possible for signal strength and reach. You want it to be centrally located to your internet devices and in an open area (not a closet) so you have as few obstructions as you can.
4. Make Use of Both 5GHz and 2.4GHz Frequencies
Most modern routers will come with two frequency channels, 5GZ and 2.4GHZ. Understanding how to use each one can improve your connection speed and reduce traffic on one or the other.
Additionally, the 2.4 GHz signal is often used by microwave ovens, so if you have connection problems when someone pops in some Bagel Bites, switching frequencies can stop that.
Here’s a cheat sheet of how they differ:
- 5GHz: The fastest frequency and not typically used by the microwave or other IoT devices. It can’t travel as far as 2.4 GHz.
- 2.4GHz: The slower of the two frequencies but has an easier time getting through solid objects and has a longer range.
5. Ensure You Have the Most Updated Modem from Your ISP
Internet service providers will upgrade their hardware regularly, and if you’ve had your service for a while, you may not realize that you could swap out your equipment for a better modem.
Contact your ISP and ask if they have an upgraded modem. If so, you may find that swapping out your old modem for the newer one will improve the performance and speed of your network.
6. Upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6 Router
Are you still using a Wi-Fi 5 standard router? Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 can provide up to 40% faster speeds, better multi-device handling, and improved security.
This standard has been out for a few years now, so prices have come down considerably from what they were when it was first introduced. It’s worth the cost to upgrade for the improved performance and security.
7. Upgrade to a Mesh Network
One other upgrade you may want to consider if you have a fairly large home, or your home is on multiple levels is a mesh network.
A mesh network uses one main router and one or more other nodes that can be placed strategically throughout your home to extend your signal. This can often eliminate areas in your home that have spotty reception or problems with jittery video calls.
Get Help Improving Your Home Internet Signal
Let us help you eliminate Wi-Fi headaches at your Sturgeon Bay home or business. Quantum PC Services can help you with smart Wi-Fi solutions that keep everyone connected smoothly.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.