Your wireless network can slow down for various reasons, including the presence of other devices operating on the same frequency, older equipment, too many obstacles, long distance between the device and the router, and technical issues, just to name a few. A slow network is frustrating and can end up ruining your productivity. Here are five tips to help you troubleshoot most wireless network issues and improve speed.
1. Place the router strategically
Routers come with different strengths and ranges, but where you position it matters a great deal. The closer the computer is to the router, the higher the signal. If the problem affects only a few devices, moving the router to a central space can help resolve the issue. For instance, if you're sharing the router between two floors, you can move it closer to the ceiling of the lower room for uniform distribution of the signal.
If the router serves a larger area and moving it doesn't resolve the problem, you may need to get technical consulting advice concerning your network's capacity. Usually, higher bands give stronger signals but have a shorter range. Similarly, lower bands offer weaker signals but have a broader range. For instance, if you're using a 5GHz band, they might recommend changing to 2.4GHz.
2. Use a signal booster
If your router's signal has been weakening regularly, resetting it can help improve it. Alternatively, you can use an open-source solution such as DD-WRT to boost the signal automatically. DD-WRT helps supercharge your network strength, but you may need to set a transmit power limit.
Where you have multiple access points (APs), your computer may likely be using a far away AP, leading to a weaker signal. Turning the adapter on and off allows the computer to pick the nearest AP and boost the signal.
3. Update your device's wireless drivers
Outdated drivers can interfere with your device's connectivity and lower the speed. If you haven't run the updates lately, you can do so with a few clicks. For Mac computers, go to Apple Menu > Software Update. If you have a Windows computer, you can run the Windows Update on the control panel.
4. Limit wireless interference
Most home and office gadgets operate at 2.4GHz frequency. Devices such as baby monitors, microwaves, wireless cameras, cordless telephones, and wireless audio equipment can interfere with your connectivity.
To establish which of the devices is interfering, switch off the devices one by one while observing how the signal behaves. Once you find the device(s) causing the problem, you can move it away from the router, switch it off, or move the router. Where possible, you can upgrade the device or the router to a higher frequency, whichever is convenient.
5. Adjust the router's antenna
Changing the direction of the router can help improve the signal. For instance, if you're using a 5 GHz, you can position them at 45-degree angles for best performance. If you're using the lower frequency 2.4 GHz, you can have one antenna lay horizontally while the other points up vertically.
Weak signals can bring your productivity to a standstill. If you have been experiencing this issue, the tips above will help speed up your network for more reliable connectivity.