If you live in the average American household, you most likely have a wireless router hooked up to a cable modem to share an Internet connection across the house. Routers emit a signal called WiFi that can be used by laptops, desktop computers, smartphones, gaming consoles, and other WiFi-enabled devices. Using a wireless router for three or four devices is great, but when you connect five computers, two gaming consoles, and multiple smartphones on the same network, you may need to either buy a better router or rethink your setup.
If you do have a slow connection, following these simple tips can help you achieve a faster connection and have an enjoyable Internet experience. I have ordered the following tips in the order that you should try them.
- Try resetting your modem and router. Your router could simply be overloaded and tired and may just need to be reset. Most routers have a reset button on the back that can be used to completely restart the router. If you can not find the button, unplug it from the wall for about 30 seconds.
- Check to see how many devices are connected to your router. If you have more than four devices, your router could just be overloaded. If possible, try to disconnect things like gaming consoles or WiFi-enabled TVs when they are not in use. If all of the connected devices need to be connected to WiFi all of the time, you may need to purchase a router capable of handling more devices.
- Consider how important services like Vonage and TiVo are. If you use one of these services, they will be using your WiFi connection directly all day long. Not only will they remain connected 24/7, they require a lot of bandwidth when talking on the phone or streaming a TV show, which makes things even slower.
- Consider the positioning of your router. If you have your wireless router in the back corner of your house, inside of a cabinet, or in the basement, you may not be getting the most out of your signal. Try moving the router to a different location in your house that can make the most out of its signal range. Before moving any equipment, contact your Internet Service Provider.
- Think about a dual band or gaming router. If you have multiple devices or game consoles constantly using up your WiFi connections, other computers could be kicked off the network momentarily. Dual band routers run on two frequencies and reserves one of the frequencies for streaming and high-bandwidth activities. This allows things like Xbox Live and Netflix to use a completely signal than a laptop browsing the Internet, which ultimately will speed up your connection. Gaming routers have a similar concept, but are geared more towards gaming consoles and optimizing online game play.
- Consider upgrading your Internet package altogether. If none of the above methods help, I would suggest contacting your Internet Service Provider and asking to purchase more bandwidth. If you have a slow cable connection or DSL, the slow connection can be directly blamed on the speed of the connection coming into your house.