When we rely on Wi-Fi to connect to the internet, speed issues becomes very frustrating. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to diagnose due to the way Wi-Fi works. One unknown variable could potentially cut your Wi-Fi speed in half, so it’s important to know what to look for when something’s wrong.
Wi-Fi transfers data using one of two radio frequencies: 2.4 GHz (older standard) and 5 GHz (newer standard). Most modern routers can switch between the two and or both simultaneously. Within these frequencies, there are multiple channels: 14 of them at 2.4 GHz and 30 of them at 5GHz.
Following aspects affect the performance so should be considered carefully while setting up the Wireless Router.
1. Router Positioning
Most people underestimate the importance of picking a good spot for a Wi-Fi router. Even a small shift in positioning could end up being the difference between day and night.
One should consider the height, position, distance and location while setting up the router as better height, central location and the area with dry wall is better for them compared to basement with concrete all around and leaving them on the floor in one corner of the house. If things are spread over larger areas, one may need to use Wi-Fi extenders or repeaters.
2. Wireless Interference & Noise
We might have never noticed but there are wireless signals all around us wherever we go from different devices like electronic appliances, Wi-Fi routers, satellites, cell towers etc.
Although Wi-Fi is supposed to be on a different frequency than most of these devices, the amount of radio noise can still cause interference. Most common causes of interference include Microwaves, Cordless Phones, Bluetooth Devices, Decorative Lights, Mobile Phones etc. by emitting electromagnetic fields so always keep the router away from all such things.
A truth of the modern world is that every household has their own Wi-Fi network, which can cause issues with channel overlap. This can be somewhat problematic in a townhouse, but is especially problematic in housing complexes and apartments where there can be many routers within close proximity.
Which is why it is important that one picks a good channel in the router settings. Modern routers can choose channels automatically, but sometimes it’s better to investigate and find the best channel oneself.
4. Connected Devices
What all devices are being connected and used plays a major role on the performance too as streaming devices like Smart TV, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku etc uses lot of bandwidth so understand your needs and try to control them. One may use QOS feature to automatically set the priority each one gets.
To sum it all up, follow these points.
- Keep your router central and high in your home and away from other objects.
- Keep other electronic devices out of the way of the router
- Check for Channel interference
- Keep your router’s firmware up-to-date and check its security settings
- Avoid large downloads during waking hours