If you’re like most people today, you use the Internet for both work and play. You may run an online business, trade in foreign exchange from your phone or play games to relieve stress. Whatever you do, it can be very frustrating when your Internet slows down. However, there are some simple things you can do to troubleshoot the problem. Let’s look at five of them.
1. Conduct a Series of Speed Tests
If your connection has gotten consistently slow, you need to begin conducting speed tests. You should do them at different points throughout and day and on different days of the week to see if any patterns develop. Doing this allows you to have a record of the actual speeds you’re getting. To ensure you get the most accurate results, there are a few things you should do first. You need to:
- Restart your router, modem, and computer before you do the speed check
- Close any browsers and apps using the Internet and don’t use the connection for anything else besides testing
- Clear your browser’s cache before each subsequent test
Remember your speeds may be limited by the quality of your router, your choice of internet service provider, the type of internet connection you have, and the capabilities of your computer. A consistently slow connection may mean you need to upgrade either your device or your plan.
2. Change the Location of Your Router and/or Computer
This is a simple solution that often work. Move your computer or mobile device closer to the router to see if Wi-Fi speeds increase. If your router is older or its signal is weak, you may not pick up the signal on another floor or several rooms away. If bringing the equipment closer works but you can’t permanently relocate, upgrading your router may be the best thing to do. You can also install a Wifi range extender to help you get a better signal.
Another possibility is that there is something interfering with the signal from your router. Remove any visible obstructions and see if your apps and websites load faster. Try to place the router in a central, elevated location where the radio waves can spread outwards and downwards adequately. You should also make sure the router is not close to a microwave or metallic surface. Before you call your ISP to upgrade your plan or purchase a new router, simply move the router.
3. Limit the Number of People Connected to the Network
This may not be feasible as a permanent solution, but it can help you to determine if there is too much load on your network. If there are multiple people operating multiple devices through one network, this can slow things down. There may also be devices connected to the internet which no one is actively using. Putting these in airplane mode can help you to test your capacity. If you need to have lots of devices and users connected at one time, you will have to upgrade your Internet plan to get a lasting solution.
4. Check the Bandwidth You’re Using
You may discover that while you are getting the speeds you’re paying for, you’re simply using too many bandwidth-hogging apps. Some programs may be running in the background of your computer or mobile device, meaning they are using Wi-Fi even when you’re not actively using them. Many games and file-sharing apps work in this way so if each member of your family has a few devices, it’s easy to see why your websites may be struggling to load. Change the settings on these apps and install ad-blockers to help reduce the strain on your bandwidth.
5. Talk to Your ISP
If nothing seems to work, you may need a new Internet plan. Many households now run an unprecedented number of connected devices so many older plans are no longer adequate. When you call your ISP, tell them how many devices will be connected to the network and make sure you mention the type of activities you do online. Even if it costs more, you should make sure you get the capacity you really need.
Slow Wifi can be fixed. Sometimes the solutions are as simple as removing an obstruction. Other times, you need to invest in a better router or a faster Internet plan. It all starts with measuring your Internet speeds and taking stock of how you’re using your bandwidth. Use these suggestions to help you determine just what you should do to get your Internet connection moving much faster.
Emily Jacobs is Happiness Ambassador for SpeedCheck.org
She loves to write latest technology trends and love to share her knowledge through her articles.