Whether in the household or workplace, internet usage is an ever-increasing factor in our day-to-day routine.
It is essential that we take care of our broadband internet and router to maintain high levels of Wi-Fi speed as our lives become more integrated with technology. This applies to everyone, no matter if you use Wi-Fi for recreational or productive purposes.
Before advancing with these five easy techniques, it’s recommended that you compare your wireless and wired internet speed to ensure that it’s not a technical issue (you can only do this if you have a computer capable of an ethernet cable connection).
You can test and compare your internet speed using our connection speed tester here. If the wired and wireless speeds are the same, and you still want faster internet speeds, contact your internet service provider or alternative compare prices using our NBN and wireless plans comparer.
1. Restart the router
Some older Wi-Fi routers may need a simple unplug, wait 10 seconds and plug back in as they don’t automatically update as many do now. There is also a button on routers that allows you to restart them.
Doing this old yet simple technique is worth doing. But if you find no difference in your Wi-Fi speed the first time you do it, don’t do it again, so you don’t risk potentially damaging your router from human error.
2. Router placement
Believe it or not, the physical router placement is critical when it comes to internet speeds.
You want to avoid placing your router next to anything metal or that emits electromagnetic waves (electrical appliances). Placing your router in the kitchen or near a large electrical device like a television will cause significant disruptions in your Wi-Fi signal.
Also, avoid placing your router in close-quartered spaces such as your T.V. cabinet drawer or cupboard. These confined closures disrupt your Wi-Fi signal.
As your router emits Wi-Fi evenly on all planes, it is highly recommended you place it in the most central part of your home, so the spread is even. If you only use the Wi-Fi in a particular room, put it there.
To ensure you are receiving maximum Wi-Fi coverage in your household, follow the below list for where to place your router:
- Avoid the kitchen;
- Avoid large electrical devices (i.e., televisions);
- Avoid confined spaces. Let your router breathe;
- Place in the most central part of your house, or where you use WiFi the most.
3. Change your Wi-Fi frequency or channel
Most modern Wi-Fi routers emit a 2.4GHz frequency and a 5GHz frequency. A common misconception is that 5GHz is the better frequency in all aspects. That is wrong.
While 5GHz does provide faster data rates and, in turn, faster internet speeds, it is only noticeably faster in close proximity to the router.
On the other hand, the 2.4GHz frequency is more effective from further distances from the router. It can also penetrate walls easier (yes, walls do disrupt Wi-Fi signal slightly).
To find out which frequency is better for you, especially if you’re not in the same room as the router, connect to each frequency one at a time and test using our Internet Speed Test.
Nowadays, many routers and internet plans emit both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz frequencies to choose from when selecting your Wi-Fi connection. A lot also do it automatically.
But if both options do not show up when selecting your Wi-Fi, you can be more specific and change the band or channel you are on.
Wi-Fi channels are communicative passages for your Wi-Fi to talk to your household devices.
There are only a limited number of channels that you can hook your router up to. If your neighbours are using the same channel as you, the communication can overload the channel, congesting the Wi-Fi and making it slow.
Click here for a guide on how to change your Wi-Fi channel.
4. WiFi extender or mesh systems
If you live in a large household, an extender or mesh system is highly recommended if you are experiencing slow connections in the extremities of your home.
A Wi-Fi extender is relatively self-explanatory. It extends the area that your Wi-Fi is capable of reaching by setting up another central Wi-Fi hub. Variations of the extender are a booster or repeater. These products may have different names but function in a similar way.
Mesh Wi-Fi uses a similar principle at an extender but is more reliable and better off for the real large households, but coming in at a dearer price range.
Mesh Wi-Fi has nodes you place around the house, optimising signal strength no matter where you are.
5. Replace antenna
Many of the default antennas that come with the regular Wi-Fi routers are not made to be the strongest or most efficient, only to emit a signal from the router to your devices.
You can strengthen the signal given out by the router by simply investing in a stronger antenna.
Antennas come in two forms; omnidirectional and directional. If you want stronger Wi-Fi in a specific direction, choose the directional. If you would like stronger Wi-Fi all around the router, choose omnidirectional.
Ensure that you research heavily before your buy. Click here for one of many guides to help you understand and purchase the right antenna.
Bonus: Contact your internet service provider
If you have tried all the techniques you can and are still unable to resolve slow Wi-Fi speeds. It is best to contact your internet service provider (ISP). Your ISP will send out a technician to inspect the Wi-Fi router and come up with a resolution. Be prepared that investing in a new router will be a likely option.