The internet is rooted in almost every aspect of our lives. Have you ever wondered what would happen to your daily life if a sun storm disconnected your computers from it? The mind shudders to think.
Even without it, you can encounter issues that reduce your internet speed to abysmal levels. Wouldn’t you like to know how to fix slow internet at home? Ways to achieve better connectivity are described in detail throughout this piece.
Reasons why your internet speed is low
Several factors affect your household internet speeds, from location to monthly usage caps. Some of the most common reasons are described in detail below.
Poor network management
Whether you use Wi-Fi or a wired connection for accessing the internet, the data exchange and security protocols matter. A possible reason for slow data speeds is that your internet service is still configured for old transfer protocols. It might make it difficult to handle heavy downloads.
Low signal strength
The most straightforward reason you are experiencing low internet speed is the diminishing of the Wi-Fi signals. Obstructions such as walls and metal mesh or interference from other radio signals can weaken the Wi-Fi signals, reducing the effective internet speed you get on your device. For instance, changing the Wi-Fi channel number is one of the options that can help avoid interference with other devices.
The placement of your Wi-Fi router is crucial as well. If it is too far away from where you’re operating your device, you won’t get acceptable upload/download speeds. For most modern Wi-Fi routers that run a 5 GHz bandwidth, the average range is 50 feet (15.24 meters) indoors and 100 feet (30.48 meters) outdoors.
Each device you connect to your network takes up some bandwidth in proportion to its data usage. The network may not work at optimal speeds if less bandwidth is available. Therefore, having several devices connected simultaneously might slow down the internet speed where you need it most.
Use of slow or outdated Devices
Older devices were configured as per 802.11n Wi-Fi connections, which operated at 2.4 GHz. As a result, it limits the maximum speed they can draw from a Wi-Fi connection. Consider the case of the Nintendo Switch. It supports an 802.11n Wi-Fi connection with an optimum download speed of 60 MB/s. As such, even if you have an 802.11ac Wi-Fi router that offers speed up to 150 MB/s, the Switch can’t scale past 60 MB/s.
Furthermore, modern Wi-Fi routers use Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with 256-bit keys for securing their connection. It requires more processing power than previous security standards, decreasing the router’s performance.
Throttled data connection
Another reason you may not be getting fast internet speeds is that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) capped your daily, weekly, or monthly usage. Once you cross that cap, the company throttles the speed drastically. Additionally, some providers can slow down activities based on their type. For instance, streaming or gaming actions are among the most throttled activities.
Ways to achieve better internet connectivity
Now that you know where the issues may lie, you can get to remedy them and increase your network speed.
Determine your current data plan
Before you mess around with the hardware, it is wise to go over the data plan you have currently subscribed to. Go through the terms of usage and see if you’ve violated any of them. It is best to go for a plan that offers unlimited data and has no restrictions for specific websites or apps.
Update/reset your router
Sometimes, you may have changed some settings on your router, or it may have received updates. These can often not apply unless you restart the router. Doing so may also remove any overheating issues, making it a clean slate for all your connected devices to start over.
Search for any physical damage/faults
Your router can’t deliver maximum speed capacity unless all the physical connections are in working order. If you’re having issues achieving high internet speeds, you should check whether all the wires and cables are correctly secured. If you have a fiber optic in your house and a storm damaged it, you may need to call a technician for repairs.
Check all connected devices
Before you connect any new device to your Wi-Fi, it pays to thin down the active connections. Most routers become sluggish if ten or more devices are connected simultaneously. It would be excellent to shut down devices that are not currently using the internet, as many can stay connected even in standby mode.
Prevent ISP throttling
If you notice significant speed drops during certain activities, your ISP might be involved. For instance, your computer might encounter connectivity issues when playing online games. It means that ISPs could be slowing down activities based on their type. So, a VPN for PC could prevent such inconvenient slowdowns on your computer. Since it encrypts traffic, your ISP won’t know what you do online. It also adds a security layer for all your activities and stops IP-based tracking.
And that’s all it takes to avoid slow internet at home. It is not just about hardware but your connection as well. We hope this guide detailing the ways to achieve better connectivity helped you restore your internet speed.