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How to Get Better Wi-Fi

by on April 16, 2020
in Internet & Networking, Computers and Software, Tips & How-Tos :: 37 comments

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If the coronavirus pandemic means you’re now working from home, chances are you’ve been confronted with the grim reality of a faltering internet connection. With most of the country under stay-at-home orders, broadband providers in the U.S. are reporting increased internet usage.

According to Comcast, the national’s largest residential network, video conferencing and VOIP calls (such as Skype and WhatsApp) are up 228%, while evening and weekend streaming and downloading have significantly increased as Americans trade nightlife for staying in with Netflix.

While providers say they’re managing the bump in demand, the fact is, more of us are experiencing laggy connections, often most noticeable because we’re undertaking more data-intensive tasks such as video calling, or because the whole family is home, streaming, gaming and using the internet at the same time.

Your connection speed can also be influenced by your router—how old it is, how good its processor and antenna are, how good it is at picking up wireless signals and how many devices are using it. Newer routers may support faster WiFi technology and can do things like prioritize certain traffic streams, such as business video calls, or work devices over the kids’ tablets.

In some cases, your connection speed may even come down to your service provider's preference for certain kinds of traffic. Service providers prioritize voice traffic first, then their own video services. 

Luckily, there are several things that can help you get more out of your bandwidth. Here’s what you can boost your WiFi speed.

1. Run a speed test

First, you want to determine whether the internet from your service provider is in fact slow, or if that super-popular video platform is buckling under everybody’s Thursday night virtual drinks.

Test the internet connection from any device by running a speed test from a site such as SpeedTest.net at different times during the day (There can be confusing ads on this page, so don't click on anything but the big "Go" button). If you’re doing more video conferencing than usual, you’ll want to check upload as well as download speeds – video calling has comparatively high demands for both.

For a handy real-world breakdown of what your internet speeds can handle, you can also check out Comcast’s speedtest.xfinity.com, (though that only shows download speeds). 

The speeds should always be at least 80 to 90 percent of what your service provider promises. Take note of what your upload and download numbers are before you start testing out tips for boosting your WiFi – you’ll want to check whether your connection improves and what seems to do the trick. 

2. Run a ping test

When networks are congested, you’ll feel it first in data-intensive applications like video calling which will freeze or stutter due to higher latency - the delay in communication between your computer (or phone) and a particular website on the Internet.

Doing a ping test can confirm the latency - and quality - of your Internet connection.

Head back to SpeedTest.net, where you'll receive a ping figure measured in milliseconds. In general, lower numbers are better, but anything under 50 is considered good and under 100 is average. Keep a note of those numbers, so you can check in at different times of day to see when there might be less congested periods.

3. Reboot the router

So you’ve determined the internet is indeed slower than normal – and slower than you require. Try restarting the router.

The IP connection between your device and the router or between the router and Internet can get hung up. A restart of the router reboots all its systems, including the network processor and wireless radios.

If your router has a reset button, hold it down for a few seconds. If not, restart it by removing the cable from the power socket, waiting half a minute and then plugging it in again.

4. Turn off Eco mode

Some routers have a power-saving or Eco mode that's on by default. Eco mode can slow down your WiFi and the actual power savings are minimal. In your router's settings, look for Eco mode or power-saving mode and turn it off. Also, check to see if your router has an Automatic transmission setting and make sure it's at 100 percent. 

5. Check how many other devices are connected

If you had a high ping rate (that is, higher latency), or are experiencing latency issues like frozen video calls, you might be able to reduce bandwidth congestion starting with your own household.

Intensive activities like streaming 4K video or file sharing can take its toll on Internet speed. Routers can support hundreds of devices connecting, but it's more about what each device is doing online. For example, if someone is streaming Netflix, another person is working over Zoom, and two others are on FaceTime and House Party, that can certainly increase congestion – and latency – on your internet connection.

Each device’s distance from the router is important as well. If four people are streaming video but they're all close to the router, you may not experience any slowdowns. So if everyone simply must watch Netflix or play Fortnite separately and simultaneously, try to move the devices closer to the router with as little wall or floor obstructing the path as possible.

6. Check for interference from a nearby cordless device

Baby monitors, older cordless phones, microwave ovens and wireless speakers are just some of the common household gadgets that can interfere with the wireless signal from your router.

Deal with the conflict by moving the router away from these devices and ensuring that no devices that could potentially interfere lie in a straight line between your router and the gadget you're trying to get online with.

7. Move the router

You may be able to increase the speed of your connection by choosing a better location for your router.

While a WiFi signal can travel hundreds of feet in an unobstructed space, walls and floors can cut that distance by half or more.

According to Comcast’s Patti Loyack, VP, xFi, Multifamily & Digital Security, the most important thing is to place the router in a central location with plenty of open space, near where you and your family use your devices the most.

If you can, a high location will help with minimizing obstructions to all devices that may connect to the router. The idea is to get a direct line of sight between devices and the router.

The materials surrounding the router matter as well. Metal interferes with WiFi signals, while wood does not. Try not to place your router behind a wall with a large mirror (like your bathroom) as the mirror can reflect the signal waves. Loyack cautions that even water, such as in a fish tank, can interfere with WiFi signal.

And play with those sticks - positioning the router's antenna vertically rather than horizontally also increases signal strength. 

8. Check your frequency 

Most of today's WiFi routers support two frequencies: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 2.4GHz band tends to reach farther but is more congested than the 5GHz band because it's used by more types of devices, including smart home devices and baby monitors. The 5GHz band has faster throughput – but can’t travel as far because its shorter waves are less able to get through walls and floors.

If you have a router that supports both frequencies, then it may have automatically created two networks when you set it up, one tagged 5GHz. In this case, on a computer (or other device) that requires a strong internet connection, try switching to the 5GHz network from the wireless network icon in your toolbar.

Here’s how you can check what frequency your network is on:

On a Mac, hold down Option and tap the WiFi icon to see details about the network you’re currently connected to, including the frequency and channel.

On a PC, head to Settings > Network & Internet, click on the SSID name and scroll down to Properties. 

9. Check to see if you’re on an overcrowded WiFi channel

Within the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, there are multiple channels through which signal can travel.  Slow speeds can be down to interference from your neighbors trying to connect via the same WiFi channel.

According to Intel’s Eric McLaughlin, Vice President Compute Client Group and GM Wireless Solutions Group, many routers default to channel 6, which means your neighbors’ routers might also be running on the same channel, causing bandwidth congestion that impacts your internet speed.  

You can try to increase your WiFi speed by switching to a less busy channel.

Some routers automatically change channels depending on internet traffic, but you might want to check if there’s a better channel anyway. For a free option, McLaughlin recommends the WiFi Analyzer app (Android and Windows 10) to identify which router channel has the best bandwidth, allowing for faster connections and better calls. Another Windows option is NirSoft's WiFiInfoView.

Although there’s no free equivalent for iOS, Mac users can take advantage of a built-in tool to scan for the best channels. Hold down Option on the keyboard and click on the wireless icon to open Wireless Diagnostics. Ignoring the window that opens, click on Window in the toolbar, then select Scan. You’ll see a summary that notes the best channel for 2.4GHz and best channel for the 5GHz band. (Newer routers should be able to switch between both automatically to access all available channels.)

10. Switch to a different channel

Once you’ve identified whether there’s a better channel you can use, head to your router admin page by entering your router’s IP address in your browser toolbar. You can find this address in your manual, the back of the router, or by googling the router brand and model (it will look something like 192.168.1.1), then enter your credentials. If it’s your first time, these will be default login and password (again, findable online – which makes a great case for changing it ASAP to prevent others from accessing your router).

Select wireless settings to see what channel you’re on. You should be able to change to the optimal channel found by your WiFi scan - though if your router was set to automatically choose the best channel, it might already be using the optimum one.

Note: Avoid tampering with settings here unless you know what you’re doing, as changing basic configuration such as the SSID (network name) can affect how other household devices connect to the internet.

11. Change your DNS settings

When you browse the web, the URL that you type in has to be translated into the website's IP address in order for you to see the page. A Domain Name System (DNS) serves as that translator. Each time you connect to the internet, your ISP assigns you to DNS servers in its infrastructure, but if those servers aren’t fast and stable, it could bog down your internet experience.

In that case, switching to a third-party DNS server might boost your internet speed. There are many third-party DNS providers out there, but one of the most popular free options is Google Public DNS. You can use its address (8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4) to update your DNS settings.

To do that, log back into your router admin and open LAN or DHCP server settings, and look for a DNS field, then fill in the address of your new DNS server.

(If you’re interested in testing out different DNS servers, the free download Namebench scans for DNS servers you can use and compares their speed. Some are free, others are paid-for, offering parental control and anti-phishing features.)

12. Get a wireless signal extender

In homes larger than 3,000 square feet, getting a good WiFi signal from one corner to another can be a challenge. Multistory houses pose an obstacle as well if the router isn't plugged into the broadband line somewhere in the middle.

In these cases, you could benefit from using a wireless extender. A signal extender plugs into any outlet to rebroadcast and boost your WiFi signal across the home, from your garage to the front garden.

We like Netgear’s Nighthawk Nighthawk X6S EX8000 WiFi Mesh Extender ($199.99, check price on Amazon) for its one-button setup and tri-band support (which includes a dedicated channel for transmissions between the extender and router itself).

If you have a router that you bought or are renting through your internet service provider, you'll want to see if they offer an extender. For instance, Comcast offers Xfinity xFi Pods extenders which are configured for its routers. A three pack costs $119. 

You can also check out wired signal extenders that make use of your home’s existing wiring systems. If your home is wired for coax (cat 5), a coax adapter can receive signal from your router over the existing coaxial cabling to where you need coverage, providing the speed of a wired connection. We like the Actiontec Actiontec 802.11ac Wireless Network Extender with Gigabit Ethernet  Bonded MoCA ($149.99, check price on Amazon) – though note that some coax adapters are not suitable if you have satellite TV, so be sure to check the specs.

Or, you can use a powerline adapter, which plugs into wall electrical sockets and receives signal through your home’s existing wiring with Ethernet ports allowing for wired connections to devices. Our pick for a powerline adapter is the TP-Link AV2000 Powerline Adapter Kit ($119.99, check price on Amazon).

13. Get a new router

If your router is old or you're using the WiFi embedded in the box your Internet Service Provider supplied, it may be time to shell out for a new router. 

Many ISP-provided routers are not only pretty basic, but are more likely to support the older (and slower) WiFi protocols 802.11a/b/g/n - especially if you received the box around 2015 or earlier. You can get a significant speed bump by upgrading to a newer router that supports WiFi 5 (also known as 802.11ac) or the recently rolled out WiFi 6 (802.11ax) protocol that promises speeds up to three times faster than WiFi 5.

(On Macs, you can see what wireless standards your network currently supports by pressing Option on the keyboard and clicking the wireless icon, then selecting Wireless Diagnostics > Window > Scan.

On Windows 10: Settings > Network & Internet > WiFi > Hardware properties

Routers from third-party manufacturers can also come with extra features such as the ability to prioritize traffic from particular apps (such as work-related video or file-sharing) or optimize bandwidth by assigning different channels to household devices – and crucially, all this can be managed via easy-to-use companion apps.

How to choose a new router

For long-time customers, some ISPs might offer a free router that supports a newer WiFi standard than your original box, or if you’re signing up for a new contract, you could be eligible for a high-speed router too. Otherwise, established brands such as Linksys, Netgear and TP-Link are good bets for upgrading your router.

Router model names always include something like AC1900 – that’s an indication of its theoretical bandwidth (1900Mbps) and the WiFi standard it uses (802.11ac, or WiFi 5).

For many people, AC1900 routers will hit the sweet spot of price and performance. They are more than capable of delivering the faster speeds required for multi-user households or streaming-heavy users but don’t have as many high-bandwidth channels as high-end routers do. However, they’re more expensive than AC1200 routers, say, which are likely to be sufficient for a household with only a couple devices using data-intensive apps like streaming.

For WiFi 5, a great value option is the Linksys AC1200 ($49.99, check price on Amazon) with its Smart WiFi app for prioritizing media. For a full-featured WiFi 6 router with smart frequency and channel selection as well as built-in anti-malware and parental controls, we like the TP-Link Archer AX6000 ($269.99, check price on Amazon).

Note: Before upgrading to a WiFi 6 router, be aware that to take advantage of the higher speeds, your devices need to support WiFi 6. (Last year’s smartphones such as the iPhone 11 and Galaxy S10 fall in this category, but most laptops and desktops won’t.)

14. Improve coverage with a mesh WiFi system

If you have a larger or multi-story home, instead of a single router, you'll want to consider a mesh WiFi system to banish any dead zones. Mesh routers work with extenders that piggyback on one another using an internal mesh network that blankets the home for better coverage.  

For a straightforward option, we like the Google Nest WiFi, which offers AC2200 connection in a sleek round design, with easy setup and a streamlined app for checking internet speed, prioritizing devices, and setting parental controls. If you live in an apartment smaller than 2200 sq ft, a standalone unit ($169, check price on Amazon) should be sufficient, while larger homes can go for the two-pack ($299, check price on Amazon) which can cover about 4,400 sq ft. or a three-pack ($468, check price on Amazon), which covers up to 6,600 sq ft.

If you want a little more control over your wireless settings, our long-time favorite is the Netgear Orbi Home Mesh WiFi System (from $369.99, check price on Amazon), which provides an AC3000 connection and can cover a 5000 sq ft home with two units. Along with the basics of wireless admin, the app offers advanced settings for port forwarding and prioritization of web traffic.  

15. Buy a USB WiFi adapter for your computer

If you want to work on your computer in a location that doesn't get good WiFi, you can invest in a USB WiFi adapter to increase your reception range. These plug into a laptop or desktop USB port, overriding the computer’s in-built wireless function, and can increase speed and stability of the connection, especially for older computers that might not support newer WiFi standards. 

For streaming or video calling, look for a USB WiFi adapter with a higher rate of data transfer – at least 500Mbps. You’ll also want one that supports dual bands for the maximum choice of channels.

We like the dual-band Linksys WUSB6400M AC1200 ($69.99, check price on Amazon), which gets speeds up to 866Mbps on the 5GHz channel and about 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz channel. And for faster speeds, try the TP-Link Archer T9UH AC1900 (check price on Amazon), which gets a maximum speed of up to 1300Mbps on the 5GHz channel or 600Mbps on the 2.4GHZ channel.

Updated on 4/16/2020 with new suggestions

[Wi-Fi repair concept via Shutterstock]



Discussion loading

Move

From Alexander Innes on March 24, 2015 :: 11:44 am

You may want to move to Europe or Asia as both have much better internet speeds then the US.

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Thanks!

From Josh Kirschner on March 24, 2015 :: 11:59 am

Tip #10: Move home to South Korea grin

Though the issues we’re addressing here are not about your raw Internet speed, but about the ways your Wi-Fi can get slowed down within your house. I get 50Mbps wired in my bedroom, but have real issues streaming video wirelessly from my living room.

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Don't hold the reset button.

From Steve Gilbert on April 14, 2016 :: 10:13 am

Advising people to press the reset button is not a good idea. The reset button on the router usually returns all settings to factory defaults.  This would change their SSID’s, passwords and possibly their IP network which is not usually what the user wants.  Unplugging the power cord and waiting 5 seconds before plugging it back in is the best method for ‘resetting’ the router.

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Right On!

From David Sharpe on April 23, 2016 :: 9:58 am

You are absolutely right.  I was very surprised to see this suggestion.  A tech-phobic, or even some tech-savvy people could find themselves in a pickle, having to go into the router and set all the custom setups over.

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MOCA and Powerline Network Extenders

From Ernesto Colina on March 24, 2015 :: 12:23 pm

This was the answer for me, as any other alternative was not a solution for me.

Actiontec Dual-Band Wireless Network Extender and Ethernet Over Coax Adapter Kit (WCB3000NK01)
and
Actiontec Single Dual-Band Wireless Network Extender and Ethernet Over Coax Adapter (WCB3000N01)

You can use your own regular coax cable, which is already installed by your cable company, and extend your own network, if you are with Comcast, you can use up to 16 adapters, but, with Verizon, it seems, according to the reviews, you can only use one. Note : This won’t work for the Google super high speed internet, well, people in Kansas City don’t care about this little issue.

There are also the powerline ethernet adapters, but in my apartment the electrical connection is rather weird and I couldn’t use it, but many people say it is a very good alternative.

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No major problems

From Greg Williams on March 24, 2015 :: 1:46 pm

I live in a small condo and can usually stream on my smartphone in my bedroom or cast to Chromecast in my living room. The router is in my kitchen. I have the Pro speed dsl from ATT and I get pretty speedy response on most things ( servers you are connecting with vary in quality and response time) I have occasional blips ,so called ATT Internet tech and we changed my channel and both think this may just be my solution for the see able future. Hopefully it will keep my enjoyment level at a high level for a good while!

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Are you streaming movies?

From Josh Kirschner on March 24, 2015 :: 2:23 pm

If you’re getting ok service, that’s a good thing. At around 3Mbps, DSL is right at the border for 720p HD movie streaming bandwidth, even in the best of conditions, and, in real-world conditions, may occasional have trouble with SD. Your Wi-Fi network would rarely be the limiting factor in this scenario, especially in a small condo.

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I do stream movies and

From Greg Williams on March 24, 2015 :: 3:21 pm

I do stream movies and TV shows. Not many problems, usually buffering more than any thing else and Crackle app occassaly balks at downloading movies, but I think it is the app more than anything else. The movies at Google Playstore play very well and have used Netflix with no major snafus. NFL NOW and my Denver Broncos app strap really well. Just wanted to tweet it and the tech said that is about the only thing we can do.

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Directional work-around

From Pete on April 05, 2015 :: 5:38 pm

I use a laptop on my front porch. There are several walls, including a stone wall, in between the laptop and router. On a whim, I placed a stainless steel wok behind the antennae, directed to the porch. It definitely improved the signal. I refer to it as my wokabolic antennae. wink

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A little problem here

From Jose Antonio Nunez on April 06, 2015 :: 1:07 pm

The one thing the writer might want to change is the fact that none of these actually make your wifi faster. Yes if other users are logged on and streaming services there should be slightly more congestion on the network. And of course, the more users, the more the network should be effected, but you typically should not experience this in a home network which achieves high bandwidth speed. I would rename this article ” Troubleshooting Tips for In-home Wifi Networks”.

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What about public wifi tips?

From Zeke Krahlin on April 06, 2015 :: 9:14 pm

I am a low income person living on a disability stipend, who cannot afford broadband. Whenever I see links to articles that offer tips on increasing one’s wifi speed, it always turns out to be targeted towards those with homebound ISP services.

What I’m wondering: are there any tips you can offer for increasing wifi speed via public connections? For that is the only way I can get on to the Internet. TYI.

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Not much to help you there

From Josh Kirschner on April 08, 2015 :: 2:52 am

The speed you get with a public WiFi connection will be based on the speed of the connection itself, along with how many other people are on it and what they are doing. There’s not much you can do to speed it up beyond trying to use it when few other people are on it.

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Thanks, Josh!

From Zeke Krahlin on April 08, 2015 :: 1:18 pm

That’s what I figured, though I thought maybe I missed some little factoid. The quality and restrictions vary wildly from one public spot to another. But I have found several locations that are mostly excellent most of the time. Adieu!

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My Wifi is insane

From CyborgWhoop on September 05, 2015 :: 3:37 pm

Thanks for the information that you provide in the article above. Hope after performing such tasks it will increase the speed of the Wifi network and I can work easily on my projects.

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Whoops ,,,,,,, forgot one.

From Ben Leverett on September 05, 2015 :: 9:49 pm

Also, as long as your carrier, service plan, and phone support it, you could use a variant (wifi/usb/bluetooth) of tethering.

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Comment on tip #9

From Bret on September 28, 2015 :: 12:19 am

Wifi signal extenders are the absolute worst, sure they make you have full bars, but they also disconnect you randomly and generally just all suck. Spend the money on another access point that’s closer to your device. Signal extenders are all crap.

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WIFI STREAMING FIX

From Tony Allen on October 04, 2015 :: 9:37 am

I use top-spec Macbook 15” latest model and was becoming increasingly frustrated as I couldn’t watch sports events or Netflix without constant buffering.

I upped my ISP subscription to 30Mbps amd validated, using Speedtest, that that’s what I’m getting.  Still same problem.

Used the OSX Safari > Develop > Empty cachaces. Still same problem.

Used the OSX wireless diagnostics > Scan and could see a lot of traffic congestion. Changed my Airport Extreme to operate on 5 Ghz channel 149 - only me using that one. better picture quality but still same buffering problem.

Solution:  I use the Cocktail app to clear the caches (User, Internet and Applications), then a restart to apply the changes and ..... Bingo !  Works great now. Cocktail also gas defence stand cross-cut shredding of deleted files.

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Excellent artcile

From Bradley in Boulder on March 31, 2016 :: 11:20 am

I have a 300 Mbps service in my home.
Most everything is hard wired.
But when I do use wireless I get frustrated.
A lot of what you say in this article I experience when using wifi.
I plan to read this and try everything out as you suggest.
I just replaced my apple router with a real router which improved things dramatically. But the router has so many bells and whistles it’s hard to understand what’s really important.
If I don’t succeed in improving my wifi experience, could you make a recommendation on the type of ad I would run on upwork.com to find someone to help me troubleshoot?

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Extended my Wifi with an old Linksys Router

From Michele M on April 01, 2016 :: 9:06 pm

I extended my router down into a basement with concrete walls by re-purposing and old Linksys Router I had laying around. Saved tons of money instead of buying new equipment and the speed is great.

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Tweet for Cash

From ToluMar16 on April 06, 2016 :: 12:40 pm

This really worked for me. Thanks for the information.

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WiFi Disconnect..

From Nick Zamparello on April 17, 2016 :: 8:10 am

I found that a handy thing to do with wifi if you have alot of traffic in your area but can’t afford the 5ghz route is to set your antenna from 40khz to 20 khz..  It seems 20 is a lot more resiliant to disconnects..

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Wifi speed problem

From Gagan on December 13, 2016 :: 5:57 am

Hi,
I am facing low speed internet issue though my download speed is 8-10mbps or sometimes 20 mbps but whenever i used to open Facebook videos or any article it still loading and buffering alot like i am using 512 kbps first I thought it could be my cell phone problem but then i have checked through other device also and found same issue. My wifi is full protected and never share to anybody even I don’t use other app or turned on pc while using wi fi . I have restart already 2-3 times but still facing videos buffering and slow page loading issues 🤕
. Any suggestions guys .Thanks in advance

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Could be RAM or processor related

From Josh Kirschner on December 13, 2016 :: 11:21 am

There are a number of things which could be affecting page/video load times beyond your download speeds. If your processor, RAM or disk transfers are being heavily strained, you’ll see more video buffering and longer page rendering times.

The best way to see whether you’re having issues with hardware capacity is to open Task Manager (ctrl, alt delete or through Win 10 search). If you’re seeing RAM use nearing 90% or CPU/DISK over 90% and continuously running, your bottleneck is likely there.

If you have an old/low powered computer, fixing it could be a matter of upgrading your hardware or buying a new computer. But also look at the programs that are utilizing the resources and see if they are ones you can uninstall or if perhap you may have a malware issue. If you have tons of things open, it’s not unusual to see RAM use creep up. But you shouldn’t see continual CPU or disk use when you’re not running video, games, big donloads or other high-resource programs.

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Modem Problems

From Derek Dewitt on December 18, 2017 :: 1:05 pm

My wife and I noticed that our internet speeds have been super slow lately, and we aren’t sure why. I like that you suggest running a ping test to check the bandwidth of your service provider. We’ll have to find a good site online that can test this to see if there really is something wrong with it. Thanks for sharing!

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Windows 10 Problems with Dropping WIfi signal intermittently

From Diane Davis Lipka on March 12, 2018 :: 12:33 pm

I was hoping to find an article on this problem.  From searching for answers, it seems it is a problem with the Windows 10 software and updates and I have tried numerous things that seem to work for awhile on my laptop, then it starts happening again (from updates to Windows 10 maybe?).

Does anyone know when/if Nicrosoft is going to address and fix this problem?

Thanks!

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Could be your wireless card, too

From Josh Kirschner on March 12, 2018 :: 12:40 pm

There have been issues with various wireless card/laptops having issues with holding Wi-Fi connections, so it may not be Windows related. What model laptop do you have?

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Wifi - Windows 10 problems

From Diane Davis Lipka on March 12, 2018 :: 1:18 pm

Ihave a Dell Latitude E5540.  Didn’t have this problem with Windows 7 or, at least, no where as bad.

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Could be drivers/BIOS need updating

From Josh Kirschner on March 12, 2018 :: 3:20 pm

If this is a computer you upgraded to Windows 10 and that’s when you noticed the problem, it may be a matter of the drivers or BIOS needing updating. Follow these steps on Dell’s support site to see if it helps you resolve the issue: http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln130171/resolving-connection-issues-on-your-wi-fi-network-for-windows-8-81-?lang=en

Wifi - Windows 10 problems

From Diane Davis Lipka on March 12, 2018 :: 6:04 pm

Thank you, I did find a bunch of drivers and BIOS to update.  But then, I got error messages and had to do Winsock Reset which took a while since Windows changed Command Prompt (Admin) to PowerShell (Admin).  We’ll see what happens.  So far, so good.  Thank you for your help!

Now, from reading the comments I am going to look into tethering my old Motorola Wifi Router to see if that helps too.

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Good to hear

From Josh Kirschner on March 13, 2018 :: 4:48 pm

Let us know if that permanently resolved the issue.

Best,
Josh

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Wifi - Windows 10 problems

From Diane Davis Lipka on March 16, 2018 :: 8:52 am

Nope!  It’s just as bad, if not worse.  It doesn’t last very long at all now.  AND,  everytime I power up, I get the “User Account Control” prompt to allow Dell to run the program, which gives me another error message…..

My streaming TV has almost no problems and our mobile devices have minimal problems.  I have a WD Net600 wifi router, a Spectrum router, and a T-Mobile Cell Spot (since there is no cell service inside my house).

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Grrr....

From Josh Kirschner on March 16, 2018 :: 3:15 pm

These issues are really frustrating because so many things could be causing the problem. Did you try these tips for your wireless card settings?: http://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln130171/resolving-connection-issues-on-your-wi-fi-network-for-windows-8-81-?lang=en

If you did, try setting your Wi-Fi on your laptop to use G only (not N), some people seem to have had success with that. One other thing that may work is to find a version of your Wi-Fi card driver that pre-dates Windows 10 (if your laptop came with recovery software, you may be able to find the original driver there), uninstall the current driver and re-install the old one.

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Seems to be OK now....

From Diane Davis Lipka on March 26, 2018 :: 10:42 am

I’m not sure what worked, but it seems to be keeping the connection now,  thank you for your help!

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There is a problem with #6.

From Lex on July 22, 2018 :: 12:45 am

You posted, “6. Run a ping test
While a speed test gauges the speed possible based on available bandwidth from the service provider, a ping test gauges latency, which is the delay in communication between your computer (or phone) and a particular website on the Internet. It can tell you how good the quality of your Internet connection is.

Head back to SpeedTest.net, where you’ll receive a ping figure measured in milliseconds. In general, lower numbers are better, but anything under 50 is considered good and under 100 is average.”

Ping is only a general diagnostic to test latency on a clear network not being used for anything. Besides, Ping by default only sends 32 bytes of data and waits for that to come back as per host you ping assuming they accept those ICMP packets to begin with.

What really needs to be done is to send the full 1500 bytes or whatever your MTU is set for. On your modem on a clear unused network. This will give you a more clear idea of what is bogging your network down by giving it full payload.

Also, lots of people like to tweak their MTU settings to get the best throughput over their network connections. They believe that some of the outdated information/data on SpeedGuide.com will help them.

If you don’t match the same MTU as your modem pool at your ISP or cable provider is doing. You can actually get worse performance.

The common MTU values for network services are as follows.

Dial-up 9.6 kbps ~ 56kbps (64 kbps for U.S. Robotics POTS modems) @ 576 bytes MTU.

ISDN BRI or BRIx2, 64 kbps ~ 128 kbps, 1500 MTU unless explicitly denoted otherwise by the headend or CLEC.

T1/E1 and T3/E3, 1500 bytes per MTU. Some rare interfaces have jumbo frames, 2000, 3000, 5000 and 9000 bytes per MTU as per interface.

ATM and STM OC series that depends on the carrier, most have basic fall-back capability of 1500 bytes   per MTU up to 12000 MTU.

Metropolitan Ethernet and Metropolitan Optical Ethernet, have the same MTU values available as your Ethernet or Optical device in LAN.

Cable and xDSL providers were experimenting with 1368, 1472, 1492 and 1500 a number of years ago, most have compatibility of 1500 and if you have IP header compression turned on you can get away with setting it for 1492 bytes per MTU.

There are other connections I could comment on but I feel this will help the average user in choosing what numbers to ping with, not just 32 byte defaults.

All high-speed links are set for QoS latency of 64 ms round trip time (RTT) but they have a secondary target of a maximum of 127 ms RTT before a N.I. occurs. A N.I., is a network intervention. Essentially, that comes from core network service provider and checks all of their networks for faults, as well incoming and outgoing data. If a routing issue is found they fix it immediately. If they find that the issue is O.S. or off-site they’ll send it to the proper authority for that network segment or service provider as it may be.

Most problems people have are between their Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) and the (HE) or Head End / independent service provider’s modem pool or owned by a group. It’s rare that the routing problem occurs between the ISP and NSP but it does happen. All you can do is report it and hope it gets ironed out fast, if it at that level.

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Compliment

From Teacmer on November 29, 2018 :: 9:42 pm

Internet speed is really important and we always love to increase this!  this is very useful tips and I try to apply for me as well. Thanks

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my wifi hot tip

From Dave on May 18, 2019 :: 6:18 am

My wifi hot tip is to simply ditch it, and move the computer/laptop device to your router and phyicallh plug it in with a cat 6 cable. Wifi problems are them fixed.

what about apple and android tablets and other wifi devices?  Ditch them, they are all useless inventions.

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Low cost Internet for your home

From Stacey G. Morgan on May 12, 2020 :: 9:45 pm

I’m also disabled and on a fixed income.  AT&T provides low cost internet service $5.00 to $10.00 a month for 3 to 10 Mbps and an awesome dual speed router.  Installation is free even if a tech has to come out.  https://www.att.com/shop/internet/access/index.html?source=ECmj0000000000mbU&wtExtndSource=access#!/#/
I’ve been very happy with the AT&T Access Internet and even got the first 2 months free.

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