Ask anyone what the number one frustration of trying to live, work, and play with technology is, and most people will tell you it’s the quality of their home internet. Network speed and reliability are vitally important factors in making the most of time spent at home. Several factors can inhibit your internet experience, including the number of devices connected, bandwidth caps and your router’s location.
If you feel like your internet connection has slowed or performance is compromised, the following are some steps you can take to improve the network’s speed and reliability.
1. Consider Your Data Cap
Some internet service providers (ISPs) have data cap options. With these, you can use a certain amount of data each month, and if you go over, your internet speed will dramatically decrease or you might be charged extra. Familiarize yourself with your cap by looking at your bill and identifying if you frequently exceed your monthly limit (you can also find out which devices are using the most data). If that’s the case, you’d be wise to increase the cap.
2. Reset Your Routers
Resetting your routers from time to time (e.g., once a month) will refresh your internet connection and clear out anything that may have been slowing it down from data that gets cached in the device’s memory. If you have a separate modem from your router, you should reset that as well. If you seem to be having a lot of connection issues, try resetting your modem and router more frequently or look at upgrading to pro-consumer grade products, which perform better than off-the-shelf options. Outlet timers and power management systems can reset it for you on a set schedule, allowing you to reset your router in the middle of the night, for example, or any other time when you don’t need to use the internet. You can also call your internet provider to do it for you remotely.
3. Try Out Ethernet
Cabled connections like Ethernet are faster and more reliable than wireless internet connections. An Ethernet connection lets you send the signal directly to your device over copper, instead of air, which could be filled with interference. Connecting larger, more important devices such as TVs, gaming consoles or desktop computers through Ethernet can free up space for other devices on your wireless network. Ethernet is also more secure and will keep your data and information more private.
4. Clear Your Browser Cache Regularly
Your personal computer creates a cache when browsers collect your information, usually in the form of cookies; it’s this that creates customized ads based off collected data that we all love to hate. Clearing out your cache regularly can improve your browser speed and performance, which will create a better overall network experience for you. You can choose to either manually clear your cache or install a plug-in to do it for you at regular intervals.
5. Put Your Devices on the 5Ghz Band
Many WiFi routers are dual-band, meaning they have signals on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. Your key centralized devices, such as laptops and TVs, should be on the 5Ghz band because it is faster and less congested. Be aware, however, that 5Ghz has less range but greater speed and 2.4Ghz has greater range but half the speed, so choose which band to connect each device to, based on its location and function.
6. Look for Quality-of-Service Settings
Quality of service settings, also called prioritization, help prioritize traffic to certain devices over others. Some newer routers even let you prioritize types of traffic, such as phone calls versus video streaming, across all devices. With quality-of-service settings, you won’t have to worry about your kid’s video game habit kicking you out of an important online meeting.
7. Upgrade Your Hardware
If your router or wireless access point is old, consider upgrading or adding other hardware to improve the signal throughout your home. Range extenders can be added in more hard-to-reach areas of your home to improve the signal there or consider installing a mesh system to increase your wireless strength and ability to walk around your home with less chances of losing signal.
Call or Visit Us
No one wants to take time out of their busy schedule to try and solve connectivity and speed problems. If you are looking for help improving your internet speed and pinpointing potential issues, our experts at ETC provide many options to cater to your needs. Contact us to learn more about our products and services.