Switch to 5GHz
A problem you may not have previously considered is the frequency your router operates on. If you simply pulled it out of the box, installed it and never looked back, you probably grazed over the dropdown box that let you choose between 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
If you have a ton of electronics in your home, the 2.4GHz spectrum can get pretty crowded. A former colleague at Pocketnow, Joe Levi, explains that Bluetooth devices, wireless peripherals and even some microwaves cause a lot of noise in the 2.4GHz spectrum.
To cut down on the noise and drop-offs, consider switching your router to 5GHz in the administrator panel. If the option for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz is there, opt for that.
Use a less crowded channel
If you live in a crowded neighborhood or in an apartment and share a lot of the same signal space with your neighbors, choosing the right channel can cut down on interference and help speed things up a bit.
For starters, channels 1, 6 and 11 are most frequently used in the 2.4GHz spectrum, as they are the only three channels that do not overlap one another. If you’ve switched to 5GHz, you have whole host of channels to choose from. The selection of channels varies by model.
You can use an application like Wifi Analyzer on Android or WifiInfoView on Windows to analyze the nearby wireless signals and see which channels are being used the most. Mac has this functionality built in. Simply hold option and click the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar, then select Open Wireless Diagnostics.
It’s worth nothing that many newer routers will automatically choose the least crowded channel upon rebooting, so pulling the plug may also switch the channel to a less crowded one.
Upgrade your router
If you’re paying for fast home Internet and feel like you’re not getting what you’re paying for, the hardware on your end may be serving as a bottleneck. (more…)