Get The Most Of Your Wi-Fi Speed - TechGeek365

Get The Most Of Your Wi-Fi Speed

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When we say Wi-Fi, we clearly mean wireless access in general, even though it is a known fact that Wi-Fi is a trademark name held by the Wi-Fi alliance that allows the use of the term Wi-Fi Certified only for products that successfully completed interoperability certification testing. Such products should meet the IEEE’s set of 802.11 wireless standards. IEEE stands for Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Every Wi-Fi standard is rated by IEEE according to its maximum theoretical network bandwidth.

There are quite a few 802.11 standards, including the most known 802.11b and 802.11ac. The 802.11 technology has its origins in 1985 and has been growing ever since introducing the improvements and evolving for the most efficient throughput and range. New frequencies are discovered and used to make wireless standards more more powerful yet consuming less resources.

The speed of a wireless network connection relies on various factors. Depending on the technology standard used, Wi-Fi can support different performance levels.

Of course the performance levels will not be the same as one would expect from a theoretical maximum. One should rather expect an actual network speed be about 50% of its theoretical peak. Nevertheless Wi-Fi performance never stops improving, with every new generation becoming more and more advanced.

For example the 802.11ac standard has the following characteristics:

  • Its maximum theoretical speed is 1.3 Gbps.
  • Works in the 5-GHz band.
  • Connects up to four devices at a time with Multi-User, Multi-Input, Multi-Output (MU-MIMO) technology.

The next closest Wi-Fi standard to be introduced is 802.11ax, which is estimated to be released by the end of 2018 and will probably be certified by IEEE in July 2019. This standard is expected to be much faster and much more efficient in case of heavy interference. The 802.11ax routers will be MU-MIMO enabled, which means they will be able to send data to many devices at a time, while most older routers can only send data to one device at a time switching back and forth between devices quickly.

Factors that affect and limit the speed of Wi-Fi connection are network protocol overhead, radio interference, physical obstructions, the distance between devices, and the Internet service.

Do you know at what speed your Wi-Fi network is working right now? Check whether your Internet service provider offers an online speed testing service. Usually you can log in to your account and ping the service from a specific page. You’ll want to perform the test at different times of day to calculate the average. If you are not sure where to find your Internet provider’s speed test page, google for other services, there are plenty.

Why does one need a faster Wi-Fi? Well, the reasons can vary. For example to watch a movie on Netflix or a show on HBO your network speed has to conform to specific requirements to provide you with the best experience. Otherwise you are doomed to see the buffering wheel instead of following a movie plot. Sometimes you may be fine with a lower bandwidth, but if you want to watch SD, HD, or Ultra HD quality, the broadband should be sufficient.

Let’s see what you can do to speed up your Wi-Fi.

  1. As we mentioned earlier – run a Wi-Fi speed test. This always comes up first and is a good starting point as it will show you your current situation and what you are going to be working with.
  2. Download a WiFi speed test tool, such as NetSpot. With this software you’ll be able to walk around your house/office to build heatmaps of your space and see where Wi-Fi is weak and which areas are the strongest. Thanks to the detailed heatmap of your home or office space you’ll be able to reposition your router or access points in the best possible way.
  3. With the same WiFi speed optimizer tool (NetSpot that is) you can check which channels in your space are the busiest. Your router may be operating on a WiFi channel that’s overloaded and that can cause delays. Based on the data you get try switching your router to a different channel.
  4. The 2.4GHz frequency may crowded, every appliance is using it – baby monitors, microwave ovens, phones, etc. If all channels are equally busy, try leaving the 2.4 GHz wireless frequency for the 5 GHz one.
  5. You can try reconfiguring your router’s settings directly from the router dashboard in your web browser. If you are not sure how to get there, look into your router’s user manual.
  6. The latest Wi-Fi standard in wide use is 802.11ac. Is your router up-to-date? Or is it one of the older models? Upgrading your router will definitely help you boost the Wi-Fi speed and get a longer range of connectivity.
  7. Introducing powerline adapters is another great option, although an expensive one. When investing in a powerline adapter, make sure it supports Wi-Fi, not just Ethernet. A Wi-Fi powerline adapter will create hotspots ensuring a wireless signal in the pots, where router’s signal can’t reach.
  8. Check whether your router’s firmware is the latest one. Getting the latest firmware helps increase the speed, bandwidth, possibility to keep the signal. You can check for and download the latest version of firmware from the router’s manufacturer’s website.
  9. Restart and tidy up your computer. Check which apps and files are not needed anymore and remove them from your machine. You can save old files that you still want to keep on a reserve drive and have a cleaner computer that runs smoother with the stuff that you actually use.
  10. Instead of switching your router on and off each time you have an issue with it, schedule a regular reboot, so that the device automatically refreshes without you having to do it manually and wait for it to run again.
  11. Various electronic devices that are of great convenience can actually deteriorate the wireless signal, so just keep your router away from other radio devices.

Whatever you choose to do, give every step a good thought and wait for some time after you implemented it. Did that seem to work? Do you feel the difference? Run a Wi-Fi speed test with an analyzer tool and see what are the weak spots of your Wi-Fi network and how you can enhance it.

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