A slow Wi-Fi connection can become a major problem. Today, the most common is to reserve wired connections to very specific equipment, such as PCs and video game consoles, while other devices, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets, use Wi-Fi to connect to the Internet.
It is normal; after all, this type of connectivity is the best way to take advantage of the mobile nature of these devices. In general, a current Wi-Fi connection should be able to cover the needs of any average user without problems, but problems can arise that negatively affect our experience.
In this article, we are going to give you a series of tips that will help you to easily improve a slow Wi-Fi connection without having to make any kind of expense, and we will leave you one last option that will help in case, despite all our recommendations, you’re still having trouble.
1. Check and test your connection
The first step in improving a slow Wi-Fi connection is to identify where the problem may be. To do this we must start by checking that our IPS (Internet connection service provider) is not the cause of this slow connection.
This step is very simple, since we can use pages like SpeedTest and make a connection test in seconds, without having to carry out any type of installation or configuration. If we have abnormal results and these remain beyond a few hours we should contact our ISP and ask for explanations.
It is also advisable to check what the bandwidth of our Internet connection is consuming, since it will help us to identify parasitic, malware or intruder applications in our Wi-Fi network. The ideal is to do it through the router interface, although we can also resort to free third-party programs such as Capsa.
If we believe that the problem may be in a malware infection it is best to carry out an in-depth analysis with our antivirus solution, and in the case of an intruder, we must strengthen the protection of our Wi-Fi network.
2. Time to optimize the Wi-Fi connection
It may seem complicated to optimize a Wi-Fi connection without having to spend money, but it is entirely possible. Once we have taken the steps we have seen in the previous section we can move on to this point.
There are many things that will allow us to improve the performance and stability of our Wi-Fi connection, but in this article we are going to focus on those that work best:
Play with the router placement: The Wi-Fi connection has a limited range, and when you reach its limit, lose intensity, resulting in reduced speed and stability. Placing the router in a central position can help us improve the signal range to areas that were previously barely covered. Simple, but it can be very effective.
Change the default channels: The routers are configured from home to use a series of several default channels (1, 6 and 11 in most cases). Since most of the users do not alter the configuration, these channels are usually very saturated, so changing them can significantly improve our user experience. The most current routers usually connect automatically to the best channels.
Use Wi-Fi AC: Most routers and current devices are automatically connected to Wi-Fi AC if available, but some devices still give the option to choose between the band we want to use when connecting. The Wi-Fi AC operates in the 5 GHz band and offers higher performance, so use it whenever possible.
Orient well the antennas: If your router has external antennas, changing its orientation and directing it to specific areas can help improve the speed and stability of your Wi-Fi connection.
Close background apps: it is important that you close those applications that you do not need and that may be consuming bandwidth of your Internet connection in the background, such as those that manage automatic updates.
Update firmware: Updates can bring significant improvements in both security and performance, so we must keep our router updated to enjoy a good overall user experience.
3. Things to keep in mind if all else fails
If your Wi-Fi connection still does not meet your expectations and you are sure that your ISP is not the culprit you should consider two major alternative solutions, although these involve an expense.
The first option is to use Wi-Fi repeaters, a good option if we have Wi-Fi connection problems only in certain areas, that is, if it is not a generalized problem. They are very easy to use and very economical, and will allow us to improve the reach of our network.
In case we find a generalized problem it is likely that the cause is the router. Obviously, the solution would be to change the router and get a new model. This can make a significant difference and significantly improve our experience, but before choosing we must take into account the particularities of our Internet connection (fiber, cable, …), our needs and our budget.