How to get the most out of your Internet

Are your internet pages taking longer than usual to load? Are your videos doing more buffering than playing? There are many factors that contribute to internet speed. The good news is, there are measures you can take to improve your internet connection and you may see instant results.

Step 1: Take a speed test.

Visit Compare the results of your speed test to the internet speeds you are paying to receive. Keep in mind the speeds listed by your service provider are “best case” speeds and you may not actually get that number on a regular basis, especially using Wifi. If your results indicate speeds relatively close to what you are paying for, it may be time to consider upgrading your speeds to accommodate your internet needs and data usage. If there is a gap between the speeds you are experiencing and the speeds you are paying for, follow the remaining steps to optimize your internet experience.

Step 2: Check your router.

Don’t let your old router slow you down any longer. What worked fine a year or two ago could actually be suppressing your speed and coverage. Router technology is changing as rapidly as the devices you connect to them. Maximize the bandwidth speed you are currently paying for by upgrading your router to the most current technology. As a result, you’ll get a faster and more reliable connection. See our previous post to learn more. If your router is up to date, ensuring proper placement and correct band set up may improve your router performance.

Placement is key. Ideally, your router should be centrally located at an elevated spot on the second floor of a multi-story home. It should never be placed in an enclosed cabinet or shelving unit and should always be in an upright position. Improper placement of the router can greatly reduce the connection speed you receive on any wireless device. The farther away your device is from the router, the weaker the signal will be, which will slow the connection speed.

Dual band makes a difference. Dual Band Routers feature two internet bands. The 2.4 GHz band uses longer waves and is better suited to longer ranges and transmission through walls and solid objects. The 2.4 GHz band supports a lower transmission speed than the 5 GHz band. The 5 GHz band offers a more stable connection and higher speeds. However, the shorter waves used by this band makes it less able to penetrate walls and solid objects.

Step 3: Eliminate Interference from other networks or devices.

If your router’s wireless signal is competing with other networks or devices, your speeds could be affected as well. Typical household devices that cause interference to wireless networks are: microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, wireless mice, fluorescent lights and wireless surveillance cameras. To reduce interference from other wireless networks or devices, distance your router from the sources as much as possible and turn any source of interference off whenever possible.

Did you know?

You will get the highest connection speed possible when you connect your device with an Ethernet cable to your router or modem. Wired connections operate with less environmental interference than wireless connections and therefore yield higher speeds overall.

Wireless connections will never reach the full Internet speed provided. There are many factors that play into real-world wireless performance. The latest wireless standards can theoretically give you gigabit speeds, but in actual practice, they are usually well below 300 Mbps.

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