By Matthew Campbell, Head of SME and FTTH at SEACOM
No one expects their internet connection to be unreliable and slow, especially if you’ve specifically signed up for a fibre package. However, sometimes slow internet is not due to the fibre connection, but rather the WiFi router. Thankfully, in most cases, a simple boost in WiFi signal is all that’s needed to make your internet fast and dependable.
The router is the most common culprit for slow or unreliable internet. Check the router first when you experience any issues. Your router is the main connection hub between the fibre cable and your phones, laptops, TV and other smart devices. The WiFi signal can suffer from dead spots and other issues that are beyond the control of your internet service provider (ISP).
A slow and unreliable internet connection can be infuriating, but if you know how to troubleshoot problems with your router, you can prevent this from happening. Here are seven simple steps to boost your WiFi signal.
Seven factors that influence WiFi signal
1. Proximity to the router
The proximity of your WiFi router to your devices is one of the biggest factors in determining internet speed and reliability. The closer your devices to the router, the stronger the signal and the better the connection. Place your router in a central part of the house or office to ensure that all rooms get adequate coverage. If this is not possible, consider buying a network booster or repeater, which will strengthen the signal and expand coverage.
2. Connected devices
The number of connected devices can affect WiFi quality. The more devices using the internet at the same time, the slower the connection – especially if those devices are using a lot of bandwidth. Video meetings, streaming movies, watching YouTube and downloading educational material will all use more bandwidth than general browsing. Before signing up with WonderNet, determine what your usage needs will be and then choose a package that delivers enough bandwidth and speed.
3. Interfering appliances
Did you know that certain home appliances can interfere with your WiFi signal? Microwaves, cordless phones, satellite dishes, baby monitors and even gate motors can disrupt or even block your WiFi signal. Certain power sources can also impact the network. These devices emit electromagnetic waves that interfere with your WiFi signal and disrupt the connection. You can determine which appliances are guilty through a process of elimination. Switch off or move these appliances and then re-check your WiFi signal quality. Alternatively, you can move your router away from these devices.
4. Try a different website
Sometimes a slow website or app is not due to the WiFi signal at all. If you think that your connection is strong, but the website or app is not loading, then try a different site or app. Clearing your browser cache can also help to speed up website loading times. If another app or site loads quickly, then you know the issue doesn’t lie with your WiFi.
5. Physical interferences
Walls, doors and other building structures can obstruct your WiFi connection. Thick brick walls are the main obstruction in a house. The size of the home can also play a role in this, especially if many rooms require WiFi connectivity. To ensure seamless connectivity, purchase a WiFi booster or repeater router that will maximise coverage to all rooms in the house.
6. Speed test
If your internet seems a bit slow, then perform a speed test to determine the current internet speed experienced by your device. If this number is a lot lower than what you signed up for, connect the device directly to the router using a LAN cable and do the speed test again. If the number still remains low, then contact your ISP and let them know. If the number increases after using the cable, then the issue is most likely your router.
7. Faulty router
The WiFi router is often the prime suspect in slow connections. To really check if your router is at fault, try plugging in another router and test the signal. If you don’t have a spare router and cannot borrow one, then pop into your nearest IT store and ask them to check the router for you. WonderNet provides a free WiFi router when you sign up for a fibre to the home package.
A slow internet connection is incredibly frustrating and sometimes, the best way to determine the cause is through a process of elimination. Start with your router and follow the steps mentioned above. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your ISP. You’re paying for a service so you should expect to get your money’s worth. Get in touch with us today for troubleshooting assistance. To get a fibre upgrade, check if we’re connected to your address.