How to Increase WiFi Speed
WiFi allows us to access the internet wirelessly. However, slow WiFi can negatively impact our ability to work, learn, and be entertained. Fortunately, there are various ways you can optimise your WiFi network to increase speed and performance.
Check Your Internet Speed
The first step is to check your current internet download and upload speeds. This will establish a baseline to compare future optimization efforts against. Do a speed test during both peak and non-peak usage hours to get a reliable benchmark.
Optimise Router Location
WiFi routers need open spaces and fewer obstructions to broadcast strong signals. Place your router:
Near the centre of your home or office for widest dispersal
On an upper floor or in an elevated central area
Away from potential sources of interference like microwaves, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices, and cordless phones
Avoid putting inside enclosed cabinets, behind furniture, or near exterior walls
Also, make sure the router antennas are parallel and pointing upward rather than inward.
Update Router Firmware
Router vendors regularly release updated firmware that improves WiFi performance by:
Enhancing wireless signal strength
Boosting speed and range
Fixing bugs and security flaws
So check the manufacturer’s website to get the latest firmware for your router model. Then login to the router admin interface and update if needed. This keeps the router operating optimally.
Change Broadcast Channel
In densely populated areas with many WiFi networks, changing the broadcast channel that your router transmits on can improve performance.
Log in to your router settings
Locate the basic wireless settings
Change the channel from Auto to either 1, 6, or 11
Save settings and test if internet speeds increase
This prevents channel conflicts and interference with neighbouring WiFi networks.
Adjust Router Antenna Directionality
If using a multi-antenna router optimally positioning the antennas can concentrate wireless signals for stronger directionality:
Point one antenna vertically towards WiFi devices located above
Aim other antennas laterally in the direction of areas where devices mostly connect from
Experiment to determine the best antenna positions and directions
Use 5Ghz Network Band
The 5Ghz WiFi band transmits faster speeds with less interference than 2.4Ghz networks. Connect devices using 5Ghz for better performance:
Dual-band routers broadcast both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz networks
5Ghz provides faster short range connectivity best for video and gaming
2.4Ghz has slower speeds but longer range through walls over greater distances
When in range, prioritize 5Ghz for bandwidth-intensive tasks.
Change WiFi Mode to 802.11ac
802.11ac is the latest WiFi transmission protocol with fast wireless networking. If your router is 802.11ac compatible switch WiFi mode to enable the speed benefits:
Access router admin interface
Go to wireless settings
Set mode to 802.11ac from auto/mixed modes
This establishes 802.11ac WiFi connectivity for newer devices that also support it.
Adjust Transmission Power
Increasing router WiFi transmission (TX) power can enhance signal strength for better speeds at longer distances.
Find current TX power level in admin interface wireless settings
If set to 50%, increase to 70% or 100%
Save changes and test if internet speeds improve in remote areas
However, take care not exceed 100% as it may degrade performance.
Enable Quality of Service
Quality of Service (QoS) gives important network traffic like video conferencing and streaming higher priority. This prevents bandwidth contention with normal traffic:
Log in to router admin interface
Locate QoS settings
Enable and assign priority to essential applications and devices
Giving priority traffic preferential treatment reduces latency and lag for better speed.
Assign Static IP Addresses
Dynamic IP addresses assigned by DHCP can change causing devices to briefly lose connectivity:
Log in to router admin interface
Find DHCP settings
Assign permanent static IP addresses to frequently used devices
This maintains persistent IP address access
Static IPs prevent changes that can impair speeds.
Upgrade Internet Bandwidth
If your available internet bandwidth is consistently maxed out it will throttle WiFi speeds. Upgrading internet download/upload speeds solves the bottleneck:
Contact internet service provider
Check if faster bandwidth packages are available
Upgrade to higher bandwidth
This lifts the ceiling on possible WiFi transmission rates
Faster internet means faster WiFi!
Verify Modem Capabilities
Older modems may not support the latest internet speeds offered by ISPs. Check your modem specifications to ensure compatibility:
Login to modem admin interface
Review model specifications
Check max download/upload speed capabilities
If required upgrade modem
This prevents modem restrictions on WiFi speeds
Switch to Mesh Network
Mesh networks have multiple access points working together to blanket large areas with strong WiFi coverage. Benefits:
One WiFi network – Devices automatically switch between access points
Eliminates dead zones
Dedicated backhaul – Separate data connection between nodes to avoid congestion
Self-optimising – Nodes auto adjust channels/power for optimal performance
One seamless high-speed network!
Test Bitrates Between Devices
Wireless bitrate indicates data transfer rate. Test bitrates to detect poorly performing devices dragging down WiFi speeds:
Connect to WiFi router admin interface
Check wireless settings for connected device list
Note bitrate for each device
Low bitrates indicate outdated devices unable to cope with demands
Upgrade or remove poor performers.
Disable WiFi on Idle Devices
Laptops, phones, tablets with WiFi left on when idle can congested networks. Turn off WiFi when not in active use:
Windows – Disable WiFi adapter
Mac – Turn off in menu bar
iOS – Disable from Control Center
Android – Turn off in notifications drawer
This reduces non-essential background WiFi traffic.
Position WiFi Extender Properly
WiFi extenders rebroadcast signals from the router to expand coverage. But improper placement can degrade performance:
Position within signal range of router
Near centre between router and weak coverage area
Avoid putting near other wireless devices
Experiment to determine optimal extender location
Correct placement maintains backhaul speeds.
Change WiFi Password
With open WiFi networks, unwanted devices could be secretly connected, stealing bandwidth. This can slow speeds:
Set a strong WiFi password using special characters
Enable WPA2/WPA3 encryption on the router
MAC filter to restrict device access if required
This secures the network from moochers
Added security gives more speed for legitimate users.
Check internet speed baselines during peak/non-peak times
Optimize router placement centralised in open elevated areas
Update router firmware, enable QoS, assign static IPs to high-use devices
Switch to 5Ghz band, 802.11ac mode for faster transmission rates
Consider upgrading bandwidth, modem, switching to mesh networks
Test bitrates to identify and upgrade/remove poor devices
Properly place WiFi extenders to maintain backhaul speeds
Secure network to prevent moochers from stealing bandwidth
Achieving faster WiFi networks involves both hardware and settings optimization. Start by checking internet bandwidth caps and modem capabilities. Strategically place the wireless router in an ideal centralised location. Configure settings like WiFi band, mode, transmission power and static IPs for better performance. Considering upgrades to achieve the latest standards for speed. Regularly maintain firmware and test metrics to sustain optimal speeds. Using these tips comprehensively can unlock much faster WiFi!
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the fastest WiFi band?
The 5GHz WiFi band offers faster speeds compared to 2.4GHz. Upgrade devices and enable 5GHz support.
- What WiFi modes are fastest?
802.11ac and WiFi 6 are the latest protocols with top speeds. Check router capabilities and upgrade if needed.
- How can I test my WiFi speed?
Use router admin tools, speed test sites, apps like Ookla Speedtest to measure download/upload internet speeds.
- Where should the WiFi router be placed?
Central elevated locations in open areas away from interference sources allow widest signal dispersal.
- How can I stop neighbours stealing my WiFi?
Enable WPA2/WPA3 encryption with a strong admin password. Use MAC address filtering to restrict devices.
- Will a mesh network boost WiFi speeds?
Mesh WiFi with dedicated backhaul links can increase coverage and speeds compared to a single router.
- What causes WiFi to slow down?
Distance from the router, obstructions, interference, low bandwidth, faulty devices, moochers, and congestion are common speed issues.
- How can I optimise router settings?
Enable QoS, assign static IPs to prioritized devices, update firmware regularly for a faster network.
- Should I upgrade my modem?
If your modem is outdated and doesn’t support latest internet speeds offered by your ISP, upgrade for better WiFi.
- How do I password protect my WiFi?
In router admin settings enable WPA2 Personal (or WPA3) encryption and set a strong alphanumeric password for security.
- Where should I place my WiFi extender?
The ideal WiFi extender location is halfway between your wireless router and weak signal areas for best coverage.
- Can I increase my router’s transmission power?
Some routers allow increasing WiFi transmission power output. But avoid exceeding 100% as range has tradeoffs with throughput.
- Should I assign devices static or dynamic IP?
For frequently used high priority devices, assign permanent static IPs in router admin settings for reliable connectivity.
- Can I use a WiFi analyzer to improve signal?
WiFi analyzer apps help optimise channel selection and position extenders effectively for maximum coverage and speed.
- Why is 5GHz WiFi not reaching as far?
5GHz provides faster speeds but weaker penetration through walls and over long distances compared to 2.4GHz.
- Can too many devices slow down WiFi?
Yes, lots of connected devices contend for bandwidth especially if left idle. Disable WiFi when not actively in use.
- How can I keep neighbours off my WiFi?
Along with strong WPA2 encryption & password, hide SSID and enable MAC address filtering for maximum security.
- What affects WiFi signal strength?
Distance, obstructions, interference from electronics, and network congestion are key factors impacting WiFi signal quality.
- Should I put my router in a cabinet?
No. Enclosed spaces choke router antennas resulting in weak WiFi signals. Place in centralised open locations for best coverage.