Network Speed 101

How to better understand your home Wi-Fi’s bandwidth and tricks to maximize it.

You signed up for Internet service with visions of grandeur: endless movie watching, downloading music, and hotspots galore. But your Internet isn’t behaving the way you expected. Despite what you may have heard, there are actions you can take to make it better. Here are a few easy tricks to amp up your network speed.

First, let’s talk about your home Wi-Fi’s bandwidth. What affects the speed? 

Bottlenecks are real. Experts are measuring an estimated 22 percent global internet traffic growth yearly. Plus, other factors in your home can slow things down that range from physical obstructions, to the distance between devices. And that new Nest doorbell you just bought? It plays a part in slower speeds too. In fact, the smarter your home becomes, the more you tax your bandwidth and place limitations on your network hardware. 

Start with a Test

First, conduct this simple test to see how your internet connection speed is measuring up. You can also run a ping test to test the quality of your internet connection. It simply tests the delay in communication between a website and your device. 

Turn Your Router Off and On Again 

If you determine your internet speed isn’t up to par, a simple reboot often solves problems best. Just find the reset button on your router and hold it down for a bit. If your router doesn’t have a reset button, unplug it and plug it back in. Then, follow up by scheduling it to reboot itself during times you’re at work or sleeping. 

Stream Videos Better

Streaming is what most of us do, most of the time. Video streaming makes up 95 percent of the traffic in our homes. And streaming certainly takes its toll on speed. If everyone in your family is streaming video at the same time each night, you’re probably going to see slower speeds. Want to do what you can to amp it up a bit? Just move everyone closer to the router for a quick solution. 

Try Moving the Router

Or sometimes, it’s as simple as moving your router. Place your router somewhere that’s central to the house, and the places you normally use your devices. Try placing it up high to circumvent the majority of obstructions. 

Beware of Malware

Did you know your device could be running malware without your even knowing it? Apps can run malware in the background that makes you vulnerable and chunks away at your bandwidth. Keep a sharp eye out for any programs that aren’t safe or familiar. 

Change the Channel

It may be that everyone in the neighborhood is operating on the same channel. Try switching to a less busy channel to see if that helps your speed issue. 

Amp Up Your Hardware as Your Home Gets Smarter

If you love a smart home, be sure your hardware is up to snuff. Take a look into upgrading your modem, router, or Ethernet cables to keep up with the performance your daily tasks demand.