Slow Wi-Fi can interrupt Zoom meetings, cause chaos in online worlds, and pause your video stream for buffering. When your world relies on near-instant connections, these little inconveniences add up quickly and become frustrating obstacles to work, school, and life in general.
No one wants that—so we’ll walk you through ten simple steps to get faster Wi-Fi connections.
How to improve your internet speed
1. Restart your device
First, let’s power cycle everything to see if your Wi-Fi speed improves.
Restart your modem
Unplug your modem or wireless gateway, wait 30 seconds, and then plug it back in. This process allows the modem to clear out any glitches.
Your modem translates the signal from your local wireless or Ethernet connection to a wireless provider’s or telephone company’s internet signal. If you are having issues, try a power cycle – this usually fixes your connection problems.
Restart your router
Next, repeat the process if you have a standalone router. Like with the modem, a power cycle clears your router’s memory and gives it a fresh start on tasks that were bogging it down before.
Finally, turn off the Wifi on all your wireless devices. Wait a few seconds and then toggle Wifi back on. Allow these devices to reconnect and see if your connection improves.
Rebooting your home networking equipment tends to work wonders. We advise doing so at least every few months. But keep in mind that doing this will leave you without internet for a few minutes, so plan to restart your equipment at a time when no one needs an internet connection.
2. Finding out the Speed of the connection
On paper, your ISP may tell you that your connection is really fast and has such and such speeds, but you shouldn’t just trust them blindly.
You should perform your own tests to find out how fast your connection and what speeds are you getting.
Before doing a speed test on your Wi-Fi, make sure to connect your Laptop/PC to the Router/Modem using an Ethernet cable and turn off the Wi-Fi functionality for a while.
Once that is done, you can use our website’s Speed Test Tool to perform a speed test and find out the speeds of your connection.
You will get two numbers, Download Speed and Upload Speed.
Download Speed is what really matters.
You should perform the test three to four times as the speed can fluctuate and one result won’t be enough to find out how much speed you are actually getting.
3. Move your router to a better location
Wi-Fi can travel only so far, and its signals can get interrupted or blocked by walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, appliances, and basically any large physical object. The signals can get interrupted by various alternating devices, including cordless phones, baby monitors, microwaves and Bluetooth speakers.
So if you place your router at an edge of your home’s space, you may have issues with Wi-Fi at the other end. The best place for your router is in a central and elevated location, near where you use the internet most often. Don’t relegate your router to a basement or closet—that’s just setting yourself up for connectivity issues.
4. Adjust your router’s antennas
For some routers and wireless gateways, the internal antenna is fixed. As a result, you won’t be able to adjust it or move it. If that’s the case for you, skip the step below
But if you do have adjustable antennas on your router, try configuring them. Router antennas are usually omnidirectional, which means they send out signals in all directions perpendicular to the antenna. For example, a vertical antenna sends out WiFi
So if you need to stretch your Wi-Fi signals to multiple floors, adjusting an antenna to sit horizontally to spread Wi-Fi signals up and down could help.
5. Reset your Router/Modem
Let’s assume for this article that your ISP is delivering the speeds it promised and your Modem/Router is the cause of the low speeds that you are getting.
For the first step, you should usually reset your router or modem. These devices usually have a button at their back, which needs to be pressed and held for 5-10 seconds then released. This will reset the router or modem.
Consequently, if there is no reset button then you can unplug the power cord, wait for about 10-15 seconds, then plug it back in. It will do the same thing.
If you are getting faster speeds than before, this would have been the cause of your problem and you need to reset your router/modem occasionally to prevent it from happening again.
6. Logging into your Modem/Router
The next thing you should do if you are still facing slow speeds is log in into your router. While your computer is still plugged into your router via an Ethernet cable, you should log in into your Modem/Router.
To log in into your router, you will need to access the router’s IP address. For most routers, the default IP address is 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1.
Once you open the default IP address of your router on any web browser, you should log in into your router using the default username and password(if you haven’t changed it already).
7. Upgrade to faster internet
While we hope these tips will do the trick for you, sometimes your internet connection is simply too slow to sustain your internet consumption. If that’s the case, you’ll need to upgrade to a faster internet plan to get better speeds.
Unsure what internet speeds you need to support your online habits? Check out our guides to internet speed for online gaming and video streaming requirements.
And if you’re confused because you’re sure you’ve paid for enough internet speed but your connection still doesn’t cut it, that might be because your internet connection doesn’t always perform at 100%.
Internet providers advertise speeds up to a certain speed—they don’t promise that you will always get those speeds. So even if you have a 100 Mbps plan, you might not always get that much bandwidth. In that case, you might need a bit of a buffer or a plan that’s actually faster than you think you would need. That way, network slowdowns will still happen, but you’ll probably notice them less.