Ask Giz: How Can I Make My Wi-Fi Faster?

Ask Giz: How can I make my Wi-Fi faster?

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Today’s question comes from Lauren in Sydney. Lauren wants to know:

“What settings can I change to make my Wi-Fi faster?” »

Thanks for the question, Lawrence! I myself have thought long and hard about this question, hanging on to disappointing internet speeds in several apartments and houses.

While your question goes into the settings you can change to make your Wi-Fi faster, I’m expanding the question to encompass ways to make your Wi-Fi faster as a whole.

So let’s go. How do making your Wi-Fi faster?

How to Make Your Wi-Fi Faster

First of all, know that whatever you do to make your Wi-Fi faster, it’s probably going to be pretty nasty change. Internet speeds largely depend on what you pay for with your plan (as in the maximum download speed made available by your Internet plan) and because most modem routers on the market are now capable of speeds over 100 Mbps, don’t think that you can immediately solve your problems by buying a new kit. That being said…

Replacing your modem-router

I can confidently say that I noticed speed improvements in some the cases where I went from the Belong 4353 router to the Eero Pro 6. Wireless VR over Wi-Fi has become much, much more consistent, and 4K streams load much faster (I haven’t had any dropouts since installing the modem either). The Belong 4353 modem was an old modem when I replaced it (about eight years old, with constant use from start to finish), so maybe it was just getting too old.

Additionally, if you’re looking to evenly spread the Wi-Fi signal throughout your home, consider getting a mesh modem. Mesh modems form a kind of spider web of Wi-Fi in your home, distributing a uniform signal everywhere, triangulated by where you place the mesh modules. It’s usually a solution for a bigger house with more money to spend, but it’s no less of a solution. Wi-Fi extenders solve this problem in the same way, however the quality of the Wi-Fi signal drops with this solution.

Beyond swapping out your modem, what else can you do? A lot, I’m happy to say.

Channel change

First, consider changing 5Ghz Wi-Fi connection. This is a type of internet delivery that your modem can provide that is faster than the alternative (2.4 Ghz) at the cost of shorter range. If you’re servicing a small home, 5Ghz is the way to go, but a larger home may need a 2.4Ghz connection, just to cover the corners of the property. To modify this parameter, you must access the backend of your modem-router.

Also, a more sophisticated modem router should be able to change the band it operates on, as Wi-Fi signals in condensed living situations can drop out, causing signal issues for multiple households. You’ll want to change your channel to a less busy one, so try performing an internet test on the channels as you change them to see which works best for you.

Physical Solutions

Yes, move the modem-router box solve your Internet problems, but it is not a solution you can rely on. Keeping your Modem Router as close to the devices it serves with Wi-Fi is one of the best ways to (physically) improve the wireless signal, although it may not be. only guilty. Some devices, like microwavescan cause signal problems for your modem-router, so it’s best to move them away.

Limit device usage

Sometimes you might notice a drop in internet quality when certain devices are turned on or when someone in your home starts doing something on the internet. What could be happening here are background downloads, interfering with your internet usage by hogging all the bandwidth. You can avoid this problem by simply turning off the devices you are not using or disconnecting them from Wi-Fi.

This problem can also depend on the Modem Router that needs to be replaced, as it may not be handling the home bandwidth as well as possible, but it could also be a plan problem. Which brings us to…

Change internet plan

If you suffer from slower speeds than necessary, consider upgrading your internet plan. Personally, I think NBN 50 is an ideal speed for most homes, providing a maximum download speed of 50 Mbps. However, NBN 100 is worth considering if you’re looking for that extra kick, doubling the speed.

Have you considered Ethernet?

Wi-Fi probably won’t be faster than Ethernet in your home, so it might be worth switching to Ethernet when you can. If internet quality is an issue, don’t drop it, because it won’t drop Ethernet unless you’re using a cable that’s several hundred feet long. If you’re a power user, ethernet is probably the way to go (coming from me, a guy who uses a 10m CAT6 ethernet cable for his gaming computer in his apartment). Just try not to trip over the cable.

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This is where our recommendations end. If you have a recommendation to improve internet speed, we invite you to email us about it.

Ask Giz is a bi-monthly series where we answer your questions, whether they’re related to tech, science, gadgets, health or games. This is a reader-involved series where we rely on the Gizmodo Australia audience to submit questions. If you have a question for Giz, you can submit it here. Or check out the answer to our latest Ask Giz: Why do you feel a temperature change immediately when you enter a room?

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