How to handle a slow Internet connection in 10 steps

The period of forced quarantine in which we are living on account of COVID-19 is opening that not everything works as well as it seems when it comes to our internet connection. The number of people at home demanding sign is huge, very much depending on the home office scheme that some companies are adopting.

But with the exception of this structural problem, we can do our part to minimize any failures in the internet connection, especially when we talk about Wi-Fi. With everyone at home using the same signal, each in their corner, overloading can compromise both working time and watching Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

That’s why we’ve separated some tips to keep your Wi-Fi running in the best conditions, always taking into account, of course, the speed of your internet and the number of devices involved.

1. Carrier signal

It seems obvious, it’s true, but it’s very common for people to just consider that there’s an external signal failure after checking everything that’s going on with their equipment. Sometimes out of laziness, sometimes out of even inattention.

Today operators already have applications that help a lot when it comes to detecting if the signal is OK or if there is a problem in the region. Sign in with your account and see the support options if everything is within the same in your neighborhood before despairing. After that, if all is well, then you leave for the other checks.

Besides, it’s very important to know the speed of your plan. The higher, and considering that you have a quality router, the more simultaneous demand your connection will handle.

2. Check for hardware failures

This tip is one of the most basic, but also one of the most important. If you’ve felt that your internet is running low or not working, it’s always good to check if any cable is disconnected or if your router or modem is working properly. If everything is connected, it is worth taking into account the recommendation that all technical support gives: try turning everything off for a few minutes and turn it back on. If the problem is still not resolved, it is never too much to check whether your smartphone, smart TV or video game are having any reception failure.

3. Position your router/modem well

After assessing whether everything is in order with your connection and your equipment, time to choose a good location to position your Modem/Router Wi-Fi. Experts recommend that it be placed always in the central region of the house, preferably in a superior and open room.

This works best because the transmission waves of the router radiate forward and down and as most furniture occupies the foreground, allocating the device in a higher location helps too much.

But what about the antenna? The same concept is worth it: if you want the signal to spread over several floors, leave the antenna lying down so that the waves run vertically. But if you want the waves to spread horizontally, leave the antenna straight and up.

Also avoid positioning your router near windows or other electronic devices, as other waves may interfere with and affect the signal.

4. Beware of repeaters

It may be that your router is not being enough to distribute the Wi-Fi signal well in your home, which ends up compromising the connection speed. For these situations, the first suggestion to solve the problem is to buy a signal repeater. Although it really amplifys the signal, it is necessary to be aware of the quality of the equipment, which draws attention because, most of the time, it is cheap. It won’t do any good to have a good router if the repeater offers a low connection speed, which will make you frustrated. It is also worth keeping an eye on where it will be installed so as not to compromise communication with the router.

5. Mesh routers

If you have a very basic router and you are no longer holding the devices on Wi-Fi or distributing the signal well, an interesting alternative is to invest in mesh routers. These devices are always sold in at least two units, which can be installed in different rooms of the house to ensure the best possible Wi-Fi signal distribution.

he most interesting thing is that, unlike a repeater, these devices create a unique network and smartphones, tablets and notebooks always connect to what offers the best possible signal, all automatically, without requiring any user action.

Another difference from repeaters is that here you will have equipment with the same specifications, so if everything is installed correctly, they will always offer the same connection speed.

6. Use a released broadcast channel

As we have already mentioned, routers transmit radio waves and, in order for the signal to be passed without interference, it is necessary that a channel be created. Generally routers, especially those that are standard of operators, do this automatically, and this causes there to be a “war” of routers and channels in very populated places, for example.

This can be addressed with some applications that are able to program which channel your router will use to distribute the signal. Another alternative is to do this directly in the equipment settings – see its manual to learn how to do this.

7. Check how many devices are connected

Depending on the amount of devices that are using your wireless network, there is no internet that can handle it. Therefore it is necessary to be aware of the exact amount of devices and which of them may be sucking more signal than normal.

This usually occurs when one person in a certain room of the house is watching Netflix (which usually pulls a lot of bandwidth) and another is playing online; certainly one of the two will have serious problems, besides, of course, harming other users, even if they are, by chance, using a wired connection.

8. Try a different DNS server

When we hire a broadband provider, our internet is automatically configured to use the DNS (Domain Name System) offered by the carrier. On the one hand it is very practical, because we do not need to configure anything; on the other ends up resulting in many people using the same server.  

9. Attention with apps

As we’ve already mentioned, apps like Netflix consume a lot of download bandwidth and this can end up hurting the navigability of those who are trying to work or even other people at home who are trying to entertain themselves. But it’s worth keeping even more aware of applications that consume upload bandwidth.

Typically, non-fibre optic internet plans have limited upload speed and that is easily compromised when we upload files to OneDrive, Google Drive and the like. If you are a regular torrent user, then this problem maybe even worse. With compromised outbound connections, it’s common for the entire network infrastructure to become congested and you even feel signal drops. So stay tuned for that.

10. Restart your router from time to time

Depending on where your router is located, continuous operation can cause overheating and damage internal components. Another point that can also happen with the constant use is the accumulation of DNS cache. To solve this is simpler than you think: just restart the device from time to time.

Cameron James Connor
He has worked with various business magazines like Business Today Outlook as a freelancer before joining the team. She is an addicted reader of self-help books, fiction, and journals.

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