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It is useless to have the most advanced fiber optic at home if the WiFi network then gives us problems and the theoretical maximum speed that a connection is capable of giving us will always be limited by the configuration of the WiFi network.
Yes, a modern WiFi network is capable of achieving a theoretical download speed of up to 1 Gbps (with the 802.11ac standard) but in reality there are many factors that make this figure reduced.
But with a few small changes, and understanding how these networks work, it is possible to squeeze the available transfer capacity better. If home WiFi slows you down, these seven tips will help you improve it.
Find a more suitable place for the router
WiFi routers are rarely attractive but if we try to hide them behind a bookshelf or in the drawer, the signal will have a hard time reaching the devices. The ideal location of a router is in the center of the room and high, away from the walls and other devices and metal objects.
It is understandable that we do not want to put it right in the center of the room, but the ideal is to look for a place on a table or a shelf at half height, near the center of the house, and make sure that it does not have many obstructions around.
Change the channel
Today everyone uses WiFi networks and if we live in a city, that means that our network competes with that of our neighbors in the use of available radio space. Modern WiFi standards include protection against interference but it is inevitable that they occur if there are many around.
If you have access to the router configuration, it is possible to change the broadcast channel to one with less traffic. There are mobile applications (like Wifi Analyzer) that scan nearby networks and let you know which channels are less loaded.
Not all routers allow to do it and in some of the most recent ones the design is precisely optimized so that they are not seen but if the antenna or the antennas of the WiFi router can be removed, it is possible to buy larger ones with which to achieve greater coverage. It is important that the antenna is extended upwards, perpendicular to the base of the router.
Some tricks, such as using a beer can or soda open longitudinally and parabolically in the antenna, can help gain some coverage, especially if the router is attached to a wall, but they are generally not worth it.
Go to 5GHz
If all channels are saturated, consider using a wireless network that broadcasts at 5 GHz instead of 2.4 GHz (the usual Wi-Fi connection). From the router configuration utility, if it is relatively modern, it is possible to create these networks.
Networks that broadcast in 5 GHz are somewhat less powerful than those that broadcast in 2.4 Ghz but it is also usually a space that is free of interference. Make sure, of course, that your devices are compatible with these frequencies. Some older products may be compatible only with 2.4 Ghz WiFi networks.
Cast out the "squatters"
If we have a network not protected by a password or with a WEP password (an old encryption system already in disuse), it is possible that someone is using our WiFi network to connect to the Internet, occupying part of the available bandwidth. If the router allows you to see which devices are connected, it is convenient to do an audit and make sure that only our phones, computers and devices are using the network.
Changing the WiFi password periodically or at least avoiding using the default one is also a good idea.
Use repeaters and mesh routers
If we live in a large apartment or house with several floors, it is possible that the router's signal does not reach all corners. There are two good solutions to this problem.
The first is to use WiFi network repeaters, small adapters that extend the coverage area. They can cause problems when we move between the coverage area of the main router and the repeater but for static devices, such as a PC, they can be a good solution.
Even better is to use "mesh" Wi-Fi routers, which are routers specifically designed to coordinate with several access points scattered around the house. They are a solution that has become popular in recent years and that works very well. Netgear Orbi, Google WiFi, Eero or TP-Link Deco are some of the "mesh" wifi router systems that are available today in the market. Many are sold in packs of two and three routers to cover large areas.
Update the devices
A fairly common reason why WiFi networks are slower than expected is that the software and hardware of connected equipment is not up to date.
It is important to update the WiFi router to the latest available version of your software (usually it can be done from the configuration tool). The same with the devices that we connect to the network. Ideally, and not only to ensure high speed, they are always up to date.
It is rare that we are in a home where all devices are compatible with the latest versions of WiFi (802.11ac or 802.11ax). Many older phones and PCs or video game consoles, for example, use 802.11g or 802.11n, lower transfer speed standards. This can hamper the speed of the entire network, simply because these devices take longer to communicate and download large files, occupying part of the bandwidth that more efficient devices could be using.
If possible - for example in the case of an old PC - you should buy a modern WiFi adapter that connects via USB and use it instead of the default one.
If the WiFi router is very old and is a transfer from the telephone operator, it is a good idea to talk with them and ask them to update it. Not only for having greater speed but also for safety.
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