Slow WiFi speeds can be very confusing and very annoying, this is because there is no single answer to fix it. There are many reasons why your WiFi might be working at a slower speed than it should be. This could be due to a problem with the WiFi router, or the Internet itself.
Although it is difficult to determine the exact problem to solve it. However, fixing your slow WiFi speed is very possible on your own. In this guide I’m going to help you through every step of the way to identify and resolve slow WiFi speed issues.
Before getting into the slow WiFi fix section, the first step is to identify where the problem is. As previously mentioned, it could be caused by your Internet connection or a damaged WiFi device.
To find the cause, you can use an ethernet cable. Ethernet cables are usually included with routers, so you will likely already have one. If not, you can buy them or borrow from your friends.
An ethernet cable allows you to directly connect the router to a PC without depending on a WiFi signal. If your connection starts to work properly while using an ethernet cable, then the problem is with WiFi. If it’s still slow, it could be due to the Internet (or both).
Fixing Problems with WiFi Signal
If your Internet is working properly when using an ethernet cable directly, you will need to troubleshoot the WiFi. Below I have listed various things you can do to fix the problem on slow WiFi.
Position, space and important environment
There may be some interference that can stop the signal from reaching your device properly resulting in slow WiFi speed, such as walls, objects and even other electronic devices. You should reduce interference like this between your router and your devices. Additionally, routers must be positioned at a certain height to ensure proper signal distribution.
Make sure there are no electrical appliances near the router. Devices such as microwaves, refrigerators, wireless speakers, wireless console controllers, and electronic heating systems are some of the most common WiFi signal breakers.
These equipment typically operate on the 2.4GHz band, and they interfere with signals coming from routers operating on the same frequency. Keep in mind that reflective (mirror) materials and metal-based finishes on walls also reflect and attenuate signals.
Positioning is also very important when you do not have a cable broadband connection and you depend on signals from your Internet provider. In such a case, you will have to adjust the router position to get the best signal from your ISP, usually represented by the number of lights.
Create Heatmap for WiFi Signal
When finding the perfect spot for your router, detecting a Heatmap or heat map of a WiFi signal is sure to go a long way. You can use third-party applications that will detect heat maps of the WiFi signal in your home to tell you how the signal is distributed in the rooms of your home. It will also inform you of the points where there is interference as well as the places where you can get the best signal.
Ekahua HeatMapper is a great piece of software to view these WiFi heat maps. Registration is required to use the tool but it will make a heat map of your WiFi signal free to use. If you have a digital map of your house then it will make a precise heat map detection of the WiFi signal on that map. Otherwise HeatMapper will create a heat map on the grid that’s good enough for you to understand how the signal is distributed.
Change WiFi Channel
WiFi signal is distributed over different channels in a certain area. All routers in your environment are distributed through this channel. If the channel is full of connections, it can interfere with the WiFi signal. You just need to switch to a less crowded channel to get a stronger WiFi signal.
To find out this, you can use software WifiInfoView by Nirsoft is a great little utility software that will list information about all the WiFi channels in your area or neighborhood, and show you how crowded they are. Then you can select the new, least crowded channel.
Low Power WiFi
Many routers have a built-in feature option to save power at a lower power consumption to save electricity. During this mode the router uses less power, however, it also reduces the signal strength.
Unfortunately, some routers are configured by default to run in power saving mode and in that case you have to disable it yourself. In your router settings, look for an option similar to “Eco Mode”, “Low Power Mode” or “Transmission Power” and turn it off or set it to 100%.
Low Power to PC Wireless Adapter
Similar to a router, the Windows operating system can also provide less power to the wireless adapter to save power (usually in power saving mode). This also leads to slower Internet speeds over a WiFi connection.
To fix it, press the button
Windows + R and type “
powercfg.cpl“In the dialogue”Run“. This will open “Power Options” from where you click “Change Plan Settings” next to the package you selected, then click “Change Advanced power settings“.
In the Advanced power settings option, go to “Wireless Adapter SettingsAnd make sure it’s set to “Maximum Performance“. This should ensure your network card is getting the power it needs.
Restart the router
Have you tried restarting the router? I know this is silly but it could be a simple fix for this problem. Humble new beginnings are usually the answer to many Internet-related problems. Just turn off the router and modem (if separate) and wait for 30 seconds before turning them on.
If restarting doesn’t help, then resetting the router to factory settings can solve the problem. There should be a reset button on the bottom or back of the router, usually in a hole. Use a paperclip or needle to press this button and hold it for 15-30 seconds, or until the router reboots.
All your settings will be reset to factory settings and can fix the slow WiFi issue if it’s due to misconfigured settings.
Buy a New Router
This is the last resort, but it’s best if none of your troubleshooting have worked so far. The longer the router the less power it has. So getting a new router with more power will definitely help fix the slow WiFi problem. You can even ask your Internet service provider to provide you with a new router. When you are looking for a new router, try to find a smart router that can solve all your WiFi related problems.
Fixing Problems with the Internet
The tips above are very helpful if there is a problem with the WiFi signal. However, if the problem is with the Internet, the following things can be done to fix it:
Note: Restarting or Resetting the router is a reliable way to fix Internet problems. So even if you don’t have WiFi problems, try this option to increase your WiFi Internet speed.
Outgoing Bandwidth Used By Applications
Many applications are actively using the Internet to provide their services in real time. You should monitor Internet usage by turning off such applications. Also, make sure Windows doesn’t download updates in the background as these updates also use up a lot of bandwidth.
In Windows, the Task manager is the place to look for processes that may be using up bandwidth. Press
Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the task manager and switch to the “Process” tab. You should find all application processes here. Just click on the ones you don’t need or don’t use, then click the “End Process” button below to close them.
Check Other Devices Using WiFi
Multiple devices connected to the same WiFi could mean that the connection is in use thereby reducing the overall Internet speed. The heavier the content of a device, the more bandwidth it will use. So, you definitely won’t get good speed on your PC if your brother watches YouTube videos on his smartphone.
The best way to ensure that bandwidth is not a problem, disconnect all devices from the network and only use one device. And when we “Disconnect” there will be no more processes happening in the background to use up bandwidth.
Now check that one device if the connection is working fine. Also, make sure your WiFi is protected with WPA2 encryption to make sure others don’t steal your bandwidth.
Network Driver Update
Outdated network drivers can be one of the factors causing slow Internet. Press the button
Windows + R and type “
devmgmt.msc“In the dialogue”Run”To open the“ Device Manager ”. Here, right click on your network driver and select the option “Update driver software”.
In the next window, click “Search automatically for updated driver softwareAnd Windows will automatically find and download the correct driver.
If this doesn’t update the driver, you can use a free third-party application like IObit Driver Booster to update the driver automatically.
Understand Temporary Internet Slowdowns
If you experience slow internet at certain times or have just started dealing with slow Internet at this time, then it could be that the problem is with your Internet service provider. Because it is possible that some ISPs are not able to provide optimal speed during peak hours or maybe they are doing a repair, so you may only experience slow internet speeds at certain times. In most cases, this is temporary and should resolve within a few hours.
Whether this problem is temporary or permanent, it is your ISP’s responsibility to ensure a stable Internet connection for its customers. If nothing else works for you, simply call your ISP and tell them the problem. They should be able to tell you what the problem is and be able to come up with a solution.
You can even ask your ISP to send an agent to your place to personally check and fix Internet problems. Most of the ISPs are happy to help you with this problem. If your ISP refuses, try threatening them to switch to another Internet service. Maybe they’ll be able to help you soon.
This article contains comprehensive information on various issues that can cause your WiFi signal to slow down. By positioning the router properly and fixing router and computer problems you can solve most problems.
You can also consult your ISP provider and they will of course help you solve all kinds of Internet related problems (or at least answer them). They will never want their customers to move to another Internet service, therefore they will do everything they can to fix your slow WiFi problem.