Today’s high-speed internet technology can be amazing, enabling all sorts of possibilities that enrich our lives in many ways. Broader area networks do go down from time to time, though, and there is nothing you can do about that but be patient. But often, problems can crop up on your local area network (LAN) that you indeed can do something about.
There are many easy solutions to common household internet and Wi-Fi problems. Below are some solutions to three different issues you may suffer from. These quick fixes—which anyone can do—can save you from a lot of annoyance and frustration. Try to commit at least a few of the solutions below to memory for the next time you have an Internet-related problem.
Wi-Fi is radio waves, and many of today’s routers—or router/modem combos—have a maximum range of 150 feet. This maximum range is a little misleading though, as at such distances the internet service on your device is bound to appear slow due to packet loss.
The ideal location for your router is as close to the center of your home as possible so the signal can reach every room. One difficulty is that sometimes the internet cable comes into your house in a corner room and extending the cable can be time-consuming and difficult.
Some solutions here include:
- Adjusting the router’s antenna
- Placing the router higher up on a low shelf
- Arranging the unit so that it is completely vertical
See if one of these solutions help the Wi-Fi penetrate further into the desired area or room.
The Wi-Fi radio signal has to penetrate walls, furniture and sometimes floors, all of which present obstacles to the signal. A more involved but highly effective solution to getting a strong signal where you want it is to purchase or repurpose an old router to act as a signal repeater.
Another common cause of poor Wi-Fi reception—especially in apartments or mobile home parks—is interference from neighbors’ Wi-Fi. To investigate this possibility, download a helpful application for whichever device you use. For Windows and Apple devices, get NetSpot; for Android devices, download Wi-Fi Analyzer. These handy apps will display all of the networks in your hyper-local area that may be based on the same band and channel as your router. If this is the case, it’s a strong indication that interference is the culprit in your spotty or slow Wi-Fi. There are also ways to change your router’s channel to increase your internet speeds and performance.
Slow Internet Speeds
First, try connecting your laptop or device directly to your modem or router/modem via an Ethernet cable. Then check your internet speeds with a site such as speedtest.net. If the slow internet problem persists, this is likely a problem your internet service provider will have to address.
If the wired connection looks good, one solution to your spotty or slow Wi-Fi is to perform a hard reset of your router. Most units have a tiny button you can press with a paperclip. Press it for 30 seconds and set up your Wi-Fi from scratch. Just be sure to have your account password on hand before doing this.
If your Wi-Fi performance is still subpar after this, it could be a hardware issue with your router or modem. Technology is great, but devices commonly die after a while. Look into getting a new, highly rated modem or router and get ready to start enjoying wicked fast internet speeds.
Turn It Off and On
This is one of the most time-tested solutions to fix a lot of tech problems. The act of rebooting turns the system off and performs a soft reset on your device. If your Wi-Fi or internet is experiencing issues, do a soft-reset on the router or modem by unplugging it from the wall and letting 30 seconds go by. Plug it back in and see if this solves your problem.
Like electricity, the internet has become such a ubiquitous part our lives that the only time we notice it is when there’s something wrong, be that an outage or hardware problem in our homes. Hopefully, after having read the above tips, you’ll be ready for the next time you encounter a problem with your internet. Then you can get back to streaming or listening and start getting business done as speedily as possible.
Getting More Technical With Your Modem
The above processes are pretty standard modem fixes. They require little technical knowledge of the internet system, and often, it is all you need to do to fix spotty internet coverage, slow internet speeds or no connectivity. But, as with all technology, some issues are larger. In that case, doing a more advanced diagnostics of your system will be necessary. To do so, an understanding of your modem, your cable system and the software and firmware that come with it is necessary. You can get a crash course in modem architecture by going over to our “Troubleshoot and Diagnose Modem Issues” blog post where the first thing you will learn is… what exactly is a modem in the first place?
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