How to increase your home internet speed
Have you found yourself cutting in and out of meetings while working from home? Here's how to get your home internet up to speed.
If you’ve been working or studying from home for a while, you may have noticed your internet turning you into an intergalactic alien while on video calls.
Whether you have additional people in the house using internet bandwidth or faulty modem issues, you may be left feeling frustrated. Here are a few practical tips you can use to boost your home internet speed.
Wi-fi modem tips
One of the best places to start to make sure your internet is as fast and reliable as possible is to look at the heart of your home network – the Wi-Fi modem.
Reset your modem
Just like our computers, sometimes our modems need to re-start to refresh their memory. This may help to fix internet connection problems and boost your internet speed.
Upgrade your modem
When’s the last time you upgraded your modem? If the answer is, ‘you can’t remember’ you may be working with vintage hardware. If your modem is more than a few years old it might only support WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy), one of the oldest wireless security protocols. Look for modems with WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access version 2) for maximum security and internet efficiency.
Your internet speed may be affected by the position of your modem and how many interfering paths are in the way. Try repositioning your modem in a central location, ideally in a high-up place.
Some appliances may get in the way. It’s worth checking things like your microwave, cordless phone or baby monitor to see if these are affecting your connection. If so, consider using a different Wi-Fi frequency channel.
Update your security
Having proper security in place keeps your information private and secure. It stops hackers from gaining access to your shared files and using up your bandwidth or download limit. You can do this by:
Password protecting your wi-fi
To prevent your neighbours from watching Netflix on your bandwidth, make sure you set a complex password. Try to pick a password with a series of numbers and letters – and avoid using a password that can be guessed easily. Failure to keep your network secure might provide strangers with a bit too much control over your coffee machine, air conditioner or smart home system.
Checking the firmware
Just like upgrading your phone’s software, your wireless modem’s software may need to be updated. You can do this by visiting your manufacture’s website. This might help fix any problems and speed up your internet. Make sure you regularly check for updates and use antivirus software.
Switch off SSID
Go unnoticed and stop your SSID (service set identifier) from broadcasting and announcing its presence to the world. This will help to protect your network from any hackers who want to use your internet.
Boost your Wi-Fi signal
So, you’ve tried most things to speed up your Wi-Fi? If you’re still having trouble with your Wi-Fi coverage, you might like to try these hacks:
Choose a new channel
Wireless modems can operate on several different channels, so finding the right one will save you plenty of headaches. Switch to one with little interference from other in-home devices or neighbours. You can use on your computer to locate the best channel and then log into your modem/router and test the channels against Wi-Fi speed.
As mentioned earlier, there are some physical obstructions which may interfere with your Wi-Fi signal. Also, the larger your home, the more space your Wi-Fi signal will have to cover. Investing in a Wi-Fi extender may help to improve your modem’s coverage and penetrate through any thick objects, helping to speed up your internet. If all fails, choose an extender that better suits your needs and the size of your household.
Managing your devices
The number of devices you have and how you use them will play a part in your internet speed. Here are a few tips on how to manage your devices to speed things up.
Cut off unused devices
Bandwidth is a finite online resource. If everyone in your house is using up your download or streaming bandwidth, your internet speed will be impacted. Certain applications use more bandwidth like gaming, HD, Netflix, video chats. Be aware of what devices are connected. Plug anything you can into Ethernet and unplug anything you have connected but don’t need (like that “smart” tea kettle you never once got to work).
With the rise of smart home technology, the ability to connect more devices and use voice commands is increasing. Asking the Amazon Alexa or Google Home to ‘disconnect this device’ or ‘turn off Jack’s Wi-Fi’ can be useful in managing and prioritising your household’s internet bandwidth.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Ethernet connections go straight into the switch. The switch then connects to the modem with a single Ethernet cable, which frees the modem almost exclusively for wireless tasks.
- The more Ethernet devices you use, the more wireless bandwidth there is for Wi-Fi devices, which may mean faster internet speeds.
These steps may help boost your internet speed across streaming, browsing and other online activities. If these steps don’t help and your internet speed is still slow, find an nbn plan that better suits your needs and the size of your household.
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Google Home is a trademarks of Google LLC.
Alexa is a trademark of Amazon in the United States and/or other countries.