Network specialists already know this: wired Internet connections will always provide the best performance. According to a Data Alliance consultant, by setting up an Ethernet-based network, you can get up to 1,000% faster Internet connections, significantly diminished signal interference, and much lower latency. So, if you have a regular computer in your home, it is best to connect it to the Internet by using a wired Ethernet cord. On a side note, wired connections with also help you keep most hackers at bay.
Nevertheless, many of us are forced to utilize wireless connections. Who would want to plug a cable into his or her tablet or phone, after all? Still, since Wi-Fi connections utilize radio signals, they can be affected by several external factors, which will decrease performance. Here are the key reasons why your wireless Internet connection may be misbehaving.
1. Your Internet connection is weak. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will try to attract as many customers as possible by offering them slower Internet connections which have reasonable prices. To give you an idea, if you intend to watch movies online, you will need an Internet connection that's got at least 50 Mbps.
2. Your router is cheap. There are several reasons why some routers cost $300 a piece, and one of them is performance. Yes, you should expect to get a better Internet connection from a more expensive router, so don't choose that $20 model, because you will basically throw your money out of the window.
Just like regular computers, routers are tiny PCs which have their own CPUs and memory. So, a router that's got a slow CPU and less memory than needed will quickly turn your Internet browsing experience into a very unpleasant one.
3. Sometimes your router will simply need a restart. Believe it or not, this is the most frequent reasons why your Internet connection isn't working as it did in the past. Since your router is in fact a computer, its memory content may get corrupted every now and then. So, make it a habit to reboot your router on a weekly basis (or so). Simply press its power button to turn it off, wait for a minute or two, and then power it on. You will have to wait for another minute, until the router loads its operating system, but then you will hopefully have a pleasant Internet browsing experience once again.
4. Did you know that lots of applications connect to the Internet and exchange data with their makers' servers without asking for permission? It is another reason why your Wi-Fi connection may work slower than expected. So, take the time to go through all the apps that are installed on your devices, and then uninstall the ones that aren't necessary and could cause trouble.
5. Your Wi-Fi connection may interfere with your neighbors' connection. Everyone has a router in his/her home these days, isn't it? This means that your neighbor may utilize the same Wi-Fi channel that you are using. To make things even harder, most manufacturers set their routers on channels 6 or 11, by default. The good news is that you can easily change the channel by logging into your router's admin interface. Test all the Wi-Fi channels, and see which one helps you get the fastest Internet connection. You can use a service like this to measure the speed accurately.
6. Often, a particular device, be it a laptop or a tablet, isn't working as expected because it is placed away from the router. So, try to move it closer and see if this fixes the problem. If it does, you may need to add a signal repeater to your wireless network. It's an inexpensive device which connects to the existing Wi-Fi network, amplifies its signal, and then broadcasts it. This may be the ideal solution, especially if you have a big home. People who don't mind spending up to $500 on Wi-Fi hardware should consider an even better solution: a mesh network, which consists of several routers that have been configured to work together as a system, and will provide a strong wireless signal.