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Slow Wi-Fi is one of the biggest frustrations of modern life. If your wireless network speed has slowed to a crawl, there are several issues that might be causing the problem. Use these tips to identify and fix the problem with your wireless network.

1. Wireless Signal Strength is Low

Open up the network settings on your computer or other device and take a look at the signal strength for your wireless network. If you’re not receiving a full strength signal, it could be that something is interfering with the wireless signal or that you are simply too far from the router. Reposition your router so it is closer to the rooms in which you want to use the network, or purchase a wireless repeater to boost the signal throughout your home.

2. Something is Interfering With the Wireless Signal

Wireless routers usually broadcast signals at a frequency of around 2.4GHz. Unfortunately, many other electronics, such as baby monitors, microwave ovens, cordless phones and Bluetooth devices, also use this frequency, which means the signals can become muddled. To stop interference from household appliances or neighbors’ wireless networks, try changing your Wi-Fi channel number so it uses a slightly different frequency to communicate with your devices. If you have a dual-band router, you can turn the frequency all the way up to 5GHz, which should cut out most interference.

3. Power Saving Mode is On

Some routers automatically run in power saving mode. Unfortunately, this can lower your wireless network speed. Open up the router settings, switch the transmission power to high, and turn off any power saving features to see whether this makes a difference to the speed.

4. Firmware or Drivers Are Outdated

Upgrading your router’s firmware can be an easy fix for slow network speeds. Open up the router settings using a connected computer and check whether updates are available. At the same time, you should check your computer’s wireless network drivers are up to date. You can find the latest drivers on the support pages of the manufacturer’s website.

5.  Is it really broken?

If it is slow on your laptop but not your computer, then it is most likely an issue with your computer.  To figure it out for certain, sit in the same place and go to speedtest.org with both your computer and phone.  If the numbers are pretty much the same but it seems like your computer is slower there is a performance issue with the computer.  These can be caused by viruses, spyware, crudware or just entropy.  It might be that your system resources are low and that makes it look like the internet is slow, but it’s not.  Another way to tell if it is your wireless is to go to a coffee shop and compare your performance.

One more thing to remember:  Wireless speeds are slower than wired speeds.  If you’re paying for 120mb downloads and you get 30 from your wireless, that’s to be expected.  If you plug into the modem with an ethernet cable, you’ll get your full download speeds (assuming everything is OK from the ISP).  You can ride faster on a highway than you can off-roading – the infrastructure is better to support that goal.  The same applies to wireless.  It is made for flexibility and convenience not necessarily for really high speed.

Is your business suffering from slow wifi speeds?  Contact the IT support team at CommonGood I.T. today!