Do you ever feel frustrated by slow internet speed at home? We get you, it happens, and the most important question, after running an internet speed test, is why this is happening (and no, it doesn’t only happen to you).
There are a few reasons as to why you can experience slow internet speed at home and your ISP (that’s us!) is more often than not, NOT the cause.
In this blog we will look at wifi routers and the role they play on slow internet speed. We will also provide some ways to throttle the frustration you are feeling and improve slow internet speed at home.
Wifi routers and slow internet speed
First, let’s understand what the heck the internet is. Internet is the interconnectivity of computers and servers, intricately linked, by wires and cables all around the globe. You know those impressive fibre cables laid in the sea. That is internet.
These cables are connected to your home and then to a modem (modulator-demodulator). The modem is, in effect, connected to the internet. You can connect a device directly to your modem and be connected to the internet but then, you wouldn’t be able to connect multiple devices at the same time, that’s what the wifi router is for.
Wifi stands for ‘wireless fidelity’ and is the same thing as saying ‘local area network’ (LAN). Wifi signals or waves are given off by your router to your devices, connecting them all to the internet simultaneously. These signals or waves are what is known as bandwidth.
Bandwidth is often mistaken for internet speed when in fact it is the volume of information that you and others are trying to send over a connection in a certain period of time.
Now bandwidth, or lack thereof, is what can cause poor internet connection and is the culprit for slow internet speed, most of the time.
Bandwidth, chocolate milkshake and slow internet
Imagine a chocolate milkshake, yum! The glass is the router and the milkshake is the bandwidth. You begin drinking that milkshake through a straw on your own, heaven. But then another person starts drinking through a straw from the same glass and then another and another. You not going to get as much milkshake as you would like right? You can’t complain to the service provider that there wasn’t enough milkshake in the glass to go around or that the glass wasn’t big enough or that you couldn’t drink fast enough. You would need to either get a bigger milkshake or, stop sharing.
It’s the same with bandwidth, the more devices you add to the wifi router, the more the bandwidth is shared among those devices, and the slower the internet speed.
How can you improve your internet speed?
1. Purchase the right fibre internet package
First, you can run a connectivity test with the Rocketnet Probe app that is free to download for iOS and Android. Our technical team will be available to walk you through the process and make some excellent suggestions.
When choosing a home fibre internet package you need to be honest with yourself. Make a list about what you are going to need the internet for. Are you going to be downloading or uploading large files? Downloading apps, doing some online gaming (the biggest user of bandwidth)? And, are you going to be doing this across multiple devices at the same time? If yes, then you need a fibre internet package and a wifi router that will suit your needs.
2. Position your wifi router correctly
How you position your router can have an effect on connectivity. If your router is placed at one end of the house you may experience issues on the other end of your house.
3. Some more router positioning tips
- Place the antennas so that they stand straight up
- Position your router off of the floor
- If you decide to place your router on a desk make sure it is not a metal desk
- Household appliances can cause interference and some appliances like a microwave may cause your internet to cut out completely (e.g. wifi routers operate at a frequency of 2.4ghz and microwaves at 2,450ghz-see the problem)?
- To cover a large area with a wireless signal you can purchase a wireless repeater or range extender
- If you want a more reliable connection with faster speed and no interference problems, a wired network connection is still the most reliable option
Let’s land this plane. The most common cause of slow internet speed can be your router and how it is set up. We at RocketNet would be very pleased to assist you in making sure you are getting the best internet experience possible!