Do you ever feel frustrated by slow fibre internet speed at home? It happens, and the most important question, after running a fibre internet speed test, is why this is happening (and no, it doesn’t only happen to you).
There are a few reasons you can experience slow fibre internet speed at home. Your ISP (hopefully that’s us!) is, more often than not, NOT the cause.
In this blog, we will look at WiFi routers and their role in slow fibre internet speed. We will also provide some valuable tips and tools to throttle your frustration and improve slow internet speed at home.
WiFi routers. Functionality and positioning.
First, let’s understand what the internet is. Internet is the interconnectivity of computers and servers by wires all around the globe. This includes those impressive fibre cables laid in the sea.
These cables are connected to your home and then to a modem (modulator-demodulator). The modem is the device in your home connected to the internet. You can join a device directly to your modem and be connected to the internet. Still, then, you wouldn’t be able to connect multiple devices simultaneously. 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 from the router to your devices, connecting them all to the internet simultaneously. These signals or waves are what is known as bandwidth.
What is bandwidth?
Bandwidth, which is often mistaken for fibre internet speed, is the volume of information that all devices are trying to send over an internet connection in a particular space of time.
Now bandwidth, or lack thereof, can cause poor internet connection and can be, more often than not, the culprit for slow internet speed at home.
Bandwidth and chocolate milkshake.
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 more enormous 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.
Tips and tools to improve fibre internet speed?
The RocketNet probe app is a good starting point.
First, if you have fibre internet, you can run a connectivity test with the Rocketnet Probe app, free to download for iOS and Android. Contact our technical team who will be available to walk you through the process and make some excellent suggestions along the way.
Be honest with yourself.
When choosing a home fibre internet package, you need to be honest with yourself.
Make a list of 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, you need a fibre internet package and a WiFi router to suit your needs.
Position your WiFi router correctly.
How a router is positioned can have an effect on fibre internet connectivity. If a router is placed at one end of the house and you are trying to connect on the other end, you may experience connectivity issues.
If the signal needs to pass through any walls and doors to get to a device, connectivity issues may result. Also, other appliances in your home, such as telephones or microwaves (while in operation), may interfere with the WiFi signal.
Some other 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.
- To cover a large area with a wireless signal, you can purchase a wireless repeater or range extender.
- A wired network connection is still the most reliable for faster speeds and no interference problems.
If you still running an old WiFi router of three or four years old. It may be time for an upgrade.
Using a mesh network can significantly increase the speed and consistency of internet connectivity.
A mesh network is a system of WiFi devices or ‘touch points’ positioned throughout your home. These touchpoints distribute the WiFi signal more evenly throughout a home and improve the load that bandwidth can carry. Before upgrading to a faster fibre internet package, consider a mesh network system first.
Internet of things.
The internet of things (IoT) refers to any device used in a home that connects to the internet and shares data. For homeowners turning their pads into smart homes by adding smart doorbells, lights or security cameras, you may experience slower fibre internet.
These devices can connect to the internet via the WiFi router but use a ton of bandwidth. Smart TV’s use a lot of bandwidth, especially the latest in high resolution.
Suppose you still running some older IoT like laptops with slow processing speed. In that case, you may experience slower internet connectivity even with the newest WiFi router. Power these devices down and only use them when really necessary.
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 delighted to assist you in making sure you are getting the best internet experience possible!