There are a plethora of reasons why you’re experiencing slow wi-fi speed. It could be the strength of the WiFi signal, the wireless channel, your PC or router, or even a network problem.
With so many factors influencing Wi-Fi speed, it can be difficult to identify and resolve the issue. But there’s always a way, right? If your Wi-Fi suddenly becomes slow and you can’t figure out what’s wrong, we’re here to help you figure it out and fix it.
Because there are numerous factors influencing Wi-Fi speed, we will begin with the basics and progress to more advanced issues and their solutions.
WHY IS MY WIFI SO SLOW?
To understand what causes your WiFi to be slow, you must first understand what WiFi is. WiFi, in essence, is a technology that allows various internet-enabled devices to connect to the internet wirelessly.
A wireless router is used to set up a WiFi network. However, not all wireless routers create the same WiFi network. Here are some of the most common reasons for slow WiFi:
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- The router is unable to send the wireless signal far enough away.
- There are too many clients connected to the internet at the same time, and the router does not have enough capacity to accommodate them all.
- The router broadcasts on an overcrowded channel, causing signal interference.
- The router’s placement is not ideal, preventing the signal from traveling evenly in all directions.
- The router is either too old or hasn’t been updated or restarted in a long time.
Continue reading to learn how to avoid these and other causes of slow WiFi so that you can surf the web without restriction.
DO ROUTERS LOSE THEIR STRENGTH?
Routers, like other electronic devices, degrade in performance over time due to overheating and outdated technology. As a result, the Wi-Fi signal performs poorly.
WHAT IS WEAK SECURITY IN WI-FI?
If you get a pop-up warning about weak security on your Wi-Fi connection, it usually means the router is using outdated encryption technology to transmit data.
WPA2 is the most recent protocol that provides advanced security for Wi-Fi signals. It provides a strong and secure connection when combined with AES encryption.
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HOW TO FIX SLOW WIFI?
When your internet connection is slow, there are a few steps you can take.
1. RESTART THE ROUTER
The well-known restart of the device fix works in a variety of situations, and it may also be a solution for slow WiFi. All you need to do is turn off the router for 10-15 seconds before turning it back on.
Most routers have a power switch on the back, but you can also unplug the adaptor to turn it off. After restarting (at least 1 minute), try using it again to see if the problem persists.
While you’re at it, restart the device on which you’re using WiFi. The device connected to the WiFi may also be the source of the problem.
2. CHECK OTHER DEVICES USING WIFI
The total bandwidth of a WiFi network is divided among the devices that are currently connected to it, and any bandwidth-intensive program running on one device will affect the internet speed of the other devices.
Normally, tasks like browsing the web have little impact, but if someone is playing games, streaming videos, or downloading large files on a device, it can have a significant impact on the network bandwidth of other devices. As a result, ensure that no one uses the WiFi network for bandwidth-intensive content.
In addition, you can disconnect inactive devices such as smartphones that are not in use, as background apps may still be using bandwidth even when the screen is turned off.
3. STOP BACKGROUND PROGRAMS USING BANDWIDTH
There is a possibility that a background program is consuming bandwidth without your knowledge. For example, Windows Update is notorious for downloading updates in the background, and there are other programs that are connected to the internet and consume bandwidth in the background; malware can do this as well!
The active background processes on a Windows PC can be viewed using the Windows Task Manager. To open Task Manager, press the Ctrl+Shift+Esc key combination and navigate to the “Processes” tab.
Windows and third-party software processes are both listed here. Now, look for any third-party applications that you did not start and, after selecting one, click “End Process.” Simply avoid closing processes that contain words like Windows, Microsoft, explorer.exe, and System, among others.
If you have any doubts about a process, look it up online and see what it does. You should also install a good antivirus program to ensure that no malware is running in the background.
4. ADD PROTECTION TO WIFI
If no program or device is using the bandwidth, it is possible that your neighbor is stealing it. Someone may connect to your Wi-Fi and use your bandwidth if it is not secure enough or not secured at all.
You should use WPA2 security because it is the most advanced protocol for securing your WiFi at the moment. You must change the password from your router’s main interface, which you can access by entering the router’s IP address into the address bar of your browser.
To find the IP address of the router, press Windows + R and type “cmd” into the “Run” dialog to open command prompt.
Enter “ipconfig” and you should see the IP address next to “Default Gateway.” Simply type this address into your browser’s address bar and hit enter. When prompted for a password, type “Admin” or “12345.”
If neither of these methods work, contact your ISP (internet service provider) and request the password. Because each router’s interface is unique, we cannot provide specific instructions.
However, you should be able to change your password under Security, Wireless, or other similar options. Simply select WPA2 security and AES encryption, and create a strong password.
5. YOUR DEVICE AND ROUTER’S LOCATION
The location of your router is critical in ensuring that Wi-Fi signals reach your device and provide optimal speed. Wi-Fi signals are transmitted in a dome-like pattern, and any obstruction between the router and your device may reduce its speed.
If you want to send signals throughout the house, it is best to place it in a central and higher location. The objects that stand between your device and the Wi-Fi signals, on the other hand, are what you should be concerned about.
Although Wi-Fi signals can easily pass through most objects with little to no speed loss, some objects are extremely difficult or impossible for Wi-Fi signals to pass through.
Wi-Fi signals, for example, have a difficult time penetrating metals, cement, or concrete, so if you are behind a wall that contains such materials, your Wi-Fi signals will be affected. Furthermore, because microwaves and cordless phones operate at nearly the same frequency as Wi-Fi (i.e. 2.450 GHz), they interfere with the signals.
The Wi-Fi signal is also affected by your distance from the router. The further you move away, the weaker the signals become. Try to keep within a 6-10 meter radius.
6. CHANGE WI-FI CHANNEL
Wireless signals, like radio signals, operate on different channels, and all routers in your area are connected to these channels.
If a large number of routers are connected to the same channel, their signals may interfere with one another. Fortunately, you can change this channel manually and select the one with the lowest load.
Nirsoft’s WifiInfoView is a great little tool for this purpose that is both simple and free. When you launch the program, it will display all Wi-Fi channels and how crowded they are. Choose the one with the fewest people and you’re good to go. If WifiInfoView isn’t working for you, you can try Net Stumbler.
7. CONTACT SUPPORT
When you have spent a significant amount of time behind your router and wiring, it is best to contact a professional. Your manufacturer’s customer service phone number should be listed on their website.
You can also schedule a service appointment for a convenient date so that technicians can assess the issue and provide a solution.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY ROUTER NEEDS TO BE UPDATED?
While there is no single indicator that helps users determine whether they need to upgrade their router or not, the following are the common signs –
- Inconsistent connectivity
- Internet lights issue
- Random breakdowns or reboots
- Lack of support on newer devices
Slow internet speed will not be an issue if you become a wise internet user. Simply try to be aware of the activities that can impact internet speed and avoid practices such as connecting more devices than the speed limit, which will slow down your internetwork. Select a speed that corresponds to your usage.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my Wi-Fi so slow for no reason?
Spyware and viruses can certainly cause issues, but add-on programs, the amount of memory on the computer, hard disk space and condition, and the programs that are running can all have an impact on Internet connection speed. Spyware and viruses are two of the most common causes of poor Internet performance.
Is router throttling a real thing?
Throttling an internet connection is generally legal. Excessive use on a plan with a data cap is a common reason for data throttling. Despite the repeal of these safeguards, ISPs are still required to notify customers when they throttle data.
Can router affect internet speed?
If you use WiFi, your router has an impact on your internet speed. A good router will maximize your Internet speed, whereas a slow router will cause lag and longer load times. A router’s most basic function is to direct network traffic.