1. The distance between your Wi-Fi router/modem and your device is too far.
- The further the distance, the weaker the signal, and the slower the Wi-Fi speeds.
- The distance between your router/modem can negatively impact your devices performance. The farther your device is from the router the weaker the signal will become.
- Relocating your router/modem may help. If you try to relocate your router/modem closer to your devices, please use a Sparklight provided jumper as other coaxial cables purchased from retail outlets are not shielded as well and could cause additional interference.
Tip: Complete a wired speed test first by signing into your online account. Ensure that you do not have any programs running in the back ground. If your wired speed is slow, your Wi-Fi speed won't be any faster. Sometimes it might be the specific device that is running slow.
2. There are ''blockers'' that can block or interrupt the Wi-Fi Signal
- Don't place your Wi-Fi Router/Modem behind obstacles such as in cabinet or closet since these act as blockers which prevent the wifi signal from passing through.
- The more walls the WiFi signal has to travel through, the weaker your signal will become. This is because construction material such as plaster and lath, duct work, and electrical lines can act as a ''blocker'' since the radio waves have issues passing through these types of materials. It's much like when you are passing through a tunnel while driving and lose your radio signal. Same thing happens with your WiFi signal when it has to pass through walls.
Tip: A higher placed (i.e. on top of a bookshelf) centrally located Wi-Fi Router/Modem will usually work best. Customers should keep that in mind if they have weak signal in certain areas of their home.
3. Cordless phones, baby monitors, microwaves, oh my!
- Cordless phones, microwaves, baby monitors, wireless security cameras and wireless speakers all operate on same frequencies and can lower your Wi-Fi speeds. Even electronics such as fluorescent lights, wireless controllers, older Bluetooth devices, and plasma TV's can interfere.
- Devices such as these run on the same frequency as your standard WiFi, 2.4GHz. When you have many things running on the same wave length this can cause a ''traffic jam'' of frequencies and contribute to your slow WiFi.
Tip: Sometimes you can identify a specific device that is causing the issue. Unplug any of the above devices one at a time and see if your speed improves. You may find one device is causing your headache.
4. Interference from other Wi-Fi Routers/Modems
- Densely populated areas such as apartment complexes, subdivisions and condos are subject to significantly more WiFi congestion.
- When you live in a congested area with people who are using the same WiFi as you, your signal is fighting with all the other signals for speed. Most router and modems come preprogramed to being on a specific channel and frequency. Check your router manual or the manufacturer's website online and select a WiFi channel on your router that your neighbors aren't on. Use only channels 1, 6 or 11 on the 2.4 GHz band – using any other channel will cause poor performance. Also make sure you are on your WiFi network and not your neighbors.
- Some of the more advance, newer routers and modems have the capability of switching to the 5GHz band which is less congested than the older and more crowded 2.4GHz band. If you are unsure if your modem is capable of this, check the routers specification.
Tip 1: You can download a WiFi analyzer app for your smartphone and see what channels your neighbors are using and if your channel is congested by other users. Use a different channel, if possible using the channel 1, 6 or 11 rule listed above.
Tip 2: If you have a wireless repeater, try to operate it on a different channel than your router, otherwise it will be competing against it. If two wireless devices are on the same channel, they have to take turns talking. This will cut the speed down drastically if either network is being heavily utilized (Skype, Netflix, etc.)
5. Devices: Your device can't handle advanced speeds
- Not all devices are created equal. Newer smartphones, tablets and computers will typically be faster than older ones, but they still may not be able to reach full wired speeds.
- Most routers/modems will slow down to the speed of your slowest device. This means that if you have other devices that have the capability of operating at faster speeds, they will be stopped from reaching their full potential by the slower device. If you need full speeds for a large download or gaming, consider connecting a device directly to the modem using an Ethernet cable. The wired speed is almost always faster than the Wifi speed. This is because the internet is connected directly with the device.
Tip: Do speed tests with other Wi-Fi devices and see how they compare.
6. Reboot: When was the last time you rebooted your Wi-Fi system?
- We're asking more and more of our home network, and rebooting everything gives them a fresh start, like a short nap.
- Many times, rebooting your modem will fix your connectivity issues. The reason for this is because most electronics were not designed or built to be running all of the time with no breaks. A reboot every now and thing is highly recommended to ensure your WiFi performance stays in tip top shape.
- Click HERE to instructions on how to reboot your router/modem.
Tip: Reboot your devices in the following order: modem, then router, then computer, then WiFi devices.
7. Connections: Check your coaxial connection at your modem and cable outlet
- A loose coaxial connection can cause slowdowns in your speed.
- Sometimes the culprit of slow speed is issues with the coaxial cable and connection. Check to see if the coaxial cable is tightly fitted onto your modem/router and has a secure connection to the wall outlet. Also inspection for damages to the cable such as the cable being bent or creased.
Tip: Check your Coaxial cable once a month and ensure all connections are finger tight.
8. Devices Gone Wild
- You could have one device that is hogging all of the available bandwidth and hindering your speed.
- When a device isn't working properly, it can cause a disruption with all the other devices on the network. Since your wireless network is only as fast as your slowest device, having a device that is hogging up all the speed will cause your other electronics to run slow as well.
Tip: Power off one device at a time and then check your speed to see if you can isolate a problem device in your home.
9. Keep It Fresh
- Old firmware or operating systems can cause slow connections. Ensuring your devices is updated to the most recent software will help to keep your device running correctly.
- Ensuring your devices operating system and firmware are up to date will help to ensure better connectivity. This includes items such as your phones, tablets, and computers.
Tip: Access manufacturers' websites for your devices and software to verify you are running the latest drivers, updates & and patches.
10. Super User Beware
- As a Super User, a basic WiFi setup may not provide the ''horsepower'' you need.
- If you have multiple WiFi devices in your home, and you stream to all 4 corners of your house, you will benefit from an 802.11ac multi band router with more antennae and access to the 5 GHz band. If your devices have AC Wi-Fi and your router supports it, use AC instead of N on as many devices as possible.