A slow internet connection is a quick way to damper your day – especially if you work from home or have deadlines to meet. When pages won’t load, videos won’t buffer or email crawls to a halt, these five common issues may be to blame:
- Internet thieves – If your network password is too simple, there could be more people tapping into it than you think. Networks with weak passwords or no passwords can be accessed by almost anyone. Use a free program called Wi-Fi History View to review each device that has connected to your network, and look for IP addresses you don’t recognize.
- Congestion – A huge problem in crowded neighborhoods or apartments, especially during peak hours. When too many people try to connect at the same time on the same Wi-Fi channel, connection speed slows down. Fix this by selecting a different channel for your router for a faster connection. Or buy a new 5-gigahertz router.
- Outdated equipment – Wi-Fi routers are not all created equal. When shopping for a new router, “AC” routers are a step up from older “B” and “G” models and even “N” models.
- Your router’s security settings – The type of wireless security you use could impact your overall Wi-Fi speed. If your network is open (no security) or is using WEP, change the security setting fast! An open network makes it easy for someone to steal your Wi-Fi, and the older WEP security is easily hacked, so avoid it.
- You’re too far out of range – An easy fix. Routers are not designed to transmit signals over long distances, so there may be hot spots and dead zones in your home. To map out your network, a tool called HeatMapper helps to see where Wi-Fi signals are strongest in your home or office. HeatMapper is a free download for Windows users. NetSpot is a good alternative for Mac users.
Source: USA Today