Home internet, while certainly not a new concept, is more important than ever today given how it has become a vital part of our daily lives. So, anything that could be slowing down your internet or affecting its overall performance can definitely be frustrating, especially if you’re trying to work or learn from home. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to boost your home internet performance if it’s not exactly leaving you impressed at the moment.
Adjust Your Modem/Router Location
Often grouped together as a device referred to as a gateway, the modem and router are responsible for transmitting and directing your home internet signal. This equipment, whether it’s one single piece or two, needs to be put in a place where the Wi-Fi signal can be clearly and strongly sent. With modem/router placement, remember to:
• Opt for a central location in your home
• Avoid placing it behind furniture or where the signal will have to go through walls
• Keep it away from other electronics that could affect the signal
If you prefer to have a fairly decent signal on your porch or in your yard, consider putting your modem/router by an open window. Another option is to use a high shelf in your home.
Try a Wi-Fi Extender
These are devices that plug into a wall socket and amplify your wireless internet connection. A Wi-Fi extender is something to consider if putting your router/modem in a central location isn’t possible or practical, or if you have a larger home with multiple floors. Some internet providers offer extenders as an option. Xfinity, for instance, calls their extenders xFi pods.
Determine How Much Bandwidth You Really Need
Take a look at what normally goes on in your home with connected devices. If, for example, you regularly work from home while your kids are doing online learning, playing video games, or streaming movies, you’ll need a more significant amount of bandwidth. If you’re currently not getting what you need, talk to your service provider to see if you can upgrade.
Make Sure You Have Updated Software
Over time, the software on your various internet-connected devices can become outdated enough to affect home internet performance. In many instances, you can get software updates directly on your devices. A quick and easy way to do this is to power-cycle your equipment. What you’re doing is simply unplugging it, waiting for a few minutes, and plugging it back in. Also, be sure you set your devices to give you software update notifications.
Check to See If Your Equipment Is Up-to-Date, Too
A good place to start here is with your modem, router, or gateway. If you’ve had this equipment for a while now, it may not be as up-to-date as it could be. Check with your service provider to see if there are any new versions of the equipment you’re currently using available. Comcast, for example, recently rolled out its xFi Advanced Gateway. It comes with three times the bandwidth, and it’s capable of powering multiple devices with improved efficiency and reliability.
Close/Turn Off Anything Internet-Connected You’re Not Using
You may have applications running in the background on your various devices you really don’t use all that often. Periodically check to see if this may the case and close anything you don’t need. The purpose here is to shutdown anything that may be drawing from your signal. Also, check around your home to see if there are any “smart” devices or appliances that don’t need to be constantly connected.
Directly Connect (When Possible)
For times when your home internet is affected by multiple-device users in the same general area, have whoever happens to be closest to an actual device that can be directly connected do so. In other words, if you need a more reliable connection to finish something up for work, use an Ethernet cable to link directly to your modem. This way you’ll get a more reliable connection and everyone else can continue to do what they’re trying to do as well.
Finally, take a moment to check cable cords and other physical connections in and around your home. Loose connections, even if everything is technically still working, can weaken the signal and affect home internet performance.