With some things, you would just prefer them to go a bit faster. Dentist visits, boring classes at school, long journeys on crowded trains, and slow internet connections. Connecting to slow internet can be frustrating, especially when you know it has the potential to go a lot faster. If you connect using a wireless connection at home, there are plenty of ways you could speed things up.
1. Upgrade your Equipment
When you are trying to maximize your wireless connection speeds, the first thing to check is your equipment. Think of your wireless connection as a chain – a chain that will only work as well as its weakest link. If you find that weakest (slowest) link in your chain, and upgrade it, you may see a significant increase in the speeds you receive. Swap out each link in the chain, do an internet speed test and find that weak link. Don’t forget that iiNet will be supporting the NBN rollout when it launches very soon, which is also fail proof way to boost your internet speed.
2. Reposition your Router
In order to get the best from your router, you need to position it correctly. Try to place it in the centre of the house, in an elevated position if possible. If the router has walls or furniture surrounding it, wireless signals going to and from the router may be impeded. Bear in mind that your microwave or cordless phone may also be interfering with the wireless signal.
3. Use an Antenna
Attach an antenna to the router to boost outgoing signals, and an antenna to your devices to boost incoming signals, and you may be able to boost your wireless connection speeds.
4. Use a Repeater
You may also want to use a repeater to maximize the wireless signal between the router and your devices. You can pick up a new repeater fairly cheaply, or you can make your own repeater if you’re feeling handy. Check online for ways to make your own repeater out of a soda can.
5. Use a Password
While we’re not saying that your neighbours are stealing your internet, your neighbours really could be stealing your internet. First, turn on Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA). This encrypts your data before it’s transmitted across the network, and decrypts it on receipt. Then set up a password that must be entered into any equipment that tries to connect to your wireless network. This can prevent people from accessing your wireless connection and your data.
6. Change the Channel
Wireless routers only operate on a limited number of channels, and if your neighbours are connecting via wireless, chances are they are using the same wireless channel. While this doesn’t mean they are using your internet, it does mean there will be more traffic on that channel slowing it down. Find free channels by using a free program such as inSSIDer from MetaGeek.
7. Disable Bandwidth Hogs
There are some internet applications that use more bandwidth than others. If someone in your home is streaming, using video conferencing or online gaming, then the wireless speeds you experience elsewhere will probably slow down significantly. Disable bandwidth hogs if you’re not using them, and prioritize applications by setting up Quality of Service (QoS) on your router.
This is a guest post by Peter Lawson. He writes for an Australian ISP called iiNet. iiNet is a is Australia’s second largest DSL Internet Service Provider and the leading challenger in the telecommunications market.