What to do about slow internet

Downloading files on computer screen
Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.

It some respects, it feels as if we’ve come a long way from the days of dial-up modems. But in other ways, it’s as if we’re still stuck in the internet dark ages. No, your business (or home!) connection might not be so bad that images still load in sections. But it could be bad enough to interrupt your work or be frustrating.

A slow internet connection isn’t something that you have no control over. Often, it’s because you haven’t taken necessary steps to sort it how. Here’s are a few reasons why your internet might be slow and how to sort it out.

Your Router Isn’t In The Perfect Spot
Our routers are dumped pretty much anywhere, so long as they are conveniently located. But the place that is the most convenient isn’t necessarily the best for speed. Make sure that the router is surrounded by plenty of open space. It should be free from obstructions and, importantly, walls. If it has an antenna, make sure that it is always pointing upwards. Researchers at Imperial College London found that sharp corners can inhibit the signal. Put the router near the middle of your office to avoid black spots.

Your Hardware Can’t Cope
If your internet has many users, it’s unlikely that a regular broadband package will be able to accommodate the traffic. You might need structured cabling solutions that are designed to carry the volumes of data many businesses requires. Remember, broadband technology is now getting quite old, especially in this era or video and images. Unless you’ve got fiber, it’s unlikely you’ve got the hardware to achieve a consistently high connection speed.

You’re Using The Wrong Channel
If you share an office with other companies or are in an apartment complex or tight neighborhood, it’s likely that their WiFi signal is interfering with yours. If they are using the same channel, your signal can become suppressed. Computers could be confused which signal they should pay more attention to. The result is both slower and more volatile connections. The solution is actually quite simple and doesn’t require changing any equipment. You need to go into your router’s settings and change the channel that the router uses. Changing the channel will help your computers recognize the WiFi signal better.

Move Your Router Away From Other Electronic Devices
The signal emitted by your router is electromagnetic. Like any other signal, it can be inhibited by other devices in your business. Keep your router away from wireless phones, speakers, televisions and even fairy lights.

Boost Your Signal
Most people think that they are limited by the range of their router. But there are plenty of the products on the market that can take the router’s signal and boost it significantly. An early player in this market was Edimax. The company made what looked like miniature WiFi signal boxes. And they were for the sole purpose of boosting the WiFi signal further than it could reach otherwise. If your business is struggling with signal, plant boosters strategically around your home or office.

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