Article ID : 00156794 / Last Modified : 11/04/2018

Tips to maximize the Wi-Fi performance in your home.

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Understanding Bandwidth:

The speed at which data can be sent into to your home is critical when it comes to streaming videos from online sources. A slow Internet connection will cause streaming video to stall as it fills the buffer in the receiving device, or you may get a lower-quality stream from the app because it senses that your available speed is not able to handle anything more. Internet speed is the term often used to describe the bandwidth available to accept data from the Internet to your home. Measured in megabits per second (Mbps), it is the amount of data that can be transferred from the cloud to your connected devices. The amount of bandwidth used in your home will be affected by others in your home who want to stream to their TV, watch videos on their mobile devices or play online games. Also, if your neighbors subscribe to the same cable provider or share the overall bandwidth available in an apartment building, that will decrease the bandwidth you have available. This is especially true at times when they all want to stream at the same time. It is important to discuss your viewing habits and other Internet usage with your Internet service provider so that they can recommend an Internet service that will meet your needs.

If you have contacted your Internet service provider to ensure that your Internet service and Iinternet equipment is capable of handling your viewing needs. Here are some additional things that you can do to get the best out of your Internet service.

Placing your modem and router in the right spot:

There are two primary choices and tradeoffs on where you and your technician set up your Internet equipment.

  • If you use Wi-Fi equally throughout the house, the Wi-Fi equipment should be placed as close to the middle of your home as possible. This helps provide the best possible Wi-Fi signal throughout.
  • If there is a primary media room where you use Wi-Fi the most, the wireless router (gateway) should be placed there. This allows you to wire devices that require more bandwidth, such as streaming video device or gaming systems, directly into your router and minimize the wireless needs from these devices.

    NOTE: If your media room is not in the middle of your home, the Wi-Fi signal strength for other devices could be impacted the further you move the device from the router.

Make sure that your Wi-Fi signal is free and clear:

Do not block the Wi-Fi signal.

  • Avoid placing the Wi-Fi equipment in a closet or cabinet or putting it behind something (such as a TV, aquarium or staircase). This will weaken the Wi-Fi signal.
  • Do not place Wi-Fi equipment on the floor or low to the ground.
  • Do not place Wi-Fi equipment next to windows.
  • Open any doors to the room where you have placed the Wi-Fi equipment.

    NOTE: It is important to provide a clear path for the Wi-Fi signal.

    Items that will negatively affect the Wi-Fi signal Amount of interference
    Wood Low
    Plaster Low
    Synthetics Low
    Tinted glass Low to Medium
    Water Medium
    Brick Medium
    Marble Medium
    2.4GHz signal (such as a cell phone) Medium to High
    Concrete High
    Microwave signals Medium to High
    Metal Very High

Use a wired connection when possible:

Internet service providers have worked hard to improve the speeds and reliability of their Wi-Fi services. However, wireless connections are still not as fast, and stable as a wired connection. Devices such as streaming Blu-ray Disc players, Internet capable TVs, media players or gaming systems (e.g. the PlayStation 4 console) need lots of bandwidth. We highly recommend connecting these devices to your modem or router using a wired Ethernet connection.

Support for new Wi-Fi devices:

All Wi Fi-enabled devices are built to the 802.11 Wi-Fi standards. Most new Wi-Fi devices support 802.11g, 802.11n or the latest 802.11ac standard, which all allow for a greater amount of units of information a system can process (also know as throughput speed). If your modem or router supports an older standard, such as 802.11b, it will connect to new device but it will slow down your Wi-Fi experience. Check the settings of your Wi-Fi equipment to make sure it is set to support the newer 802.11 standards.

NOTE: It may be necessary to update or upgrade your Wi-Fi equipment. Contact your Internet service provide for further assistance.

Use just one wireless network in your home:

Whenever possible, do not run more than one Wi-Fi network in your home. This may cause devices to have trouble keeping a constant connection, because the networks will interfere with one another. The following device will also cause interference.

  • baby monitors
  • cordless phones
  • microwave ovens

If possible keep monitors and phones off of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels that your Wi-Fi equipment uses. If connection issues persist, turn off these types of devices off when not in use.

Use a speed test tool to maximize the capability of all of your Internet capable devices:

Not all devices are the same when it comes to Wi-Fi speed. Using a speed test tool , check the Wi-Fi speeds on all your devices when you are near your router. Log the different speeds test results to determine which devices may have lower speeds and might not perform effectively when they are farther away from the router. It would be best to use a wired connection, wireless bridge , gaming adapter  or powerline adapter  for these devices.

Adjust the channel width to minimize interference:

For homes that have neighbors nearby (e.g. apartments or town homes) who all have their own Wi-Fi networks, you might experience Wi-Fi interference. If your Wi-Fi devices have trouble connecting, you can limit the channel width on your wireless router. To limit the channel width, use a computer to log in to your wireless router or wireless gateway and minimize the channel width to 20Mhz for your 2.4 GHz network and 20/40 for your 5GHz network. This may assist in minimizing the Wi-Fi noise or interference that cause Wi-Fi issues with some devices.

NOTE: Contact your Internet service provider for assistance with adjusting this or any other router settings.

Reboot your Wi-Fi device:

Like any software driven devices, it is beneficial to occasionally reboot your wireless routers and gateway devices. Often times resetting your Wi-Fi device, will allow the device to detect any changes to the network environment. This helps to make sure you have the best possible Wi-Fi speeds. To reset the router or gateway, unplug the devices, and wait a moment. Then plug it back in. All your Wi-Fi devices should automatically reconnect.