While it looks like life may finally begin to return to normalcy, our home networks have been tested over the past months as family members work and learn from home, surf the web, or stream movies as the days go by. We have more devices than ever before that can connect to our network; our laptops, phones, video game consoles, locks, thermostats, and media systems all compete for a fast and solid connection that puts stress on our systems. You've probably experienced WiFi dead spots and slow connections around your home with so many family members using connected devices for practical reasons or entertainment purposes. To avoid overloading your home network, here are six tips to improve your home network speeds.
Determine your internet connection
First, you’ll want to check your internet connection speeds to determine where your network stands. There are several speed-test tools available for free online; keep the FCC guidelines on-hand to reference that your connection can keep up with your online use. We recommend aiming for a higher number than what you believe you currently use, so your future self will be able to go longer with a smooth connection, ideally 25Mbps or more.
Replace Your Router
You now understand your current internet speeds and perhaps you are satisfied with the result. It's time to take advantage of that speed! However, you may notice that streaming music or movies are interrupted by buffering that ruins the experience, or that your router often requires a reboot to fix connectivity issues. These are the telltale signs that you have an old router in need of an upgrade! Our Origin Hi-Fi team recommends routers that support WiFi 6 to maximize your internet speed, no matter how many users are on your network.
Adjust your connections
Once you've decided to replace your router, you should adjust your connected devices to use the 5GHz band to minimize disruption from noisy devices, such as microwaves, wireless keyboards, and cordless phones. Your devices may automatically make the switch once the better option pops up in their options. Now you'll be able to connect to the internet easier and quicker than ever, especially with WiFi 5 or WiFi 6.
Secure your network and privacy
A perk of owning a modern router is that they already come with powerful security capabilities. This means that the only thing you have to do is create the network’s name and set the password to something you can easily remember without being too easy for anyone to guess. It's important to note that your network's name is visible to anyone within range of your WiFi network, so we recommend keeping personal information, like your family names or number of members, out of it. So, "SmithFamily" or "Smith4" is not a great idea; it only gives more information to potential threats outside your home. Experts suggest using a password that is long yet simple and incorporate a mix of numbers, uppercase and lowercase letters, and special symbols. Similarly, avoid using personal information such as family members' birthdays or phone numbers.
Update your router
When your network and connected devices are frequently updated, they'll operate safely and smoothly. The majority of modern routers will regularly update their performance and security settings, but it's still a good idea to manually check and force an update occasionally. You can easily do this by logging into your router's admin page. From there, you'll be able to ensure your devices are keeping up with the ever-changing security standards.
Update your devices
Your router isn’t the only item that requires regular updates; your devices do too! Whether you have a computer, phone, Amazon Alexa, or Google Home, you should check your devices to make sure they’re updating regularly. It’s likely that they’re already updating automatically. Oftentimes, updates bring exciting new features to your devices as well, so checking for updates can be something you anticipate!
Wireless traffic is rapidly increasing in households across the country, and an efficient internet connection is becoming a necessity! You’ll soon have enough bandwidth and speed to properly handle your family’s internet usage. If you have questions about your router or networked devices, call us at Origin Hi-Fi today.