What are the possible causes of slow WiFi?
Whether for work, study or gaming: slow internet is very annoying. A slow internet connection is not always easy to fix, as it can be due to a number of different causes. In this blog we explain the most common causes for slow internet and what you can do about it.
Why is WiFi so slow? Is it your internet provider?
Many have problems with WiFi. Slow internet connections stand head and shoulders above that. If you are struggling with this, it is important to first find out whether the WiFi signal entering your home is fast enough. If not, the cause for slow internet is with your provider. How do you test this? You can do this by connecting your PC to the router with an Ethernet cable (not via WiFi). Then you have to do a speed test, for example the Ookla speed test. Other good Internet speed testing sites are ATT and Spectrum. If the speed is often much lower than it should be according to your subscription, you should report the problems to your provider. Do you have ADSL or VDSL and do you live far from an internet pole? Then your internet speed is slower anyway and the provider will not be able to do much for you.
Other causes slow internet.
WiFi is a brilliant find: internet without wires, wherever you want! At least, in theory. We should not forget that WiFi only has a range of up to tens of meters. And that is (sometimes strongly) limited by things like walls, doors, floors and obstacles. In particular, thicker and metal objects strongly block the internet signal. To improve your WiFi signal, you can remove the router from the meter cupboard, put it more centrally in the house or move the positions of the router antenna(s).
WiFi amplifier and mesh multi-room WiFi.
Sometimes the router is really too far away for a good WiFi signal. Then a WiFi amplifier or mesh multi-room WiFi can offer a solution. A WiFi amplifier picks up the signal and transmits it, which is why they are also called WiFi repeaters. This improves the range, but not always the speed. Such an amplifier cannot send and receive at the same time, so it does that alternately. Mesh multi-room WiFi can do that. With this brand new (and still quite expensive) system, you hang satellites (‘nodes’) in your house, which pick up the signal and transmit it back at full strength as a kind of router. This way you can get fast internet everywhere in and around your house.
Internet troubleshooting with access point.
Access points are excellent devices for solving problems with a slow internet connection. The downside: it does take some hassle. An access point receives the signal from a router via a cable – which you must install – and broadcasts it wireless again. Because the signal from the router goes via an Ethernet cable, such an access point can transmit very fast internet. As long as you are not too far away with your laptop, tablet, smartphone or any other device, you will definitely not have as slow an Internet as before.
It is also good to check the frequency and channel of your router. Start with the frequency. Many routers and access points can now operate on the 5 GHz frequency. Because it is usually less busy, it can be up to three times faster than the 2.4 GHz frequency. Each router or access point also has its own channel. The busier it is on such a channel, the slower the internet becomes for the users. Via tools such as NetSpot and on websites such as How to Geek and Pixel Privacy you can check which channel you are on and change that if necessary or follow the online tips on these useful sites.
Slow internet due to corrupted PC.
No matter how fast your internet connection is, if your PC cannot handle this, it will not help you. That is why it is good to check whether you have a very slow PC. It is possible that your hardware (processor, RAM, hard disk, etc.) is out of date. Or that your drivers are not up to date, you are using an outdated operating system or you have been infected with malware. There are many websites with tips to make your PC faster. Here are some of them: Microsoft – ComputerWorld and Hubspot. If you suspect this is the problem of your slow internet, follow the online tips on these sites.
Conclusion after asking the question “Why is WiFi so slow?”.
There are several reasons for slow internet: the internet speed that your provider delivers, the WiFi reception, a router that cannot function at optimal speed or a slow pc. There are solutions for every cause, although it is a difficult story if you have ADSL or VDSL and live far from an internet pole.