Sick of waiting for that YouTube clip to buffer and play? Tired of watching Netflix in low-resolution? Frustrated with your game lagging behind? If global speed test statistics are anything to go by, you might not be alone. New Zealand ranks a lowly 33rd on SpeedTest's list of countries with the world's fastest internet. Fortunately, all is not lost. Whether you're a business user, an avid gamer, or a casual internet lover, there are a number of steps you can take to ramp up your connection speeds and leave the lag behind. In this article, we're going to share our top tips for increasing your internet speed!
1. Restart Your Router
Well, this one's a classic. Have you tried turning your router on and off? This is a good tactic to try if you find your internet speed has suddenly become slower than usual, and if you have an older router, it may be helpful to do this once a month also. It can help to quickly resolve connectivity issues and clear out any glitches. If you have a modem in addition to a router, you'll want to make sure you reset that too!
To restart these devices, unplug them from the wall and wait for at least 60 seconds before plugging them back in (if you have a modem, make sure to plug this back in and boot it up first, before the router). The 60-second wait gives your modem and/or router time to cool and indicates to your ISP and network devices that your router and/or modem are offline. Press the power button to turn them back on and wait a couple of minutes before testing or using devices.
2. Move Your Router
If the Wi-Fi signal barely reach your devices, you're going to experience slow internet speeds. If this is the case, physically moving your router can drastically improve your speeds. Walls, cupboards, and furniture can dampen Wi-Fi signals so although you might prefer to keep your router out of sight for aesthetic purposes, it might not be the best for the connection.
The idea is to have it in the most central spot to all of your devices and with little obstruction. If possible, place it high up on a shelf or mounted somewhere. Avoid placing it in cramped areas surrounded by a lot of furniture, dense objects, appliances, or metal objects to remove interference. You should also pay attention to how the antennas are positioned too and strategically place them according to the layout of your home.
3. Change Your Channel or Band
Try switching your Wi-Fi channel or band to boost your internet speeds. This could result in getting more bandwidth and less interference. On a dual-band router, the bands available will be a 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band and a 5 GHz Wi-Fi band. The difference between the two Wi-Fi bands is that 2.4 GHz travels farther but at lower speeds, while 5 GHz offers faster speeds, but at a shorter range.
If you're within 3 meters of the router, go ahead and switch to the 5 GHz band. If your home is larger and you're further away from the router, you might find that you'll get faster speeds on the 2.4 GHz band. Sometimes, regardless of where you are in relation to the router, one of the bands might be more congested due to the number of devices connected. For this reason, it's sometimes worth trying the other band regardless of where you are.
4. Upgrade Your Router
If you've had the same router for a while now, it might simply be time for you to upgrade to a newer and better one. Luckily, modern routers has have seen some great advancements which could lead to a huge boost in your internet speed. There are new Wi-Fi standards out for one, such as Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E, and if your router is ancient, even a jump up to a Wi-Fi 5 router will lead to significant improvements. Check out our Wi-Fi Router Buying Guide for help on choosing a new router.
Upgrade to Mesh Wi-Fi
If you have a large home, thick walls and/or floors, or dead zones and weak signals around some parts of your home, then we highly recommend upgrading to a Mesh Wi-Fi system. Mesh Wi-Fi systems can help eliminate weak spots and dead zones by blanketing your entire home with strong and steady Wi-Fi. Unlike traditional routers that broadcast signals from a single point, Mesh Wi-Fi systems have multiple satellites (aka nodes) that capture the main router’s signal and re-broadcasts it where you need it. The more satellites you add, the stronger and better your Wi-Fi becomes.
While alternatively, you could opt for a wireless range extender, there are many benefits of using a wireless mesh networking system over a traditional wireless range extender, such as the vastly superior performance and reliability. With a mesh wireless network, you have multiple wireless access points around the home providing a consistent blanket Wi-Fi signal in every room and without the need to manually switch between access points.
TP-Link is a leader in networking technology and have a great range of Mesh Wi-Fi systems available (including ones using the new Wi-Fi 6 standard). TP-Link's Mesh Technology will automatically switch your devices to the best mesh node and WiFi band as you move throughout your home, so you never lose connection and your speeds stay fast. Check out some of their latest Mesh Wi-Fi systems below! If you're not ready to jump to the new Wi-Fi 6 standard yet, you can also check out their Wi-Fi 5 options here.
Upgrade to a Wi-Fi 6 Router
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) promises more than just faster speeds. This new standard of Wi-Fi adds efficiency, flexibility, and scalability that allows new and existing networks increased speed and capacity. Faster Wi-Fi speeds with reliable connections mean you can enjoy buffer-free streaming, faster downloads, and add more smart home devices without slowing down your internet experience. You can expect maximum potential speeds of up to 40% higher with Wi-Fi 6 compared to Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). Keep in mind that only devices that are Wi-Fi 6 compatible will benefit from the fast speeds of Wi-Fi 6 routers. Learn more about it here.
5. Get a Wi-Fi Extender
If upgrading to a Whole Mesh Wi-Fi System seems like too much effort for you or you're not looking to spend that much, you can add a Wireless Range Extender to your home instead. This works in a similar way and extends your wireless signal with the addition of an access point. If you have a large property, you might put a wireless range extender in the shed, where the wireless signal from the router doesn't reach, for example. The main difference to note with this is that it won't be as fast as a mesh system, and you'll need to manually switch your Wi-Fi network rather than it switching seamlessly and automatically (like it would on Mesh Wi-Fi).
6. Cut-Off Devices From Your Network
This includes unused or unnecessary devices, as well as internet leeches. The more devices connected to your network, the more congested it will become. Disconnect devices you don't really use as well as those that don't really need to be connected at all times. As for leeches, if your Wi-Fi network is public and you don't use a password, or have a password that's easy to guess, someone as opposed to something could be contributing to your slow internet speeds. You can easily boot unwanted users from your Wi-Fi network simply by adding or changing your Wi-Fi password.
You can use apps or your router's interface to check who is using your Wi-Fi network and this can give you a good idea of whether you've got devices to boot.
7. Upgrade Your Internet Plan
Does your internet plan have a data cap on it? If you're not sure, go and check it now. If it does and you're frequently exceeding your data limit, your ISP will be slowing your internet connection until your data renews on the set date each month. If this is happening, you may need to look at upgrading your internet plan to one that allows for more or you may choose to upgrade to an unlimited data plan. Pay attention to what internet speeds your new plan offers too, as ISPs will often have different speeds available for different plans.
Or maybe you're currently using an ADSL internet connection? If so, upgrading to a fibre connection will give your speed a big boost, delivering the highest performance with speeds up to 900Mbps. If fibre isn't available for you, perhaps consider VDSL.
8. Change Your ISP
If your internet plan already covers more than you need but you're still not satisfied with your speeds, perhaps you should consider changing your ISP (Internet Service Provider). On the surface, the internet services different providers offer seem pretty similar. They will have similar plans at similar prices, but when it comes to performance, there are variances. Different ISPs will structure their network differently and this can have an impact on how well their network performs and how fast data travels from the local exchange to the rest of the internet. You'll be able to find comparisons and speed tests on the various ISPs in New Zealand with a little bit of research!
We hope you found these tips helpful and have seen a nice boost in your internet speeds! Looking to pick-up some new networking products to upgrade your internet speed? Click here to browse our full range of Networking products.