We’ve all been through those moments where we really need the internet to cooperate and it just won’t do it! In our day and age, we want it fast and we’re quick to blame our internet service providers when we’re not getting it.
Here’s the thing though—it’s really not always their fault. When you’re dealing with wireless anything there’s a great deal that goes into how it performs; most of which relies on minimal interference and optimal configuration for everything to work together properly.
So, before you call up your internet service provider and yell, “Fraud! I want my money back!” it’s a good idea to understand what might actually be slowing down your connection speeds.
Here’s a few tips to get you started:
MEGABYTE & MEGABIT—KNOW THE DIFFERENCE
They look and sound almost exactly the same, but one actually comprises the other. A megabit is abbreviated as Mb and it takes 8 of these to make up a megabyte, abbreviated as MB. If you recently tested your connection with a program such as Netgear and it reported a 1.5MBps connection, that’s 1.5 MEGABYTES per second, which equals 12 MEGABITS per second.
If the 1.5 enraged you, because you were expecting the 12 that you were promised, you’re still getting the speed advertised, it was just denoted differently. In fact, it’s a rarity to actually get the speed as advertised, so you’re doing pretty good in this scenario. Read on.
When you’re wireless broadband provider offered their advertised speeds they were offering their almost best-case-scenario speeds. This means that, on days with great weather, your router—placed in the most optimal place in your house—has a decent chance of reaching this speed, if and only if¸ your own computer, router, and wireless card are up to snuff AND there’s minimal interference (i.e. phones, microwaves, multiple devices on the network).
That’s just laying out a few of the more obvious things that affect wireless speed; there’s all kinds of technical ones, as well. iinet is one of Australias top NBN providers & will be supplying the rollout in most areas.
TEST YOUR CONNECTION
The best way to begin optimizing your connection speed is to know what you’re currently working with; this way, you’ll know how much it’s improved by making a few adjustments. A program like Netgear will allow you to test your transfer speeds and see how far off the mark you are from what your internet service provider says you should be getting.
CONSULT A SPECIALIST OR GOOGLE
If you’re somewhat tech savvy than you can go into your router’s web-configuration and do a few little tricks to optimize it using Google as a guide. However, if you’d prefer to leave it to the professionals, you can consult a specialist for your router.
Typically, internet service providers will not provide assistance when you’re using a router unless it’s their router. If you went with a third-party router, you’ll have to use their help line.
COUNT YOUR DEVICES
Think of your broadband as a big pie; the more devices you have connected to the service, the more slices of pie you have to cut, and the smaller they are per device. There’s only so much pie!
OPTIMIZE ROUTER LOCATION
Believe it, or not, but some wireless connection woes are completely solved just by moving your router from one side of the house to the other. Interference can be finicky like that. If you live in a basement apartment, or in a house that sits lower in a valley, you might have to look for signal-boosting options.
UPGRADE YOUR WIRELESS CARD
Have an old computer? Well, more than likely, you also have an older wireless card. Over the years, wireless cards have been improved dramatically and modern modems/routers are made to work with those. An upgraded wireless card might be more compatible.