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WiFi problems: 10 tricks to improve your internet connection

Restrictions and measures to reduce contamination have led to a significant increase in home internet use over the past year, encouraged by telecommuting, online classes and even greater consumption of streaming content across platforms. 35% of consumers say they have streamed more movies and TV shows, and it is estimated that by the end of 2021, 25-30% of the workforce will be working from home several days a week.

However, the internet can sometimes ‘freeze’ in the middle of a streaming or video conference, apparently for no reason. The good news is that the solution to these problems can be very simple. The rate comparison company Selectrahas has shared a guide with 10 tips that can help users solve their connection problems.

Turn the router off and on

It is the simplest and often most effective method. The cause of the malfunction may be in a line problem, or communication with your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Therefore, it is recommended to turn off the router – by pressing the power button – and turn it back on after a few minutes. You can also try unplugging the appliance from the mains and connecting it 2-3 minutes later. If restarting the problem persists, you can refer to your modem’s manual for any faults and if this is due to the router malfunction, you’ll need to replace it or, if the warranty covers it, request a repair.

Check the connection

To find out why the malfunction is, you can try connecting to the internet from both your computer and your smartphone. If the connection is not working on both devices, the problem is most likely caused by the router or the company. However, if the connection only works on one of the devices then there’s a good chance that the problem is caused by the device itself so you will have to restart it and try to reconnect to the router.

Look at the front desk

If the connection next to the router is good, but weakens when you move away from it, you can try optimizing the location of the router by bringing it closer to where you usually work, study or watch TV. If your home is large, one option may be to install Wi-Fi amplifiers to increase the signal range.

Updated network card

The problem may also lie with the network card of your PC / device. You can fix it by going to your computer’s settings, turning it off and then on again. You can check if the card drivers are updated in Windows Device Manager and if not, find an update and install it. Likewise, on Mac devices, you can check for operating system updates using the Software Update feature. If the network card is old or damaged, you may need to purchase an external card to improve the computer’s reception of the Wi-Fi signal.

Perform a network diagnostic

On Windows and Mac systems, there are features that allow you to run network diagnostics, check for errors and automatically correct them. In Windows, right-click on the connection icon on the screen and then run the ‘Troubleshoot’ option. Mac users, on the other hand, should close all open applications and try to connect to the Wi-Fi network by holding down the Option key. Once this is done, you need to click on the Wi-Fi network status icon in the menu bar and choose the option ‘Open Wireless Diagnostics’.

Ethernet and change channel

Another useful test worth performing in case the problems are persistent is to evaluate the status of the network by connecting the computer to the router directly with an Ethernet cable: if this operation improves or resets the connection, it is very likely that there are problems with your Wi-Fi network card, or that something interferes with your Wi-Fi signal.

In the latter case, the solution is to change the Wi-Fi channel of your router by entering the IP address of the router in the address bar, which usually corresponds to 192.168.1.1, and access the device’s settings menu with the corresponding credentials (Admin and password). Next, simply change the radio channel of the 2.4 GHz frequency band (choosing one between 1, 6 and 11) and/or the radio channel of the 5 Ghz frequency band. It is important to know that not all routers have the same configuration menu but are usually very similar to each other.

Speed test

In case everything works well at the hardware level, the slowness of the connection can be attributed to your company. Ideally, check the exact speed of your Internet connection by performing a speed test, both in download and upload. The higher these speeds, the better the network performance. The download speed is always higher than the upload speed and, in general, the average FTTH fiber optic speed can reach up to 2500 Mbps in download and 300 Mbps in upload, while for an old ADSL it is a maximum of 20 Mbps in download and 1 on upload. If you have an older ADSL connection, you may consider switching to faster fiber optics.

Change the DNS

The Domain Name System (DNS) is at first glance a very technical topic, but it is actually the basic tool of web browsing. Choosing the best DNS servers allows you to optimize navigation and increase speed. Among those available, it is recommended to add the following codes in your browser settings (in the DNS section): 8.8.8.8 and/or 8.8.8.1 that correspond to Google DNS, causing the SERVERS of the US browser to help your browsing.

Empty the cache

To optimize DNS resolution times, operating systems such as Windows and MacOS memorize already visited and resolved addresses. This memory is called the DNS cache. It can be useful to flush the DNS cache, or clear the stored data, both by cybersecurity and by browsing speed.

Check if your router is right

Not everyone uses the internet in the same way and not all of us need the same resources. This is that they do not consume the same bandwidth who simply watch a few movies and make a couple of video calls a day, as those who use the internet to telework continuously and need to send heavy files. The number of connected devices can also make a difference, so if you have multiple devices connected to your Wi-Fi line and you experience continuous drops in the performance of your connection, you may need to start considering purchasing a high-end modem to meet your high consumption.