When looking to optimize your wireless network you must take several things into account that can affect performance. The wireless design, signal strength, wireless interference, distance from the router, and adapter type can all be causes for poor performance. Below are some tips and recommendations to make sure you are getting the most out of your wireless network.
A speed test can help determine if you are getting the internet service you are paying for (www.speedtest.net, they also have a mobile app). We recommend doing this while on the wireless network and directly connected to your modem/router to assess any disparity in speed. A difference in speed can help determine if there is an issue with your internet provider or your wireless network. If your wireless speed is much slower then when directly connected to your modem or router, you may be able to optimize your wi-fi network by reviewing a few of the categories below.
Evaluating your floor plan: Structural things like concrete walls and steel frames interfere with range. Most of the time we don’t have a choice in the matter, but you should take this into consideration when troubleshooting. You may be able to move the location of your router which could make all the difference.
Channel selection: If you’ve ever messed around with your Wi-Fi router’s settings, you’ve probably seen the word “channel.” Most routers have the channel set to Auto. If there are many devices in the area on the same channel this can cause interference and negatively impact your wireless speeds. Try changing the channel to see if it helps your connectivity and speed.
A secure guest network: For businesses, guest networks are great for customer satisfaction but can also cause problems for your wireless and internet speeds if not properly deployed and managed. Businesses like automotive dealerships and coffee shops also benefit from a secured guest network by being able to restrict network access and limit bandwidth usage.
2.4GHz Vs. 5GHz: Many home networks suffer from interference due to home appliances, like microwave ovens and cordless phones, typically these operate in the 2.4GHz range with only three non-overlapping channels. Depending on the coverage area and the client devices the ability to use 5GHz on a dual-band router helps avoid these problems because the technology supports 23 non-overlapping channels.
Wireless Adapter: Wireless adapters have the letters that correspond to the standard that they use. If you are experiencing slowness, it is always good to check what standard your adapter is using, as well as your wireless router, to make sure that you are getting the maximum performance out of your wireless network.
|Old Name||New Name||Introduced||Max. Speed||Bands|
|802.11b||"Wi-Fi 1" (unofficial)||1999||11Mbps||2.4GHz|
|802.11a||"Wi-Fi 2" (unofficial)||1999||54Mbps||5GHz|
|802.11g||"Wi-Fi 3" (unofficial)||2003||54Mbps||2.4GHz|
|802.11n||Wi-Fi 4||2009||600Mbps||2.4GHz and 5GHz|
|802.11ax||Wi-Fi 6||2018/2019||10.53Gbps||2.4GHz and 5GHz|
User Error: Unfortunately, wide variability in client behavior and compatibility is common, along with issues such as driver settings inappropriately changed by otherwise well-meaning end-users. Make sure you are not part of the problem when it comes to network performance.
The good news…
WIFI 6 standard is coming: Wi-Fi 6 – aka 802.11ax – will begin to make its way into new installations in 2019, bringing with it a host of technological upgrades aimed at simplifying wireless network problems. The first and most notable feature of the standard is that it’s designed to operate in today’s increasingly congested radio environments. It supports multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) technology, meaning that a given access point can handle traffic from up to eight users at the same time and at the same speed. Previous-generation APs still divide their attention and bandwidth among simultaneous users. Beyond being faster than earlier versions of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 is going to be better able to handle the fast-growing number of wireless devices that connect to your home or business wireless network.
If this all seems a bit technical for you or you simply don’t have the time to be a technology expert, Schedule a 10 minute call, with one of our experts and we will be happy to assist!