Wireless Internet (Wifi) is very convenient. You do not need long cables connected to your computer. The problem is that the speed you get when you surf over Wifi can be significantly lower than the speed you would get if you connected a cable from your computer into your router or modem.
Firstly, you should try to connect via cable instead of wirelessly to see what speed you get. This is generally not a problem but it's always good to get a feel for what the limitations of a wireless network are. If you want to improve the speed you get via Wifi we give you some tips below.
The speed you get when you connect over Wifi depends on a number of factors. First of all, there are different standards for wireless data transmission, which theoretically is capable of different maximum speeds.
Traffic between a router and a computer that supports the current best standard, 802.11ac, can in theory be streaming in several hundred Mbits. But this only applies at relatively short distances and it is not true if one link in the chain doesn't support rapid speeds. There are other, slower variants, for example. 802.11g.
If you have already determined that your connection works well when you connect directly into the modem, you can try the following steps to increase the speed of your wireless network at home:
- Place the router at a central location in the apartment or house, so that it reaches all parts of your home in the best way.
- Turn the router in different directions and, if possible, change the direction of the antennas. Perform a new measurement after each change.
- Try another router, more expensive routers can provide higher speeds.
- Try changing the channel on your router and if possible, change it to the 5 Ghz band. This can help if you have many neighbors who also use wireless.
- Try measuring on other computers, for the best speed possible your computer should support 802.11ac over the 5 Ghz band.
- If possible, do not have the router or your computer close to cordless phones or the microwave. They can also disturb the signal.
Run a measurement after each change above. It could be good to document what changes you made and what speed they result in. You can get indications of good signal strength, but still get problems when transfering large amounts of data. Good luck!