One of the major benefits of using an indoor antenna is that you don’t have to worry about your internet speed. As long as you get a clear signal from your antenna, you can watch local channels without worrying about buffering or glitching.
But if you’re like most cord-cutters, you probably use at least one streaming service (like Flixon). If your Wi-Fi speeds aren’t up to snuff, you’ll have a hard time watching the content you love without wanting to throw your router out the window.
If your Wi-Fi speeds are less-than-stellar, here are some tips to get faster speeds.
Sometimes, the simplest solution is the most effective. Repositioning your router may help boost your Internet speed dramatically, especially on the devices that are far away from the router.
You may think that you’re saving space by storing your router in a cabinet or right by the window where the cable wire comes through, but these positions are far from optimal (in most cases).
If possible, place your router at the center of your home so that the signal can reach as far as possible. Elevated spots work best because there will be fewer obstructions between the router and the device. If your home has two floors, it may be best to place your router on the second floor for optimal coverage.
Does your router have external antennas? If so, you’ll want to orient them vertically to boost your coverage.
Avoid placing your router too close to any of the following materials:
The denser the material, the greater the signal loss.
When was the last time you updated your router’s firmware? If you answered “never,” you’re not alone. But failing to update your firmware could cause signal or speed issues.
The process of upgrading your firmware will really depend on the device manufacturer and model.
With most modern routers, you can update the firmware right through the administration interface. The process is as simple as clicking the “upgrade” or “update” button.
Your router’s manufacturer will update your device’s firmware periodically. Even if you’re not having any issues with speed or connection, it’s still important to update your firmware because these updates often fix security holes that could make your device vulnerable to hackers.
Navigate to your network administrator interface, and check to make sure that it’s configured for optimal performance.
Most routers are set to the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi frequency, which is usually congested because your neighbors and other nearby Wi-Fi devices are probably using the same channel. But switching to the 5 GHz band may boost your speed significantly because you’ll have less interference from other devices and fewer devices will be using the channel.
There are a few issues with the 5 GHz band. For starters, it doesn’t handle obstructions well. Also, it may not reach as far as the 2.4 GHz signal does. You’ll need to make sure that your router can send out a clear signal for this to work in your favor.
Keep in mind that some routers only offer the 2.4 GHz band. If you don’t have a dual band router, you can change the channel to 1, 6 or 11. These are the channels that experience the least overlap from other channels.
Playing around with your router’s settings can also improve signal strength and speeds.
Some routers have special entertainment settings that prioritize bandwidth while streaming or playing video games. But if you have multiple users sharing the same connection simultaneously, these settings become less effective. Try turning off this option.
You can also try changing your fragmentation setting. A lower fragmentation threshold means that data packets transfer more efficiently and improve issues with network reliability. With that said, changing this setting to a smaller data pocket size may hinder your network’s performance if your network is already reliable.
The Request to Send (RTS) thresholds can also be adjusted. Simply put, the RTS threshold clears a data transmission channel before data packets can be sent in. If you have a crowded Wi-Fi network, choosing a lower RTS threshold could improve Wi-Fi performance.
If you can’t move your router to a more optimal position, it may be best to buy a Wi-Fi repeater or extender.
A repeater will extend your signal farther while keeping the same SSID and password settings on your router. In a nutshell, a repeater contains a wireless router that picks up your network’s Wi-Fi signal. Another wireless router within the repeater amplifies and transmits the stronger signal to other devices in your home.
An extender is similar to a repeater, but the way in which the device works is a little more complex. But here’s the good news: an extender is less likely to limit your bandwidth than a repeater. Connected devices often have a stronger connection.
When all else fails, it may be time to seriously consider buying a new router – especially if you’re using an old router to begin with.
A new router may offer a more far-reaching signal, and it will also offer additional security features to help protect your network.
“Have you tried restarting it?” Yes, sometimes the most commonly-suggested fix actually works. Rebooting your router may help fix your speed issue that’s slowing down your streaming.
To restart, simply unplug your router and let it sit for 1-2 minutes. Plug the router back in, and wait for it to finish booting up.
If your router has an internal antenna, adding an external one could boost your speed and signal strength.
Your router may have actually come with antennas that you can attach yourself, or you can purchase one separately. Many manufacturers sell antennas for their routers.
If you’re purchasing an external antenna, look for one that’s labeled “high-gain.” Directional antennas, believe it or not, tend to be better than their omnidirectional counterparts. Simply point the antenna in the direction of your weak spots, and it should help solve the problem.