To figure out why your WiFi may be slow, it helps to have a basic understanding of how WiFi works.
WiFi speeds are directly related to the underlying Internet service speeds provided by your Internet service provider (ISP). If your Internet service has a maximum speed of 10 Mbps, then your maximum WiFi speeds can only be 10 Mbps – and realistically, WiFi speeds will typically be slower.
WiFi is always less reliable than wired Internet access because of the inherent limitations related to wireless technology. However, many devices you buy today cannot be hard wired so our only option is wireless connectivity.
As the density (number of devices accessing WiFi) of a wireless network increases – not only in your office space or home but also in the surrounding spaces – the quality of your WiFi connection can decrease. Here is a normal scenario that plays out in offices all the time:
You start an office with five employees, who bring smartphones, laptops, and tablets that connect to your WiFi. There are no other tenants in the office spaces around your suite.
Over the next 12 months, you increase to 15 employees who connect to WiFi. Now all the surrounding office suites are also occupied, and each of those offices have 5-10 people accessing WiFi.
You decide to allow your guests to access WiFi, and you provide them with a guest password.
At this point, the WiFi density has increased dramatically and everyone is vying for the same wireless frequencies. Even though the other office suites are on different ISPs, the Internet is being broadcast over the same frequencies and everyone is sharing those frequencies.
It’s hard to catch this gradual increase in usage in your own home or office – but it’s even harder to notice it in the homes or offices that surround yours. But this overall increase in WiFi usage is going to deteriorate your WiFi performance – and the technical setup that used to work for your business may now need some upgrades.
Long story short, the wireless environment is always changing, and so are our individual demands of our networks. Just because something worked great yesterday, doesn’t mean it will continue to work great tomorrow. When considering WiFi, it is important to have 1) really good hardware, and 2) amazing technical support.
Our Managed WiFi Experience not only puts a state-of-the-art router into the optimal location inside of your home or business, but comes backed with 24/7 technical support and a lifetime warranty on equipment replacement. Designed with YOU in mind, we can help get new devices connected, help set up and enable Parental Controls, diagnose slow speed or connectivity issues on specific devices, and more!
Contact us today to learn more!
If you are already using of of our routers, but are still having connectivity issues, please consider the following:
Where is your router?
Take a look around – where is your router? If you’re like most people, you’ve tucked it away somewhere hidden. Maybe it’s in the bedroom at the back of the house that doubles as an office, or maybe it’s even in the basement. If this is the case, you probably are not maximizing your WiFi potential. Wireless internet travels through radio waves, and if the waves cannot penetrate a surface (double-paned glass, metal, concrete, and large thick logs), then your access will be limited.
Where NOT to place the router:
Before we discuss where you can put a router to maximize internet access, let’s discuss where to definitely NOT put one. Do not place a router near metal objects, as they can dissipate electromagnetic energy. That said, the kitchen or laundry room are probably not the best places to hook up the router. Another reason to not place the router in the kitchen: microwaves. Your microwave operates near the same frequency as wireless routers, so heating up those leftovers near the router can interrupt the signal.
Have you ever been inside an old brick building and wondered why you couldn’t get any cell phone service? Brick and concrete tend to act like a sponge – they absorb the radio waves and lock them in. Wood and plaster block the waves a little bit, but function more like a funnel – it may slow down the waves, but most of them will get through in the end. Placing a router near a brick wall makes it harder for the waves to travel to your devices.
Some tips on router placement:
- Place the router in a central location: The radio waves from the router will spread out in all directions. This means that if you have your router in the back corner of your home, then there are wasted radio waves going in to the back yard! Centralizing your router will give you the best connection throughout the entire home.
- Place it up high: In general, radio waves travel more outwards than they do upwards. To maximize your connection, especially on the second floor, try placing your router on top of a high shelf.
- Minimize obstacles: Okay, so you’ve moved your router from the back bedroom to the living room – great! Is it by a brick chimney? If it is, try again. Something as simple as a brick or concrete chimney, or even a big fish tank, can interrupt waves. This includes tucking the router behind the TV or in a bookcase.
- Keep it away from windows: Is your router beginning to sound more like a Van Gogh painting that needs to be on display – but not TOO on display? Sorry. Sunlight and windows can reflect radio waves and, surprise, interrupt the connection.
ZIRKEL Wireless Can Help Place Your Router
Our professionals know how wireless internet works and maneuvers through homes. If you need help finding a new place for your router, or are installing a router with us for the first time, give us a call. We’d love to help make sure you get the best possible signal throughout your home!