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Wireless Networking (Wi-Fi): WiFi Tips

Connecting to Mohawk WiFi

Tips for Boosting Your Wi-Fi Connection

If you are learning at home, you may have times when you realize that your Wi-Fi just isn’t cutting it anymore.  It might be a frozen video, a webpage that won't load or delay in video conferencing.

Use the tips listed on this guide to get the most out of your bandwidth.

Step 1: Test Your Connection

Test the speed of your internet connection using one of the tools listed below...

  • To check if you are receiving the internet speeds you are paying for
  • To ensure adequate throughput, latency, or loss thresholds for your online activities

Step 2: Increase Your Speed

There are several actions you can take to increase your internet connection speed:

  • Contact your internet service provider to upgrade your package, or to get in-depth troubleshooting support
  • Consider using a wired connection, if it is possible on your device. Connecting via a wired Ethernet cable has many advantages over Wi-Fi:
    • Faster data transfer
    • Lower latency
    • More difficult for for attackers to to intercept

If you cannot use a wired connection, you can still minimize the amount of interference and maximize your available wireless bandwidth on your wireless connection:

  • Move obstacles away from your device and the wireless router to decrease absorption, reflection, and scattering
  • Move away from interferent devices, such as microwaves, Bluetooth speakers, or cordless phones
  • Temporarily turn off Wi-Fi on devices that are not actively being used

Step 6: Get a Wi-Fi Extender

If you are using Wi-Fi, consider purchasing a Wi-Fi extender. A Wi-Fi extender can benefit you in the following ways:

  • Increase your average Wi-Fi signal strength
  • Widen the coverage area of your Wi-Fi network
  • Decrease the number of "dead-spots" in your home

Step 3: Check Your Network

Make sure your devices are connected to the network that you think they are. Sometimes devices will connect onto your internet service provider’s lower-speed wireless hotspot rather than your home’s high-speed network, for example. If you are experiencing issues with your network:

  • Temporarily stop high network-utilization activities, such as video streaming or large file downloads
  • Remove any old, slow, insecure, or unauthorized devices from your wireless network

Step 4: Check Your Wireless Router

Your wireless router is usually the device that physically broadcasts Wi-fi radio signals throughout your home. If you are too far away from it, your connection speed to it will suffer when signals are lost. Actions you can take to improve the speed from your device to your wireless router include:
  • Move your device to a more centrally located spot in your home, if possible, so that it is closer on average to mobile devices in its range
  • Enable both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz operation, if supported on your device:

2.4Ghz:

  • 2.4Ghz has better object permeability, thus the range is farther
  • The 2.4Ghz spectrum is used for things other than Wi-Fi, most commonly microwave ovens. This means it is more prone to interference, which causes devices to retransmit or disconnect

5Ghz:

  • 5Ghz provides higher bandwidth for faster data transfer between devices
  • 5Ghz radio waves have less object permeability, meaning that their effective range is reduced compared to 2.4Ghz
  • The 5Ghz spectrum is less prone to interference, since fewer devices commonly use it

Many wireless routers and access points support enabling both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz operation simultaneously. The two frequency bands do not interfere with each other, and by using both, they benefit each other by covering each others' weaknesses.

Step 5: Check Your Mobile Device Settings

Your mobile device could be anything that uses Wi-Fi. Some tips for your mobile device to ensure you get the best possible connection speed include:

  • Make sure you are connected to the correct wireless network
  • If you are far away, move closer to your wireless router to increase your signal strength
  • Turn off apps that are using network resources in the background without your knowledge