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How to Troubleshoot Wireless Router Speed

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How to Troubleshoot Wireless Router Speed

How to Troubleshoot Wireless Router Speed

Setting up a router can be easy task but sometimes using a wireless network at home can be maddening. A number of things can come into play, such as the way your router is set up, whether there’s nearby interference, if you live in an apartment building or a separate house, and how far apart your devices are from the router.

Worse yet, everything may work according to plan, but every once in a while, your PCs may lose their connection for no apparent reason.

There are many simple ways you can extend your network’s range and make sure that all the PCs in your house can connect. Fortunately, there’s always a way to fix slow transfer speeds.

Centrally locate your wireless access point, this way all your wirelessly equipped devices will get reasonable throughput. If you put your wireless access point in one corner of the house, nearby PCs might get high throughput, but throughput for others might drop significantly.

Choosing the best Wi-Fi channel on your router helps to reduce interference and improve your WI-Fi signal. All of the versions of Wi-Fi up to and including 802.11n (a, b, g, n) operate between the frequencies of 2400 and 2500MHz. These 100MHz are separated into 14 channels of 20MHz each. As a result, every 2.4GHz channel overlaps with at least two (but usually four) other channels. Using overlapping channels is bad in fact, it’s the primary reason for poor throughput on your wireless network. Fortunately, channels 1, 6, and 11 are spaced far enough apart that they don’t overlap.



If you want maximum throughput and minimal interference, channels 1, 6, and 11 are your best choice. But depending on other wireless networks in your vicinity, one of those channels might be a better option than the others. For example, if you’re using channel 1, but someone next door is annoyingly using channel 2, then your throughput will plummet. In that situation, you would have to change to channel 11 or 6 to completely avoid the interference. It might be tempting to use a channel other than 1, 6, or 11 but remember that you will then be the cause of interference (and everyone on 1, 6, and 11 will stomp on your throughput, anyway).

If you use the software that came with the adapter instead of the built-in Windows software for managing your Wi-Fi adapter, use that software. If not, use the free NirSoft WifiInfoView . Run the software, and see if any nearby networks use the same channel as yours. It’s best to have a spacing of about five channels. So if you use channel 3, and a nearby network uses channel 2, and you’re running into problems, set your network to use channel 7.



How you change the channel depends on your specific router. For most Linksys routers, though, open a browser to http://192.168.1.1, and log in. By default, there’s no username, and the password is admin. Click the Wireless tab, and from the Wireless Channel drop-down box, select the channel you want to use. Then click Save Settings.

Cordless telephones, microwave ovens, and other devices use the same frequency as your Wi-Fi network. They may be the cause of intermittent connection problems. Move your access point away from any cordless phones or microwave ovens. If you’re using a 2.4-GHz phone system, consider switching to a 5-GHz phone, which won’t interfere with anything.

Change the orientation of your access point’s and wireless adapter antennas. Experiment with antenna orientation until you find one that has best signal.

Avoid placing the antennas of access points or PCs near filing cabinets and other large metal objects. They can cause significant interference and dramatically reduce throughput.

Manufacturers regularly update the firmware of their routers to squash bugs and improve performance. So update your router’s firmware. How you update firmware varies from router to router, so check for instructions.

The great thing about 5GHz (802.11n and 802.11ac) is that because there’s much more free space at the higher frequencies, it offers 23 non-overlapping 20MHz channels. Eventually, as everyone upgrades to newer hardware and moves towards 5GHz, picking the right channel will mostly become a thing of the past. There may still be some cases where it makes sense to fine-tune your router’s channel selection. But when you’re dealing with MIMO setups (up to eight in 802.11ac), it’s generally a better idea to let your router do its own thing.

How to Setup Wireless Network

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