These days, home Internet is a must. And, not only do we want enough speed to power everything, we need it to perform all the same wirelessly. After all, we’ve essentially got handheld computers that give us instant access to the Internet, and it’s likely not the only device connected to your wireless network.
But, how easy is it really to achieve the same speedy and reliable connection wirelessly?
It’s a breeze actually — especially if you play your cards right. And, today, we’ve set out to help you do just that, so you’ll no longer be wondering how you can speed up your Internet connection. Read on below for all our home networking tips on getting the most out of your wireless Kinetic Internet.
1. Find the best place to put your modem.
The placement of your wireless modem can affect the quality of your connection throughout your home. Think about where most of the online activity happens and how your house is set up. If everyone is usually connected in the living room, consider placing your wireless modem there, rather than in a bedroom where the signal may have to travel through several walls to get to your high-activity area. Not all walls are created equal either — older ones are typically thicker and can weaken signal strength.
Walls aren’t the only barrier to wireless signals, though. Even furniture can impede your ability to get the best connection. Remove barriers when possible, or move your modem to a higher spot like the top of a bookshelf. Finding the best place to put your modem may require a little trial and error, but it is well worth it once you do.
You’ll also want to keep the temperature in mind. Most modems will have little vents on the top, bottom and sides, so it can get some air. Ensure that your modem is set up in such a position that these vents aren’t obstructed, as it may cause overheating. Similarly, keep it out of direct sunlight, away from radiators and separate from other electronics, as these, too, can lead to overheating.
2. Know how many devices you can connect to your router.
Comscore data from 2016 found that the average U.S. household had 10 active connected devices, and the average grows as the number of people in the household does. At that time, the data showed that nearly every household owns a PC or Mac, along with at least one smartphone. Nearly three out of every four had at least one tablet. About 40 percent had a streaming device, and approximately one-third had a gaming console. The data did not seem to account for smart home technology, which is only predicted to grow.
Wondering why smart home tech matters? These devices — whether they’re thermostats or speakers — are always connected to your wireless network, even when they aren’t actively in use. It’s similar to when your smartphone may push a software update that you’ve set to install automatically. These connected devices have the same feature.
So, to that burning question, there isn’t a magic number of devices. Your router can actually support more devices than your household will likely own, but when there are multiple devices online, Internet speeds are shared between them. You’ll notice, as an example, that if your household is streaming a show or movie on three different devices, your connection may seem slower than when it’s at its best form. Keep this in mind when your household is doing multiple things at once online.
If you’re finding that you’re still wondering how you can speed up your Internet, and you’re thinking that the number of devices is the issue, try adding a second router to help relegate the load.
3. Run a speed test regularly.
Most Internet users run a speed test when they feel like their connection isn’t working as fast as it should. But, could you actually say what speed it should be? And, no, it’s not always going to be the upper tier of the speed for which you’re paying.
At Kinetic by Windstream, we’re big proponents of this home networking tip. Checking your connection speed regularly will give you a clearer idea of the download and upload speeds you normally get, especially during different times of the day, during different days, wired and wirelessly, and more. It can also alert you to any connection diagnostics, and you can switch to troubleshooting mode.
4. Learn how to troubleshoot your Internet connection.
When troubleshooting your wireless connection, the first thing to try is simply power cycling your modem and router. Unplug both, and wait about one minute. Next, plug in your modem, and wait another minute. Then, plug in your router and wait a little longer to ensure it’s fully functional.
If you’re still having an issue, go wired. This obviously won’t work for your smartphone or tablet, so connect an Ethernet cord from your modem to your computer’s port. Found that the issue is resolved? You’ve likely determined that the source is wireless connectivity. And, it may mean that you need some new equipment. This may especially be the case if your modem and router are pretty dated.
Other troubleshooting pointers you can try include using another device or restarting your connected device.
And, if the issue is still not resolved, keep our other home networking tips in mind, such as limiting any other online activities. Remember earlier when we said that your devices are competing for bandwidth? That can be the case here, in such cases restricting bandwidth to devices that don’t need it. Or, if you’ve noticed you get faster speeds in one room that, say, is adjacent to the one that houses your modem and router — and slower speeds in a space upstairs from it — you may want to consider readjusting where that equipment lives or purchase Wi-Fi extenders.
5. When all else fails, go for an upgrade.
If you are still wanting to speed up your Internet connection, and none of the troubleshooting pointers worked, you’ll likely need a speed upgrade. Enter your name and address here to see what speeds are available in your area!
Use these five tips to get the fastest speeds and most reliable connections out of your Kinetic Internet. And, if you have any further questions about your Kinetic Wi-Fi connection, visit our support section to browse our FAQs or give our support team a call!