WiFi Speed Dropped? Here Are The Fixes For Sluggish WiFi Performance

WiFi routers became an essential part of our lives. Even in some rural areas we are seeing people using WiFi routers to connect their devices to the Internet. Today, I came up with a most common problem every WiFi user faces. It is sudden speed drops of WiFi signal resulting slow internet speed.

There are a ton of reasons behind the slow performance of a WiFi router; it is very hard to find a solution for every problem. But today, I have most common WiFi problems list along with their solutions.

1. Router Location

Location of the WiFi router in your home or office makes a large difference. Routers are very fragile to electronic signal disturbances. Placing the router behind TV, Fridge or any other big electronic device can cause massive signal loss resulting sluggish speed. Many people do this to hide the creepy WiFi router cables from the vicinity.

Keep your WiFi open and make sure to place it at the center of the home or office to get equal signal range distribution. Avoid closer walls, large electronic equipment near to the router. Put it in the attic or at a higher position for best signal coverage.

2. Router Firmware Update

Many people don’t know that routers too get firmware updates. An updated firmware is very important to improve the performance of the device. Routers also respond equal and get better performance after the latest firmware update. Dlink, TP-Link, Netgear and many other have their firmware update portals, check your router model number and correspondent firmware number and follow company guide to update the firmware manually. Every developer comes with new firmware versions by fixing bugs and adding few features. A firmware update results in a good performance improvement in your WiFi router.

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3. By Changing Wireless Channel

Every WiFi router comes up with channels. These channels distribute your internet as signals to your connected devices. If your area has many routers installed around you, then you may face sluggish WiFi signal. The signals may overlap with each other and cause signal loss. 1, 6 and 11 are the best channels to use; they don’t overlap each other, and you get a stable signal coverage.
You can check your WiFi router signal quality by using WiFi Analyzer app available for Android. This app suggests best channel number based on less crowded channel surrounded by your area.

4. Monitor the Bandwidth Hogging Programs

Automatic updates on Windows, Android, iOS and other platforms programs can cause a huge slowdown of the network. In Android, when you enable WiFi connection the Goggle Play store starts the available updates for Installed programs. If few people are using your router and one of them device is updating, you may face net connectivity hiccups. For Android disable automatic updates feature from the settings to avoid connection issues.

If you are Windows user, you may experience Microsoft background software update process. In Windows, you can change automatic updates settings from Control Panel. Also, kill the running programs in the background by opening Windows “Task Manager”->Processes tab.

5. VPN’s Are Slow

Many VPN users are aware of their sluggish service speeds. The reason behind this is the targetted location; the closest server runs faster than the faraway locations. Many people use VPN services to anonymize their online identity, and some people use to unblock entertainment channels. If you are an Indian and selected US location in your VPN service, you may face slow connectivity due to real-time encryption and decryption of your data. If you are really concerned about your WiFi speeds, stay away from VPN services or opt for upgraded plans.

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6. Install Third-Party Firmware

As I said above, every router comes with firmware. Luckily we have Third-Party firmware’s like DD-WRT will boost up your router productivity with a range of options. They not only good for security, but they also offer various options to improve your router signal strength and range. DD-WRT offers almost all router companies, like Cisco, Dlink, Netgear, Belkin and much more.

Router Ports for Wifi Performance Boost

7. UnPlug Router Ports

In my personal experience with routers from past 5 years, I learned so many things from their performance. Many times I faced connection hiccups when the Internet ports connected to the router are loosely connected or damaged. Check the cable plugging status for every month and clean the dust regularly.

8. Turn Your Old Router as Repeater

If you have an old router lying around, you can turn it as a repeater to boost the signal range in your location. DD-WRT firmware can turn any normal traditional router as a repeater at zero cost. Recently, I turned my old NetGear router as a repeater and getting a good signal boost in any location of my home.

Conclusion

I have tested above steps to improve my WiFi router signal and in most of them succeeded. If you found any better way to maintain the router signal, please comment below and share with our audience.

Note: If you are still facing sluggish performance from your router, check your bandwidth cap status and connection speeds during peak hours. Or if you are getting slow performance every time contact your ISP and ask to check from their side.

Thetechhacker writer, MBA graduate and shopaholic.

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