Internet Connectivity Problems? Troubleshoot With These Tips
You’ve heard the jokes about being unable to survive without Wi-Fi, but for many people, no internet is a serious problem. With the rise in remote working and learning, a solid Wi-Fi connection has become integral to many people’s lives and incomes.
Perhaps an even more frustrating problem than permanently disabled internet is intermittent internet. An internet connection that goes off and on again, with little indication as to why, is a headache for many.
Though intermittent internet can seem to have no rhyme or reason, there generally is a cause behind it. As a Wi-Fi and smart home installation company, we’re here to discuss a few of the common ones.
Make Sure Your Internet Is the Problem
As home networking installers, we’ve seen our fair share of Wi-Fi problems. We also know that some apparent problems with Wi-Fi are actually issues with devices, software programs, or individual internet sites.
Before blaming the Internet, test your connection on multiple sites and devices. If you can connect to some sites without delay or problems but others seem to load slower, it’s more likely that the slow website has errors on its end. You can also check to see if the sites themselves are experiencing outages by visiting a site like Down for Everyone or Just Me.
Likewise, if your computer is struggling to connect to Wi-Fi or view a website, but your phone or tablet can without problems, it may be that your computer has a glitch and needs to be updated.
Test Your Internet Speed
If you’ve tested your computer and other devices and have established that your Wi-Fi is the source of your connectivity problems, then start by checking its speed. Your problem may not be the internet exactly but your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
Test your connection on a website like Speedtest, and we recommend that you test both the Wi-Fi speed and the internet speed. First run the test using your Wi-Fi. Then plug your device into the router with an Ethernet cable to see how much the speed fluctuates.
There should be a little spike in speed when connected directly to your router, but if you notice that both cabled connections and the Wi-Fi runs slower than you’d like, then contact your ISP provider. They can run a diagnostic test to see if there is a problem on their end.
If, however, you experience optimal speeds while connected to your router, then you have a Wi-Fi connection issue. Keep reading for more ways to troubleshoot.
Check Your Bandwidth Consumption
Monitor when your Wi-Fi speeds drop. If it’s happening at certain times of the day, it’s possible that other devices or software are snagging it. Check for large downloads, video streaming, online gaming, or even malware that may be using a lot of bandwidth all at once.
You can check what devices are connected to your network and see what’s eating your bandwidth directly through your router by reviewing its settings. Remove any devices you don’t recognize and run an antivirus scan to check for malware.
You may find your Wi-Fi speeds return to normal just by doing that.
Reboot Router Firmware & Boost Security
Stay vigilant! We mentioned malware as a source for slowing down your Wi-Fi, so combat it by always updating your router’s firmware. From bug fixes to necessary security patches, these updates keep your router and internet more protected and more likely to maintain the high speeds you’re used to.
Even if you are up-to-date on all firmware, every now and then, reboot the router, clear out the cache, and let the software reset. This helps keep your router running smoothly. In fact, all your devices should be kept up-to-date and rebooted every once in a while. That also helps maintain optimal Wi-Fi speeds.
While checking your bandwidth usage, you may have come across devices you didn’t recognize using your Wi-Fi, so you may want to boost your router’s security in other ways, too. A neighbor stealing some of your W-Fi is annoying, but the threat could be even worse.
There are a lot of ways you can configure your router to add extra network protection, but at the very least change the router’s admin login to one you create and set a wireless password for your Wi-Fi network.
Verify How Many Devices Are Using Wi-Fi
Similar to checking what devices are sucking away your bandwidth, you should also know how many devices are using your Wi-Fi at one time.
It’s easy to forget in a smart home how many appliances are connected to your network, from TVs to your smart thermostat to your home’s automated security system.
Most home routers are designed to tap out at 30 devices being connected to them at once. After that you may notice spotty connectivity or devices simply dropping their connections sporadically.
For smart homes that feature appliances running on your Wi-Fi, you may want to upgrade your system to a more robust platform designed to handle extra connection loads.
Change Your Router Placement
Even with all of today’s advanced technology, something as simple as a concrete wall can still block your Wi-Fi signal. Slow or spotty internet may simply be the result of poor router placement.
If you’re wanting a strong connection in all areas of your home, try moving your router to a centralized location, preferably not in a basement. Since its signal will broadcast in 360 degrees, you don’t have to place it on one side of your house to get the best coverage.
That being said, if you can’t move your router or it’s still not providing your whole home with optimal coverage, invest in a Wi-Fi extender. Talk with a pro at Revience to see what Wi-Fi signal boosting options would work best for you.
Upgrade Your Router or Hardware
Finally, if all else fails, you may have to upgrade your router or its hardware. Age definitely takes its toll on technology, and if your router is more than a few years old, it may be time to upgrade at least some parts of it.
Start by upgrading your router’s antenna. The cost of a new antenna is low, and it’s a quick fix that can boost your signal strength instantly. However, as your ISP advances the speed and bandwidth of your internet, you’ll need a router that can keep up. So, it’s a good idea to upgrade your router every few years.
Struggling with Spotty Internet? Revience Can Help
The above problems aren’t the only things that can go wrong with your internet connection! If you still are at a loss as to what’s causing your WiFi’s woes, it’s time to contact a Wi-Fi setup company now.
With experience in all smart home installations from electrical solutions to improved Wi-Fi to battery backup power, our team brings technological comfort to your home!
Give us a call at 763-497-4989 or message us online. We’d be happy to get your home network back on its feet again by ensuring proper setup.