Ways to increase the speed of the Internet through a Wi-Fi router

Today, providers offer Internet speeds of hundreds of megabits per second, while even if you choose not the weakest tariff, you may encounter the problem of low speed over Wi-Fi. Slow Internet can infuriate even the most patient user, especially when it’s not just about surfing, but about downloading a file, watching videos online or video and voice calls.

It would seem that the tariff plan assumes high-speed access to the network, but in reality the subscriber does not receive the declared speed. Many users are not even aware of the possibilities of increasing the speed characteristics, and the methods do not imply the purchase of new equipment and in most cases the problem is solved by setting it up. We will talk about why the speed over Wi-Fi can be much lower than the one promised by the provider and how to increase it.

How to increase the speed of the Internet through a Wi-Fi router

What determines the speed of the Internet

First, let’s figure out what exactly determines the speed indicators and how to find out if the Internet speed depends on the Wi-Fi router.

The main determining factor is, of course, the throughput of the cable brought into the room and the channel width provided by the provider according to the contract. Twisted pair is usually provided up to 80-100 Mbit / s, less often – up to 200 Mbit / s, for fiber-optic lines, as a rule, the speed indicator will be higher. In the case of an ADSL dial-up connection, the speed varies greatly depending on the technical condition and quality of the line and the service provider’s equipment.

Network bandwidth

Why does the Internet speed drop when connected via a Wi-Fi router

In addition to the fact that the connection speed depends on the provider and the cable used, the quality of data exchange is also affected by the equipment for receiving and transmitting a wireless signal. So, if you are not directly connected, the actual speed will depend on the hardware capabilities of the router, the settings and the number of connected devices.

Cable types - twisted pairs

There can be many reasons why a Wi-Fi router cuts speed, for example:

  • Location of the network device, physical obstacles in the signal path.
  • Interference from devices or other wireless networks.
  • Incorrect hardware settings.
  • Low antenna power.
  • The used data transmission channel.
  • Outdated driver or firmware.
  • The load of the device.
  • The type of connection used by the provider (PPPoE, L2TP, PPTP).
    Internet connection types

Losses when using a Wi-Fi router are inevitable, since it is unrealistic to organize ideal conditions and completely eliminate any interference, because the cable connection is more stable.

To find out how much the Internet speed is lower than that stated, it is enough to connect directly to the computer and use a special service that measures the speed.

Internet speed measurement

Determining the real speed

Before you tackle the increase in speed indicators, it is worth checking the speed of the Wi-Fi router. Although this figure is indicated by the equipment manufacturer (for example, 300 Mbit / s), in practice the figure will be much lower.

You can measure the speed of a Wi-Fi network using applications for a computer or phone (for example, Wi-Fi Analyzer) or special services that allow you to test the speed of a Wi-Fi connection online.

Wi-Fi Analyzer

Wi-Fi Analyzer

Let’s consider how to find out the speed of a Wi-Fi router using the example of the Speedtest service, first excluding the fault of the provider:

  • We connect the Internet cable to the computer device directly, if necessary, set up the connection if the connection type used is not “Dynamic IP”.
  • Go to the online service for analyzing the connection speed and run the test.
    Start SpeedTest
  • After receiving the test results, we return the cable to the WAN connector on the router and check the speed again. Now the test for the Wi-Fi connection will start, and according to its results it will be possible to judge whether the router cuts the speed or not.
    SpeedTest test results

If in the first case the speed was lower than the declared one, you should contact the service provider, since the problem exists on the provider’s side, not yours, and you cannot influence the operation of its equipment in any way. If the declared characteristics are met, we check the connection speed through the Wi-Fi router. Cable speed is usually higher than Wi-Fi, but it is important to take into account the spread of indicators.

Ways to increase speed

There are several methods of how to increase the speed of the Internet through a Wi-Fi router. At the same time, it is important to understand that the speed characteristics cannot be higher than those provided by the provider in your tariff plan, and also take into account such a moment as the distribution of speed between connected devices.

Rostelecom tariffs

Tariff plans offered by Rostelecom

When using a router, the Internet speed is cut in any case, and when tested in the results, the speed indicators when connecting through a router will be lower than when connecting directly with a cable. Why this happens, we have already considered. At the same time, it is in your power to independently eliminate some of the reasons why the router slows down the connection speed.

Choosing the best place

An important factor in ensuring the stability of the network is the location of the access point. If, in addition to a drop in speed, there is a weak signal (one or two stripes), then you should choose another place for the router. The signal strength depends on various factors:

  • The thickness of walls, partitions and other objects that fall within the field of wireless communication, their number in the signal path.
  • Materials from which structures and objects are made.
  • The presence of other network devices (including neighboring Wi-Fi networks).
  • Distance from connected devices.
  • High humidity.

Optimal location for a router

To improve the signal, eliminating the influence of extraneous factors, we place the router in a place as free from objects as possible. Any obstacles in the way will weaken the signal, so although you cannot completely get rid of them in the room, it is important to minimize the passage of waves through objects, in particular, metal or electrical obstacles, as well as places of high humidity, should be avoided. Do not forget that water and metal absorb Wi-Fi, being electrical conductors and taking some of the signal energy onto themselves.

Checking the settings

Let’s consider how to increase the connection speed via a Wi-Fi router by changing some of its settings.

To enter the settings, in the browser you will need to enter the address of the router, usually 192.168.1.1 or 192.168.0.1. On the authorization page, by default, in the login and password lines, enter “admin”, “admin”. In the router settings, you need to see if the power saving mode is activated, for which you should go to the “Wireless networks” section in the menu and change the status of the option in the WMM APSD line by turning it off, and then save the changes.

WMM APSD

In the case of a laptop or PC with an adapter, energy saving is activated on the adapter itself. To disconnect, go to Device Manager, for example, using the Run console and the devmgmt.msc command, open the Network adapters branch and find the device that is responsible for working with the Wi-Fi network (the name may contain the words Wi- Fi, Link Wireless, Realtek, etc.). In the properties of the adapter (RMB) on the energy saving management tab, uncheck the corresponding item and save the settings.

Router power management

Changing the channel width

The 802.11N standard works with broadband channels by default, but this approach is only effective when the signal is clear. Under normal operating conditions of a Wi-Fi network, signal purity cannot be achieved, besides, 40 MHz channels operating at 2.4 GHz can interfere with other devices using this range. Since with a weak signal the opposite effect is observed – a drop in speed and the appearance of interference, it is better to set the channel width to 20 MHz in the additional settings, after which we save the new parameters and reboot the equipment.

Changing the channel width

Free channel selection

If there are many neighboring networks around (the more users on the channel, the lower the speed of the Wi-Fi network), the optimal location of the router and the correct setting will help to increase the speed. You need to place the router away from other access points, because even when using non-overlapping channels, the devices muffle each other’s signal. To determine the least loaded channel, we use a special application (Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android devices, InSSIDer for computers, Wi-Fi explorer for iOS). In the application, we evaluate the congestion of the available channels in the range (we look not only at the signal strength of the networks, but also pay attention to the fact that your network intersects with the minimum number of existing networks) and select the least loaded one.

InSSIDer

InSSIDer

Selecting a network security mode

To prevent unauthorized people from connecting to your network, select the latest WPA2-PSK encryption protocol with AES cipher in the router settings. For older, low-power routers, you can turn off encryption, while ensuring security by rewriting the client MAC addresses and setting a filter. This will reduce the load on the equipment and if the reason for the low speed was a lack of performance, then the data transfer will be faster.

Change of speed to standard n

Solving the problem of slow Internet allows setting the router to the maximum speed. The fact is that modern wireless devices use the new 802.11n standard with a bandwidth three times higher than that of its predecessor 802.11g. The settings can be set to the protocol 802.11 b / g / n or “Auto”, which is not better. Thus, if there are devices supporting the new standard in the network, the maximum speed will correspond to this version of the standard (150 Mbit / s), but when a device using 802.11 b appears in the network, the speed of the entire network will decrease to the maximum for this version (11 Mbit /with). Moreover, an outdated device may not even connect to an access point; an attempt to connect, for example, a neighbor’s device, is enough to drop the speed.

Internet protocols in the router settings

You can configure the router for maximum speed by switching the router to use only 802.11n. This will mean that devices using the old protocol will not connect to the network, so decide if you are willing to tolerate a slowdown in order to connect an outdated device.

WMM mode

If the router has the WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) option, it makes sense to enable it in the network settings to remove the internet speed limit. To enable WMM QOS, do the following:

  • We go to the web interface (usually by IP 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1 – enter in the address bar of the browser).
  • Open the Wi-Fi (wireless network) settings.
  • Go to “Advanced settings”.
  • We activate the mode by ticking the WMM item.
    WMM Qos function

To configure the adapter on a computer:

  • We pass to the Device Manager, for example, from the context menu “Start”.
  • Expand the “Network adapters” branch and select the wireless adapter.
  • Open its properties and activate WMM on the “Advanced” tab.

Updating the wireless adapter driver

Sometimes the speed performance of the entire network is slowed down by the old driver. The solution to the problem in this case is to install the current version from the manufacturer’s website. This can be done on a computer or laptop, for which you need to know the manufacturer of the adapter, find the latest driver for the router, download and install. An alternative option is to install a special program for automatic software updates, for example, DriverBooster.

Updating the router firmware

In the absence of experience, flashing is risky, as incorrect actions can damage the device. So it’s better to use a certified router, these models usually have a restore point that allows you to revert to a previous version if something goes wrong.

The latest version of the firmware can be taken from the equipment manufacturer’s website; to find the one you need, you need the serial number of the device. The router is connected via a LAN cable to the computer, in the router settings you need to select the Firmware Upgrade item and, specifying the path to the downloaded folder, start the update process. While the procedure is in progress, do not turn off the device and remove the LAN cable.

Updating the router firmware

Switching to Wi-Fi 5 GHz

If your router is capable of dual-band operation at the same time, you should turn on Wi-Fi at 5 GHz (the new standard with free channels).

If this is not possible, you can switch to 5 GHz by ditching 2.4 GHz. Although not all devices can support this range and connect to the network, for those that do, the speed will be excellent, so the question of how to speed up a Wi-Fi router will not bother you anymore.

Router characteristics

It is likely that the router does not provide sufficient power due to the fact that it is not provided for by its hardware capabilities. The declared speed will not be equal to the real one, for example, if according to the manual it is 50 Mbit / s, then in fact it may not even reach 40 Mbit / s.

Despite the fact that the provider provides a real connection speed, for example, twice as much, the router inside the network will not be able to support it, while these problems will not be over the cable. In this case, there are few options: either you have to update your network equipment, or connect devices that require good speed directly.

Signal stability

We check how stable the signal is in different parts of the network coverage area. It is possible that there is a fairly decent distance between the devices or there are many obstacles on the way that create interference. You can solve the problem by rearranging the router or installing a repeater in the room.

The speed of data transfer over a Wi-Fi network depends on many factors, therefore, for the greatest efficiency in solving the problem, you can use several methods, but first of all, it is important to find out whether the router is really the fault of the slow Internet. If the methods listed above did not help and the matter is in a low-power outdated model that is not capable of delivering normal speed, you should think about replacing the equipment.

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