In this era of Internet streaming video, home automation, and online gaming, the venerable old home network gets a serious workout. Keeping things running smoothly is a must if you want the most out of your bandwidth investment. Knowing how to properly manage your modem (fiber, cable, or DSL) and router plays a big role in the efficiency of your WiFi network.
Here are a few tips on optimizing home network speed to ensure the best possible performance.
Regularly Perform an Internet Speed Test
Get into the habit of performing an Internet speed test on a regular basis. Without a real understanding of your actual bandwidth, and any differences between your test results and your ISP’s promised service level, it becomes difficult to set expectations for the performance of your home network. Keep a log of your test results in case you notice repeated discrepancies between the tested result and the speed promised by your service provider.
Be Sure to Occasionally Reboot Your Modem
No matter the type of connection used in your Internet service, occasionally rebooting your modem by shutting it off for 30 seconds and then powering it on helps to keep your Internet connection running smoothly. Do this at least once per month or more frequently if you experience slow performance. Rebooting your router at the same time can also help. This is another great reason to test your Internet speed on a regular basis.
Read and Understand Your Router Manual
Not surprisingly, your wireless router offers you the best opportunity to improve the network performance at your residence. In fact, investing in a high-end dual band router gives you additional flexibility in management. Devices primarily used for video streaming and other high bandwidth tasks are able to reside on their own band, with optimized performance as a result.
Understanding the more esoteric functionality of a premium router lets you do things like beamforming, which allows optimizing the wireless signal for specific devices on your network. This is a smart trick to play if the family is watching an HD movie on Netflix with too much buffering ruining the show.
Router placement within your residence also matters when it comes to streaming performance. Watch out for too many walls or appliances (especially a microwave oven) between your wireless router and any bandwidth consuming devices.
Here’s hoping these few tricks give you the insight to optimize your home WiFi network’s performance, so you and your family are able to truly enjoy your Internet service.