There's nothing more frustrating than being at a climactic moment in your favorite show on Netflix and suddenly losing internet connection. On my TV, it actually shows my download speed slowly disappearing. 10mbps... 7mbps... 2mbps... flatline.
At this point, many people are prone to either throwing their remote across the room or calling their internet provider to complain about horrible service. However, there are some things you can do right in your home that can help you boost your internet speeds.
Before you start buying new routers or range extenders, you should first get an idea of what your average download speed currently is. There are many free websites out there that can tell you this information, but speedtest.net
is one of the veterans in the field that is user-friendly and widely trusted as one of the best.
Run the test at different times of the day. See how it's affected by someone else streaming videos on a another device. This will all help provide insight into the issue you're having.
If you notice a problem only at certain times of the day, the problem might not be your modem or router, but rather that your internet provider is oversubscribing and getting backed up during internet rush hours.
It's also a good idea to change the password on your Wi-Fi network in case you have a neighbor that you're providing free internet too.
Update your hardware
If you're paying $60+ per month on high speed internet but can't ever stream videos there's a problem. Many people assume that paying more for internet automatically means they'll get faster download speeds. If you're using an outdated router, however, it won't matter how much you pay monthly, you're still going to see slow speeds.
Check out some of the latest model routers on Amazon or at Best Buy and read the customer reviews. You won't want to buy any routers that are more than a couple years old as Wi-Fi technology progresses somewhat rapidly.
Tweak your router
If you recently purchased a brand new router but aren't getting the results you expected, maybe you need to make some changes to the router itself. Try setting the antennas vertically and placing the router on top of a cabinet in your house for better signal reception.
Alternatively, you could look into replacing the antennas on your router for ones that will emit a stronger signal.
Expand your signal
If you live in a large house or often use devices in the basement, far away from your router, you might consider buying a wireless range extender. Extenders come in various shapes and sizes. Some are tiny adapters that stick out of your power outlet, others look just like routers, and others work as a system of small routers that you place around your home to provide blanket internet coverage.
Pretend you're in IT
There might be some changes you can make to your router that will make a huge difference in internet speeds. Sometimes that means updating the firmware of your router, other times it means switching the channel your router is broadcasting on to avoid interference with other routers or wireless systems. To make these internal changes, type in the IP address (usually located somewhere on the bottom or back of your router) into your browser and type in your username and password, then follow instructions for your specific router.