It’s always heartbreaking to test your home WiFi speed. The results are likely only a fraction of what you signed up for, no matter how much you’re paying your service provider. Have you ever wondered why this is the case? Culling from a variety of articles on the subject, BuzzFeed has put together a list of reasons why your home Internet is always much slower you expect it to be.
The worst offender in your home network is the router. Last month Carnegie Mellon’s Dr. Alex Hills told The Wall Street Journal that customers are only getting about 50% of the capacity that their routers promise, which slows even further if multiple people are on the network. This issue is compounded even further if you’re living in an inner city apartment, surrounded by dozens of other nearby networks.
Denizens of suburbia: you now have a reason to gloat. (That said, plenty of appliances and devices in your home could affect your signal strength, including microwaves and phones.)
BuzzFeed also notes that WiFi devices can’t send and receive a signal simultaneously. This is only possible over a wired connection. That’s why everything slows down when you start downloading a huge file at several megabytes per second.
As you might expect, one of the easiest ways to boost your WiFi speed is to upgrade your router, but be sure to find one that uses the 5GHz frequency as opposed to 2.4GHz. You still probably won’t be soaring at 100Mbps, but you might finally be able to download a game on your Xbox One and watch Netflix at the same time.
For more information on the nature of WiFi and a few tips to help you speed up your own connection, check the BuzzFeed article.