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WiFi troubleshooting at home

Published: July 9, 2020

Do you have slow internet speeds, streaming video that constantly buffers, or find it hard to even stay connected to your WiFi network? Poor WiFi speeds are a common problem for many households but the good news is that many of these issues can be fixed relatively easily.

If any of the below sounds familiar, it is likely that we can help.

 


 

“My WiFi speeds are fast in one area of the house, but slow in another area”

Going the distance

Generally speaking, your modem will have enough range to provide WiFi across the average apartment or small house. If you live in a larger house however, the WiFi signal from a single modem simply may not go the distance.
In the case that your house or apartment has concrete walls or a second storey, these thicker walls will block some of the WiFi signal, resulting in poor WiFi speeds in the rooms which are furthest from your modem.

A single modem may not cover your whole property

Placing your modem beside a metal appliance such as a microwave or refrigerator may block the WiFi signal

Location, location, location

Unless you happen to live inside a server room, most internet routers are unlikely to match your décor. Your first reaction may be to try to hide your router out of view behind some furniture or in a remote corner of your home, however this may reduce the strength of your WiFi signal and cause issues. Positioning your router out in the open, and away from large metal appliances can make all the difference to your WiFi performance!

Pro tip: Large metal objects such as whitegoods appliances can block the WiFi network, casting a ‘WiFi shadow’ on part of your home.

 


 

“My WiFi speeds are slow overall”

The modern house has more connected devices than ever before, and they are all competing for your WiFi

Check your internet plan

Not all internet plans are created equal – you’ll need to choose one capable of the speed you need. If several members of your household start watching Netflix on each of their devices it can quickly start to overwhelm some of the lower speed plans, resulting in the dreaded ‘Buffering’ symbol. In this case it’s worth checking the speed of your internet plan with your Internet Service Provider to make sure you have a plan which suits the needs of your household.

Consider the competition

Each year we’re adding more connected devices to our homes, from smart lights and voice assistant speakers to tablets and Ultra High Definition TVs. In fact, its estimated that the average Australian home will have over 37 connected devices by 2023. These smart TVs, voice assistant speakers (and even smart fridges!) all compete for space on your WiFi network.
Even some older devices that you may not expect, such as cordless phones, microwaves or even some bore pumps, may cause electromagnetic interference when they are in use, causing your device to slow down or even disconnect completely!

 


 

“My WiFi is slow everywhere and it’s hard to stay connected”

Consider your equipment

If your WiFi is consistently slow across your house and seems to disappear and reappear at random, faulty or ancient equipment may be the culprit. A modem that is over five years old may be using an older, slower version of WiFi. Your modem is also one of the few devices in your house which is running 24/7, so the components will wear out eventually. Like any electrical item, your modem can suffer from hardware failure due to old age, so it’s worth considering the last time you replaced it.

The problem might be outside the home

In some cases, the cause of slow speeds while using your WiFi connection may in fact not be due to your WiFi network at all! If you have a problem in the cabling on the street outside of the home, this will affect your internet speed across all of your devices. In this case you will need to contact your ISP to lodge a fault and fix the cabling in the street.

Still using an old modem? It might be time for an upgrade… (source: Wikimedia Commons)

 


 

Help! My house has one of these issues, what do I do next?

 

Get WiFi help

With so many things that can affect your WiFi, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s where tech2’s In-Home WiFi Assessment can help. One of our WiFi experts will visit your home, discuss any issues you may be having and test the WiFi performance in the problem areas of your home.

After testing, your technician will discuss what they found, and provide a suggestion on how to fix the problem. If the solution involves any installation of hardware or repairs to the cabling inside your house, your technician will provide a no obligation quote for this additional work. If you’re happy to proceed, we can perform that work for you on the day – the choice is completely yours!

To book in your In-Home WiFi Assessment, click here.