Wi-Fi is integral to most companies. It keeps work flowing, employees productive and customers happy. When you are experiencing slow wi-fi your business suffers.
But “working” means more than simply maintaining a connection. When a company experiences slow Wi-Fi, it’s not really working the way it should. Aside from the obvious frustration, a slow connection costs time and money in lost productivity. Conversely, speeding up a connection saves time and money, and creates a healthier work environment. A strong, secure connection is therefore a critical ingredient to business success.
So how can you deal with slow Wi-Fi? You shouldn’t deal with it at all. Instead, identify, troubleshoot, and get rid of it before it hurts your business.
Identify the Problem with Your Slow Wi-Fi
First things first: Make sure you actually have slow Wi-Fi. If it feels slow, it probably is. But it could also be the plan you’re using. If you’re paying for a tier that promises up to a certain speed, you might not actually achieve that speed. That’s the ceiling on your potential speed. A web-based speed test will let you know if you’re experiencing something close to your maximum, or if it’s falling short. The solution might be to upgrade your plan to accommodate your evolving business needs.
For an ideal test, stop any other activity on that machine. It’s also a good idea to run the test when you’ll be using your Wi-Fi the most, so you’ll get a real-world sample of the available speed when you most need it. Finally, use multiple speed tests to get a more accurate reading. The extra sources will compensate for a site that has closer servers, or an outlier reading.
But if you confirm that your Wi-Fi is slower than it should be, it’s time to troubleshoot why it’s lagging.
Different Types of ‘Slow’
When you recognize slow Wi-Fi, what does that mean? Is it slow on certain websites but not others? Is it one machine or department, or is everyone experiencing the same problem?
If it’s slow on a certain website, the problem might not be on your side at all. It could be the website itself. In that case, if it’s a vendor or other business relationship, you can contact the company directly and see if there are ways to improve its speed with your system. This possibility is another reason why a speed test is so important, as it will identify issues that are unrelated to anyone’s specific web address.
If the problem is with one machine, the issue might be related to the physical setup. A solution could be as simple as rebooting the computer, modem, or router (go ahead and do therm all while you’re at it). There’s a reason customer service troubleshooters often suggest rebooting your hardware first: Many times it solves the problem. If you haven’t rebooted your devices recently, it’s a good idea to do that first.
Also, check for coaxial splitters going to your modem. A splitter allows you to attach the line to two devices, but you’re also splitting the connection, which can degrade the quality (and speed) of your internet. A low-quality splitter will compound the problem as well. As part of your troubleshooting routine, detach any splitters and connect directly to see if your speed improves. Anything you can do to improve the modem connection could help the router performance, and your Wi-Fi as well.
Who, What, Where?
If multiple people (who) are experiencing slowdown using the same router (what), it’s important to note where the router is located. Ideally, a router should be in the middle of a work area and away from the floor with the antenna straight up and away from metal whenever possible. Re-positioning your router could have a noticeable affect on performance.
Also, consider the possibility that the router is trying to cover too large an area. In that case, the solution could be a Wi-Fi extender or even a mesh Wi-Fi system to ensure everyone has access to a strong connection.
You can also try switching your Domain Name System (DNS) server. The DNS server is what converts a familiar website name with its corresponding numerical IP address. While you might remember a name, your computer needs numbers to get you there, and the DNS server translates your request into a value the computer understands.
You’re likely using the default DNS server that your Internet Service Provider uses, and it might not be the fastest one. Open DNS and Google DNS are just two of the searchable DNS servers, and you might see speed improvement by switching.
Another option is to contact your ISP directly and see if they can help troubleshoot a solution. If there’s an equipment or cable malfunction, they can often identify and fix it. They can also use their own testing to confirm a slowdown and pinpoint where the problem occurs most.
An Easy Fix-It Solution
Unless you’re a computer or networking specialist, some of the above techniques might seem challenging, while others are too time-consuming. You need your Wi-Fi to be fast, and you need the solutions to be fast as well. You also need to manage your business while your Wi-Fi is optimized.
Imperium Data Services can identify and solve slow Wi-Fi issues quickly and efficiently. By partnering with IT leader Aruba Networks, the answer won’t be a cookie-cutter solution. Instead, you’ll have fast, secure, reliable Wi-Fi backed with industry-leading products and technologies that fit your specific business and its associated needs. And all it takes is a visit to our Contact page to schedule an appointment and get started.