Causes and solutions of a slow or slower WIFI connection than usual, with weak signal and interruptions
Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi connection does not always go as fast as we want: if at some times of the day we see that the connection slows down dramatically or that it “disappears” out of the blue (causing us to lose even the active downloads), it is better to intervene immediately on the main problems that involve Wi-Fi.
In fact, in this guide we will show you why Wi-Fi is slow and how to fix it, showing you all the tricks and settings that you can change to get a fast and snappy Wi-Fi network anywhere in the home or office.
Slow Wi-Fi: How to fix it
There can be many causes for slow Wi-Fi, so it is advisable to carefully read all the chapters shown below and proceed step by step, so as to solve practically any problem that may arise with wireless connections.
Router: type, position, and distance
The Wi-Fi connection in each environment is provided by a router, the device provided by the telephone operator that connects to the telephone socket, or to the fiber optic cable (for FTTH connections).
If we have been using the same router for a long time or a very inexpensive router, maybe one of those given free of charge by the telephone company, it is worth buying a new one and changing it, so as to obtain the latest technologies in terms of network protocols and new frequencies.
In another article we have seen how to buy a new powerful and fast router, which not only guarantees maximum internet speed but which manages to transmit on multiple frequencies, avoiding interference and improving signal reception.
The location of the router is also very important, because if the signal arrives weak to your computer or mobile phone, the speed of the Wi-Fi connection may also be affected.
Ideally, a router should be placed at the center of an environment or home, not closed in a closet or between two walls and never left on the ground; to optimize the signal the higher the router is held, the more space the signal will have to spread evenly.
Cement and metals tend to block Wi-Fi waves more than other materials, but in general, any impediment or wall attenuates the signal that must always have an opening to pass through various rooms. However, if the router is particularly weak or if you have a particularly large or elongated house, you may need to use Wi-Fi repeaters to cover even the points furthest from the router; to learn more about this aspect, please read the guide How does the wifi repeater or “Range Extender” work and which one to buy.
Wireless signals are everywhere and pass through wherever we are and go. They are transmitted by electronic devices, routers, satellites, cellular networks, antennas, TVs, microwave ovens, and many other things.
Although Wi-Fi works on a different frequency than most other devices, the amount of radio noise can still do cause interference: for example, the microwave oven causes interference with the Wi-Fi network, especially with older routers that work only on the 2.4 GHz band, an incredibly close value to the microwave frequency, 2.45 GHz. Fortunately, microwaves are adequately shielded so their radio waves are not detected outside the oven but in general always better anyway do not put the router near the microwave. The same goes for cordless phones, baby monitors, and wireless speakers; Bluetooth devices may also create small interference on the 2.4 GHz frequency, even if they use different channels.
In addition to these small home-made interferences, more problems can occur if you live in a crowded condominium, where each home has its own Wi-Fi network and one can occur channel overlap.
Basically it means that the data passes, both for my Wi-Fi connection and that of my neighbors, on the same road that becomes busy and slower.
These problems can be solved by switching to a Dual Band Wi-Fi router (so you can take advantage of the 5GHz frequency to connect the devices) e changing the transmission channel on 2.4 GHz; for both solutions, we advise you to read our guides Best Modem to buy (fiber, dual-band, wireless AC) is Connect to the wireless channel of the Wifi network with the strongest signal.
Sometimes Wi-Fi is slow because too many people are using it. This can happen at home or in an office, if on other computers other than ours someone is downloading very large files, perhaps using a Bittorrent program, or if they are watching a streaming movie. In other cases, the connection is slow due to one congestion at the telephone exchange of the internet provider.
It is easy to understand if the connection suffers from congestion; that’s enough to measure internet speed at different times and on different days to see if there are many differences.
To solve this problem we will first have to focus on a more powerful router and, if the Internet speed does not improve, try to activate an FTTH or FTTC fiber optic subscription (excellent for connecting many devices), as seen in our guide Fiber cover for TIM, Fastweb, Vodafone, WindTre and others.
Use Ethernet and Powerline
If our Wi-Fi network is always slow, even with the advice above we try to remove some wireless devices from it, making the most of the Ethernet cable connection, especially for TV, fixed PCs, and game consoles.
If the devices are far away and it is not possible to lay the cable, we recommend placing Powerline adapters, capable of carrying the Internet through common electrical outlets; in this regard, we invite you to read our guide Internet on the power outlet with the Powerline.
Use the Wifi Mesh
If we must necessarily use the Wi-Fi network to connect numerous devices, we invite you to immediately create one Wifi Mesh network, capable of connecting very large houses and improving the connection speed of Wi-Fi in any room.
The Wifi Mesh consists of various modules interconnected with each other, with a Master to be connected directly to the home router: in this way, we will obtain a stable Wi-Fi signal in any situation, even with interference or with points in the house very far from the router.
To learn more, please read our guide WiFi Mesh: how to increase wireless coverage.
In addition to the methods seen above, there are also other considerations to make regarding the causes of slow Wi-Fi. For example, some devices may be faster than others because they have a better network card or because they can connect to the 5GHz network, so they will always be faster than devices that only surf at 2.4 GHz.
In other articles we have deepened the subject by also providing advice on some simple configurations to modify to have fast wifi; no, I just have to recommend you to read our articles What slows down your network speed and internet connection is Why the internet is slow and how to fix it.