Wi-Fi Speed

How to Improve Your Wi-Fi Speed in a Work From Home Office

So you’ve decided to work from home. But your Wi-Fi is only set up for everyday home use, like a laptop, a couple of phones, and your games console. Time to upgrade your internet? Maybe not.

We’ve compiled a few tips to help you improve your Wi-Fi speed, helping you to save money while working from home.

What is your Wi-Fi speed?

Many people who are working from home have extra equipment connected to the Wi-Fi, such as a VoIP phone system, which requires a strong, steady Wi-Fi connection. But before you can improve your Wi-Fi speed, you need to know what internet speed you’re actually getting—and it may not be what you are paying for.

Check that your internet service provider isn’t charging you for something that you can’t even get in your area. Search online for an internet speed test to find out the maximum speed available in your postcode. This is the fastest speed you will get, even if you’re paying for more.

You also need to pinpoint exactly what problems you’re having with your Wi-Fi. It can be frustrating when it keeps dipping in and out or when things are not loading as fast as they used to. Maybe you searched “what is accessibility testing” to impress your boss ahead of a product meeting, and the page didn’t load. But it worked fine a few minutes ago.

When trying to improve your Wi-Fi speed, it’s best to start with the most simple fixes. Then if they don’t work, there could be a technical fix, or as a last resort, some of your equipment may need replacing.

Wi-Fi Speed

Simple fixes

Some jobs are best left to the professionals. Have a leaky tap? Contact a local plumber. Does the air-con need cleaning? Leave that to the pros too.

But when it comes to fixing a slow internet, there are a few quick fixes you can implement yourself. Here are a few ways to improve your Wi-Fi speed that only take a few minutes and won’t cost you anything.

Check what is connected to the Wi-Fi

Most people have their TV, phones, and possibly a laptop or games console connected to their Wi-Fi. This is fine if your internet is only for home use. But once you start adding extra equipment to work from home, you may need to prioritize.

For example, if the company you work for uses a toll-free number for business, this will often use Wi-Fi to connect calls to your home office. You may find that it is best to disconnect extra devices during work hours when you may need to make and receive calls.

Do a complete computer check

Your computer may be the problem behind your slow Wi-Fi speeds. If your computer system is running slowly, your Wi-Fi will be too. So what is slowing down your computer? Well, it could be many things:

  • When was the last time you cleared your browsing cache and history?
  • Does your computer need a system update?
  • Are all drivers and firmware up-to-date?
  • Do you have a good antivirus?
  • Do you scan the system regularly for viruses?

If your computer is up-to-date and virus-free, you should look at what programs you’re running. Many of us have programs running in the background constantly without even realizing it. Check your task manager for background programs that can be closed.

Your internet browser could also be the culprit. So many of us are guilty of leaving multiple tabs open while working. So bookmark your online shopping, that domain search, and those recipe ideas, then close the tabs you’re not currently using.

Restart your router

When you have trouble with your Wi-Fi, the most obvious answer may be staring you in the face. Have you tried turning it off and back on again? While this may seem too simple to actually work, giving your router a quick restart may be the quick fix you are looking for. It clears the memory and gives the router a chance to reconnect to all devices correctly.

To give your Wi-Fi router a total reboot, turn off the Wi-Fi on all devices connected to it. Then switch it off for 30 seconds. Turn it back on and give it a minute or two to restart. Then turn the Wi-Fi back on all the devices that need to connect. This should improve your connection.

Wireless equipment is usually kept on all day, every day. So it needs a reboot every so often to keep it working properly. It is a good idea to restart your Wi-Fi router regularly; once a month should be enough.

Move your router

Where is your wireless router? Where you decide to put your router can affect how well it works. Walls, flooring, or furniture can block Wi-Fi signals. Electronic devices, such as your microwave or home phone, could also be interrupting the signal. If you have a dedicated home office, consider placing your router in that area to ensure a strong and consistent Wi-Fi connection for your work needs.

Technically anything with a wireless signal could interfere with your Wi-Fi. So make sure it is positioned away from wireless speakers, smart devices, and any other wireless devices you may have in your house. It could be something as simple as your baby monitor interfering with the signal.

The best place for your wireless router is:

  • In a central location: This means it will cover as much of your house as possible. If you have a Wi-Fi dead zone, it may be because your router is too far away.
  • In an elevated place: The higher up your router is, the better coverage you will have. 

Clear from obstructions: You may be tempted to hide your router as they aren’t the prettiest things to look at. But in doing this, you may be obstructing the signal.

Change your Wi-Fi frequency band

These days, Wi-Fi routers work on two bands, 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz. Most routers are automatically set to 2.4 GHz, which is good for smart home devices like security cameras and speakers. If you’ve only been using your Wi-Fi for general home use, you’ve probably been happy on this band as it has a further reach, meaning your signal will be fine in most of your rooms.

But when it comes to working from home, you need your PC or laptop to download a lot of files, and you may be using virtual PBX services, so it is important that you stay connected. In this case, it would be better for you to switch to 5GHz. It is faster and more suitable for PCs, laptops, smartphones, and gaming devices.

The downside of 5GHz is that it doesn’t penetrate solid surfaces as well as  2.4GHz, and its reach isn’t quite as far. So you maybe take another look at where you are putting your router.

While improving your Wi-Fi speed is important, it’s also crucial to prioritize your online security and privacy. Consider using measures like hiding your online activity on the Internet through VPNs or encrypted connections to safeguard your data and protect your sensitive information.

Boost your Wi-Fi

If your Wi-Fi speeds still aren’t quite where you need them to be, you may need to invest in some new equipment to help with remote working. There are a few different devices to choose from depending on whether you want to boost the whole signal or you need to extend it to certain areas. 

  • Wi-Fi Booster: If your Wi-Fi just needs a general boost, a Wi-Fi booster will amplify the signal.
  • Wi-Fi Extender: If there’s an area in your house where you always get connectivity issues, you probably need a Wi-Fi extender. They connect to the Wi-Fi and extend the signal, eliminating dead zones.
  • Powerline Extender: These use your electrical wiring instead of Wi-Fi to extend your signal. You plug one device into your router and one where you’d like the signal to be boosted. You may find that you need to add more power points around your home to do this, so be sure to contact a trusted electrician for advice and installation.
  • Mesh Wi-Fi System: These replace your normal router with several devices that act like a sort of ‘Wi-Fi blanket’ to give you full coverage in your home. It is a more costly option but worth the investment if you need the best Wi-Fi connection.

Ethernet Cable: In the world of Wi-Fi, wires still have their place. Realistically your TV and games consoles could be plugged straight into the internet, and they are probably the devices that are slowing down your Wi-Fi anyway.

Time for an upgrade

If none of our suggestions have worked so far, it’s probably time to buy a new router. There are a lot of different Wi-Fi routers that vary a lot in price, so it’s good to do your research before buying.

Alternatively, if you are constantly running a lot of different programs and software, it may be your computer that needs replacing. Your old laptop may have been fine for the occasional work-from-home day. But it’s possible that if you are, for example, using automation software such as Make, your current PC or laptop may not be powerful enough to run all of the programs it needs to.

Improve your Wi-Fi speed

It doesn’t have to be costly to improve your Wi-Fi speed. Something as simple as switching everything off and back on again can make a big improvement. Using some of these simple fixes, you’ll have a quicker Wi-Fi speed in no time. The key is to keep your equipment up-to-date, so you will only upgrade when needed.

Also, don’t forget the power of the ethernet cable. If you want your work-from-home office to be wireless, consider wiring up other areas of your house that use the internet.