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How to Improve Internet Service at Home

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It’s safe to say that, for the average consumer, there’s no such thing as “too much broadband.” In fact, today most of us are using more bandwidth than we ever imagined – and there are costs attached.   So how can you be sure you’re paying for the right amount of speed for your needs?  And how do you get the most from that speed on WiFi?
 
The first question to consider is:  What is the balance of speed and budget?  Most households are well served with speeds between 100Mbps (megabits per second) and 1,000 Mbps.  To know for sure, you need to factor in how many people and devices rely on the broadband connection and what’s happening on those devices. (Remember to count the smart appliances, security alarms and other connected home devices.)
 
For example, a couple that uses the Internet for email, surfing the web and streaming content on a single Smart TV requires less speed.  A 100 Mbps connection is likely fast enough for them.  But a family of six, each with multiple devices, who simultaneously watch various streaming services, participate in video meetings, play online video games, and upload large video files to the internet, requires significantly more speed.  They would need 600mbps to a Gigabit. 
 
There are online tools that will help you determine what range of speed you’ll need to support your devices and activities, making your final decision will ultimately come down to your budget and your tolerance level for slightly slower up- and downloads.  
 
After you choose your broadband service, the next step is to make sure that your WiFi technology provides the strongest possible signal to every corner of your home.  To assess how well it’s working, conduct a speed test on various devices in different places in your house.
 
If a test near to your router results in a surprisingly slow speed, you may have a problem with the router or your Internet connection.  If you see widely varying test results, depending on the device and/or the space, try going thought this list of DIY solutions.
 
  • Place router in central location, in the open, away from obstructions – not on a bookshelf or behind a glass console door.   
  • Update the router firmware.
  • If your router has an internal, multi-directional antenna, add an external, directional antenna and direct it towards household areas in need a WiFi boost.
  • Use your router’s Quality of Service (QoS) tools to prioritize certain apps and to limit the amount of bandwidth an app may use.
  • Install boosters or amplifiers in rooms with slow or dead spots.   
  • If your house is large, add mesh network system.  It uses “satellites” placed around the home to relay signals to and from your router.
  • Secure a dual-band router and use 5GHz band instead of more common 2.4GHz band.
  • Update your older devices – new technology is much more efficient.
  • If your Mac or PC is slower than other devices, adjust the internal settings for program updates to run at select times vs. continuously in the background.
  • If you rent a router from your Internet service provider, launch an online chat with a home broadband expert.  They’ll walk you through the secrets to speedy WiFi.
  • And, of course, regularly reboot to refresh.

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