With the holidays around the corner, many people in West Michigan will be opening their homes to friends and family.

While having lots of people over can be great, many believe that having more people connected to your Wi-Fi network causes slowdowns.

Ultimately, network performance depends on bandwidth, connected devices and environmental factors. Here are a few easy tips to make sure you’re getting the strongest signal possible.

Put older devices on a separate channel

Connecting older devices to your home network can actually slow down your experience. Old technology uses outdated Wi-Fi standards that force your router to slow down. This means a slower home network, affecting even your most up-to-date devices. If your router has multiple channels available, reserve one for older technology and one for your latest gadgets.

Assess your router’s speed capabilities

Not all routers are created equal. Different routers offer different maximum speeds, measured in megabits per second (Mbps). A higher speed means more devices can connect to your network with a stronger, faster connection. If your network is slowing down, an out-of-date or low-quality router may be at fault.

Place your router in an optimal location

Location is key when it comes to routers. It’s very important that your router is placed in a central location so devices all throughout your home can reach it. If you put your router in a corner, devices at the far end of the house won’t have as strong of a connection. Ideally, your router should be within sight of the devices you use most. It’s also important to keep your router elevated, as the ground can cause signal interference.

Identify overlooked activities that use the most data

Downloading large files, streaming videos and file sharing can take up a lot of bandwidth. If your network is feeling sluggish, make sure you don’t have any programs running that use lots of data. You’ll also want to make sure your network is secured. If you don’t set up a password on your network, anyone within range can connect to it. This can be another factor that slows your connection down.

Spot common household items that may cause interference

Many of the items you probably have in your house right now can cause signal interference. Electronics such as baby monitors, microwaves, Bluetooth devices and TV sound bars can interfere with your signal, hurting your network’s performance. Other items that can cause interference include Christmas lights, fish tanks and large pieces of metal—even ones inside your walls. Make sure to keep items like these away from your router.

A slow internet connection can be incredibly frustrating. In this busy holiday season, no one wants to spend time waiting on their connection. By following these simple tips you can help make your connection as fast as possible, saving you time for more important things.

Courtesy: Adam Russo