WiFi is the way of the world now and is pretty much a necessity these days. When you rely on Wi-Fi, performance issues can hurt. Unfortunately, WiFi performance issues aren’t always easy to diagnose due to the way Wi-Fi works. One unknown variable could potentially cut your Wi-Fi speed in half, so it’s important to know what to look for when something’s wrong.
Let's consider the most common reasons for slow WiFi.
1. WiFi Router Positioning
Most people underestimate the importance of picking a good spot for a Wi-Fi router. Even a small shift in positioning could make a huge difference in performance.
High vs Low. Having your WiFi router on the floor or behind other objects usually results in noticeably worse performance. Instead, place the router as high up as possible to extend the broadcasting range of the radio waves. This also helps clear the router of possible interferences.
Objects in the way. Materials like concrete, plaster and especially metal tend to be the worst for blocking Wi-Fi waves. Wireless routers broadcast omnidirectionally, and the closer you place yours to an obstacle like a brick wall, the more you’ll restrict its signal.
Distance. The further away from your router you get, the weaker the Wi-Fi signal. Therefore, the best option is to place your router as close to your devices as possible, but this is only practical if you have one main area where you tend to use your devices.
2. Wireless Interference from other devices
Microwaves, Cordless phones and even baby monitors operate at a frequency which is incredibly close to the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi band. Make sure your router isn’t next to or blocked by other objects, especially devices that are electronic.
Bluetooth devices, including speakers and soundbars, also happen to operate at 2.4 GHz, interfering with WiFi signal. Try to turn those devices off to see if this is the cause of your troubles — especially if they are older Bluetooth devices without channel management.
You may need to change the 2.4 GHz channel in your router, or set it to automatic mode and let the router find the less noisy channel automatically. You may also want to try the 5 GHz SSID (usually provided with Spirit-configured routers), as this frequency is normally much less congested.
3. Your neighbours!
Neighbours' WiFi devices. These days every household has their own Wi-Fi network, which can cause issues with signal congestion due to channel overlap. This can be somewhat problematic in a townhouse but is especially problematic in large apartments blocks, where there can be many WiFi routers within close proximity.
If you live in a very congested area, your router may be hopping around different channels trying to find the best one, and that can affect your signal and performance.