5 Easy Ways to Fix a Slow WiFi Connection
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You’ve been waiting all week for this moment: An evening all to yourself to stream the latest season of your favorite show. What could possibly go wrong? Right on cue, the video freezes. In fact, the entire episode is stop and go. Clearly, a slow WiFi connection is blocking your ability to binge! But why?
When your WiFi is on the fritz, there are a lot of signs — web pages won’t load, videos are glitchy, downloads take forever — but there’s never one clear reason. Troubleshooting involves trial and error. It could be your router. Or maybe the network. Perhaps the PC itself is the source of the problem.
Of course, prevention is always the best way to ensure smooth streaming and speedy web surfing. System Mechanic is a simple-to-install software package that works 24/7 to fix broken WiFi connections, stop random freezes and crashes and make sure your PC always has a fast and stable WiFi connection.
Try System Mechanic for 30 days free*
System Mechanic is serious when it comes to PC performance. It automatically identifies and fixes more than 30,000 different PC problems, and has over 30 tools to make your machine run faster. It even cuts through all the clutter inside your computer to create more space in your hard drive — all for just $4.99 a month after a 30-day free trial.
Alas, a slow WiFi connection is the bane of your existence despite your due diligence. What now? Try these five common troubleshooting tips.
1. Restart your modem and router.
“Did you try turning it off and back on again?” This is the first thing any professional technician will recommend when something’s acting up — be it a WiFi connection, a computer or even a programmable appliance. This tried-and-true method is easy, obvious and often does the trick. Flip the power switches on both your modem and router — or simply unplug them — for about 15 seconds. Then wait a few minutes after they restarts to see if your WiFi is back to normal.
2. Make sure your WiFi network is private.
If you never created a password for your WiFi, now’s the time to do it. Not only is an open WiFi network a security risk, but it can also be the culprit of your sluggish connection. Your WiFi’s bandwidth is divided up by all the devices connected to it — and if your network is open, that means your neighbors could be hitching a free ride. When your network is password-protected, you never have to worry about unauthorized devices slowing down your connection. This also triggers WPA2 security to protect any devices that are connected to your WiFi — by entering a password, of course.
3. Check for bandwidth-hogging programs running in the background.
It could be that the problem is coming from within…within your PC, that is. Software programs, updates and other operations quietly working in the background might be slowing down your computer and just making it seem like your WiFi is unstable. To remedy this, navigate to “Task Manager” on your PC and go to the “Processes” tab to turn off any programs you don’t need or weren’t aware of.
Tune-up software like System Mechanic doesn’t count, though. Although this software runs in the background, it will never slow down your PC’s performance. Quite the opposite, in fact — System Mechanic is designed to keep things speedy!
Try System Mechanic for 30 days free*
4. Get a WiFi extender — or just move your router.
Sometimes your WiFi connection is shaky because your PC is simply too far from the router. A WiFi extender can extend the range of your router’s signal. It’s a palm-sized device that connects to your network and plugs neatly into an electrical outlet, where it makes the WiFi signal stronger for nearby devices. This is especially helpful if you live in a big house, or one with a lot of levels. So if your router is on the first floor, for example, and you get a weak signal in the basement, that’s the perfect spot for WiFi extender.
5. Change the channel.
Put down the TV remote: we’re talking about your WiFi channel. WiFi operates on frequencies, and there are different channels for each one. The strength of your WiFi signal has to do with the channel it’s running on — and if yours is slow, it could be that too many WiFi networks are sharing the same channel as you. The fix is easy: Open a web browser and type in your router’s IP address (check the back of the router to find it), then log in using your admin username and password. Then select a wireless band (it can be 2.4 GHz, 5GHz or both) and use the drop-down to choose a different channel.