Do You Get The Internet Speed You’re Paying For?

by Aug 18, 2020internet, tech upgrades

internet speed test by ooklaInternet Speed Makes Life Easy

If you believe internet companies, the most important part of networking is internet speed. I always thought it was silly cat videos, to be honest, but I guess internet speed matters. They certainly sell you on it. My current provider has me locked in for 170 Mbps internet speed, which considering this upgrade is almost 100 Mbps more than the previous plan I was on and is $30 cheaper, is pretty satisfying.

Are You Getting The Full Internet Speed?

Except I wasn’t getting the promised speed after I upgraded. I almost immediately started having issues with slowdown on every facet of the internet. I hadn’t had issues like that since I was on dial-up. According to Ookla’s speed test, I was only getting 20 Mbps at best. What was going on?

Well, here are a few things it could be.

1. Provider Issues

In my case, it was a provider issue. I won’t go into all the technical details, but providers use computers to run their system and computers are subject to user errors. In my case, when I upgraded, they changed my plan and someone ticked the wrong box, or punched in the data incorrectly. The end result was that when my system went to the new payment plan, it kept the old internet speed. That created a mismatch that confused their systems and resulted in my network being choked somehow. I don’t think the person explaining it actually fully understood it, because their explanation didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Fortunately, the fix was easy. After resetting my modem on their end and resetting the system settings on their end, it started running at full speed. Sometimes, a tech call is all you need.

2. Bad Positioning

Your modem and router work by creating a signal that data is transferred across. Again, I’ll spare you the technical details, but simply put, that signal is a physical thing. It’s basically light, but at a much lower frequency. As a physical wave, it has to travel through the air to get to your device if it’s going to provide a signal. Physical objects can block that signal. While the signal can go around it to a certain extent, the more there is blocking your wireless signal, the weaker your signal is going to be.

You can solve this problem by placing your router in the right spot. Put it somewhere high up and make sure the area around it is clear. Make sure the antenna is upright. Keep it away from metallic objects, as these block and interfere with the signal more than other materials.

3. Signal Is Too Far Away

Your wireless signal can only travel a certain distance before it begins to weaken. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best signal anywhere in the house, you should put your wireless router as close to the center of your house as possible.

If this isn’t feasible, or if your house is too big to be covered, you can extend the signal by using a wireless repeater or range extender. If you have old modems, you can also hook them up to extend the signal range.

4. Interference

Your signal can get interference from many other household devices. Microwaves, for example, can mess with the signal. If you want to avoid this, make sure your microwave isn’t between your device and the router. Wireless phones can also create interference if they operate on the same frequency. If your phone operates on 2.4 GHz, it will create interference. A phone with a signal at 900 MHz or 1.9 GHz is best.

5. Things Beyond Your Control

There are some things you just can’t control when it comes to internet speed. The distance from your ISP can affect your speed. The amount of other people in your area can affect your internet speed (usually the peak time is between 6 PM and midnight). There can be problems with the servers sending information from websites to your machine. All of these things are beyond your control. If you’ve done all the proper checks and found that none of the problems you can control are causing slow-downs, then there isn’t anything you can do. If there’s a max speed in your area, you’d be best signing up for a service that matches that speed to avoid paying more for speed you can’t get.

Security Matters

smart home securityAs we said in last month’s article on home security, it’s important to secure your network. The best network speed in the world is no good to you if anyone can access it. They’ll sap your data, cause interference, and also slow you down. They can even use your wireless router to do illegal activities, like setting up botnets. To avoid this, you need to make sure you change your router and Wi-Fi password and usernames. Having a strong password and unique username is the most effective way to keep hackers from accessing your wireless network and causing problems for you.

Internet Speed and Your Smart Home

The devices in your smart home will work off of your internet speed. It’s very important to get the best signal you can if you want your smart home devices to work properly. At Rapture Audio, we can help you get set up to get the most out of your devices. If you’re looking to upgrade your home with some smart technology, get in touch with us. We’ll help set up your devices to get the maximum signal while providing the minimum of interference. That’s the kind of service you won’t get from anyone else!