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How Do You Check Your WiFi Speed?

You have just upgraded to the latest and greatest internet speed but your WiFi speed is disappointingly slow.  If you are looking for that extra bit of speed, have a look at these helpful tips.

What is a Good WiFi Speed?

A good Wi-Fi speed for your household or business all depends on how you plan on using your internet connection.  Wi-Fi is measured in megabits per second (Mbps). The more Mbps you have, the faster your internet speed and WiFi speed will be. Figuring out the Mbps amount that you should get is the first step.
A good place to start is with an internet speed test. This will give you an idea of where your Wi-Fi connection speed is at today.  The more Mbps you have, the faster your speeds will be.

What is a Poor WiFi Speed?

Slow Wi-Fi speeds occur when there is something interfering with your Wi-Fi signal strength. Sometimes it’s as simple as your router being too far from your device. Other times Wi-Fi signals weaken because the signals are not able to pass through solid objects like walls or buildings.
Generally speaking, anything below 20 Mbps can be considered a slow Wi-Fi speed. Ideally, 20-25 Mbps is more than enough to perform normal online activities like browsing websites, answering emails, online gaming or streaming video content.

Conducting a Wi-Fi Speed Test

1. Wired Internet Connection – You should first test your wired internet speed (the speed between your service provider and your modem) to establish a base speed. There are a variety of internet speed tests available online, or from your internet service provider.

2. Wi-Fi Speed Test on a Computer – Once you have tested your wired internet connection speed, you can test your WiFi speed. Go into your laptop’s “Network and Internet” menu found on the control panel. From there, select “Network and Sharing Center” and then click on your Wi-Fi name. This opens a Wi-Fi status window that shows a variety of network data points. The speed shown on the Wi-Fi status menu represents the connection between your laptop and your router.


Interpreting Your WiFi Speed Results

When you run your test, you are looking for the three primary measures: download speed, upload speed and ping speed (also referred to as latency and is measured in milliseconds). Here’s what each of these terms mean:

  • Download speed is the time that it takes to pull data (measured in Mbps).
  • Upload speed is the time that it takes to send data (measured in Mbps).
  • Ping speed is the time that it takes to send a request and receive a response (measured in ms).

Generally, if you only need Internet for sending emails, reading articles and browsing the web, a Wi-Fi speed of 10 to 12 Mbps should get the job done. However, if you are looking to play video games, stream videos and TV, and upload or download files, then a WiFi speed of 20 Mbps or more can help to avoid any lag or annoying hang-ups in your connection. Wi-Fi speeds of 20-25 Mbps will support most online activity, like HD video streaming, online gaming, web browsing, downloading music, and more.

Things That Can Slow Down Your WiFi

Slow WiFi speeds = weak signal. If your WiFi signal suffers your speed suffers. So, make sure your router’s Wi-Fi signal strength is strong enough to support your devices and online activity.
Two of the primary reasons for slow WiFi speed are:

1. Router location – Routers are prone to interference. Walls, floors, appliances, and even metal can weaken your signal as you go farther away from your router.

2. Number of devices connected to your network – A cluttered Wi-Fi network with too many devices can dramatically lower your Wi-Fi speed. This is especially true if you have an unprotected network and unknown devices freeloading on your Wi-Fi


How to Improve Your WiFi Speed

Here’s how to increase your Wi-Fi speed and signal strength.

1. Keep your router in an open and central location. Things like appliances, walls, and large metal objects can all negatively impact your WiFi signal, and hence, your speeds.

2. Remove any obstacles that could be blocking your WiFi signal.  If your router is blocked by physical obstacles such as cement walls, your WiFi speed will suffer.

3. Make sure your router is updated. Updating your router’s firmware helps keep malware from stealing your bandwidth and slowing your Internet speed.

4. Keep Wi-Fi hogs in check and remove unknown devices off of your network. Having too many devices on your network, or older, slower devices can significantly slow your Wi-Fi speeds down. You can easily manage the devices connected to your home network by using a Managed WiFi solution that gives you the tools you need to manage all of your connected devices, as well as keep unwanted devices off your network.

5. Use a Wi-FI booster or extender to boost your WiFi signal strength. Wi-Fi boosters and extenders help to eliminate weak WiFi connections in your home.

You can also learn more about your true broadband and Wi-Fi speeds with ScreenBeam’s Complete Guide to Wi-Fi Networking. Keep up with the latest technology news by checking out ScreenBeam’s blog.

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