Why Is My WiFi So Slow?
To understand what makes your WiFi slow, you first need to understand what WiFi actually is. Essentially, WiFi is a technology that allows various internet-enabled devices to connect to the internet over the air. A WiFi network is created using a wireless router. Not all wireless routers create the same WiFi network, however.
Older wireless routers only support older specifications for implementing wireless local area network (WLAN) computer communication, such as 802.11g, which operates at a maximum transmission speed of 54 Mbit/s and was adopted in the market starting in January 2003.
Newer wireless routers support 802.11n (capable of operating at a maximum transmission speed of 600 Mbit/s on both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands) and 802.11ac (capable of operating at a maximum transmission speed of 1 Gbit/s).
As you can see, it’s unreasonable to expect very high WiFi speeds with an old wireless router. Similarly, it’s also unreasonable to expect high WiFi speeds with a cutting-edge wireless router but an older electronic device that doesn’t support the same modern specification for implementing WLAN computer communication.
If you know that your wireless router is past its primetime, you should consider upgrading to a newer model. While the other tips how to fix slow Wifi described in this article would be applicable even with a slow router, you might be wasting your time trying to implement them since the gains would likely be minuscule.
To determine whether your current wireless router is due for a replacement, we recommend you download and use NetSpot, a wireless network site survey application for Mac and Windows.
- Open NetSpot.
- Start a new site survey.
- Select the WiFi network broadcasted by your wireless router.
NetSpot will accurately measure wireless network speed, sending queries to random servers and calculating the time it takes for them to be sent and received. Using the obtained information, which includes upload rate, download rate, and wireless transmit rate, you can then decide whether your wireless router still has some life left in it.