5 Best Ways To Increase Your WiFi Bandwidth
It is important to point out that routers have different bandwidth capabilities, and this article will give you ideas on how to increase this bandwidth. Although there is no existing standard, there are guidelines that determine the performance of a wireless network.
The first aspect to consider is the WiFi capabilities of your computer or device. Each device will have a wireless network adapter, the quality of which depends on its hardware. Adapters are generally divided into three categories, represented by letters that will tell you how much bandwidth the device is capable of. The first wireless adapters were rated “b”, which allows speeds of up to 11 Mbps. This was followed by “g” which offers a speed of 54 Mbps. There is also the “n” rated adapters which has a maximum speed of 300 Mbps. Lastly, the newest standard is the “ac” which can give you an impressive speed of 1331 Mbps.
The next facet you should look at is the bandwidth capability of your router. Routers are rated the same way as computers’ wireless network adapters. A rating of “b” still means a speed of 11 Mbps; “g” translates to a speed of 54 Mbps; and so on.
1. Update the Wireless Network Adapter of Your Device
The first tip in increasing your WiFi bandwidth is to update your computer’s adapter. This is because no matter how fast the speed of your router is, your computer can only accommodate the maximum speed its hardware is capable of.
If your computer’s adapter is rated “b”, while your router is rated “n”, your maximum bandwidth will still be 11 Mbps. On the other hand, your computer’s adapter is an “n” and your router is also an “n”, you will enjoy the maximum speed of 300 Mbps.
There are wireless network adapters you can purchase and attach to your computer.
2. Update Your Router’s Firmware
Make sure that the firmware of your wireless router is the latest. Modern routers have an update process built into its system so that you don’t need to manually do it. However, if your router is not new, then you may need to manually update its firmware by accessing the router website.
3. Switch to DD-WRT
If your router is compatible with the DD-WRT firmware, you might want to switch to this firmware as it can turn your simple router into a super router, capable of so many features aside from increasing your WiFi bandwidth. Changing the firmware of your router to DD-WRT is comparable to changing the operating system of your computers with the aim of improving its performance. For more information about DD-WRT, you can read LimeVPN’s Most In-Depth DD-WRT Guide.
Not all routers are compatible with DD-WRT though. You can check out this site to find out if your router is DD-WRT compatible. If your router is not on the list, and you plan on purchasing a new router, you can make sure that it is DD-WRT compatible by checking here. Furthermore, router companies are already selling DD-WRT flashed routers, saving you the hassle of installing DD-WRT by yourself.
4. Talk to Your Internet Service Provider
Your ISP sometimes holds the key to your WiFi bandwidth because even though your computer’s wireless adapter and router can give you a maximum speed of 300 Mbps, this is useless when your ISP has allocated only 20 Mbps for you. Your data package may not be suitable for your needs, so call your ISP and find out if they can sign you up with a package that has a lot more bandwidth. If this is not an option, then go to another ISP.
5. Switch Between Radio Frequencies
The good thing about new routers is that it has the ability to switch between the two radio frequencies, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This gives you 44 channels to choose from, since there are 14 channels available under 2.4 GHz, and 30 channels with 5 GHz. This way, if one channel has a lot of traffic, your router still has a lot more channels to choose from, thereby avoiding channels that are congested.
On the other hand, if your router is relatively old, it may only support 2.4 GHz. Thus, it is more likely that the WiFi speed will suffer. Make sure that your router is set to automatically switch channels and frequencies for optimum performance. You can also manually switch channels by following these steps:
- Download a WiFi Analyzer application on your mobile device.
- Using the app, scan your surroundings. You will see which frequency has more traffic, and which one has lesser traffic.
- Once you see which frequency is less utilized, you can easily switch to it by going to your router’s Basic Settings.
The Bottom Line
The wireless technology has seen so many developments in recent years that it can be difficult to cope up. The router you have at home, for instance, may still be of the “b” category, making it impossible for you to experience the maximum bandwidth that your ISP has allocated for you.
While most mobile devices bought within the past few years already have high speed wireless adapters, your laptop or computer at home may still be old school. The point is that there are a number of factors that can affect your WiFi bandwidth, so the best course of action is to make sure that everything is up to date. This could mean investing in a new router or a new wireless adapter or even a new computer.
You need to take advantage of new developments and updates in order to get the most out of your wireless network. Staying behind will only leave you frustrated as the movie you want to watch might suddenly stop, or the file sharing fails because of bandwidth issues.
Remember that the number of devices connected to your router affects your connection. For instance, your bandwidth of 100 Mbps will be divided into 10 if there are 10 devices connected to your network. If you have a DD-WRT router, however, you can make use of the Advanced Quality of Service (DD-WRT QoS) feature which allows users to control bandwidth allocation by splitting traffic between networks and allocating a dedicated bandwidth for specific devices.
These five ways of increasing your bandwidth can do wonders in your wireless connectivity, allowing you to perform data-heavy tasks such as transfer files, stream high quality videos, and much more.