Cyberspace Slow? Here’s How to Troubleshoot Your Router

A guide to troubleshooting the source of your WiFi network.

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Irksome internet tin lead to a quick headache. Here’s how to check your router for potential bug.

When the internet in your home is ho-hum or sluggish, there’s one place you should e’er check kickoff: your wireless router. Your router is where all the devices in your abode connect to and access the internet. If it’s not working to its full chapters, chances are your devices aren’t either.

But if you aren’t sure how a router works, troubleshooting it can exist a tall task. Here’due south a guide to all the things that might be going wrong with your router, along with some fixes — some elementary and obvious, and some that might have a lilliputian more tech know-how.

How Wireless Routers Piece of work

A router derives its name from its job “routing” the net traffic in your domicile, as a connection point between your devices and the World Wide Web. In most cases, your router either connects to the internet through a cord to a modem (more than on the
difference between a router and a modem), or a cord running to a jack in your wall provided by your internet service provider, or “ISP”.

One time the router is connected to the net, information technology creates a network through which other devices access the web. Every router has a limited range to circulate its WiFi network. The farther exterior that range a device gets, the weaker its connectedness. When a potent internet connection is paired with a high quality router, the WiFi throughout a home should handle streaming, gaming, video conferencing and more without any issues. In theory, at to the lowest degree.

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

Check Cablevision Connections

Asus Firmware Update Cause Router to Be Slow

Jill Ferry Photography/Getty Images

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When troubleshooting a router, starting time check the cords running into the back of the device. If ane of the cords isn’t plugged in or came halfway undone from its port, the solution to your internet woes might be as elementary as pushing it dorsum in.

If it seems like one of your cables is consistently coming loose, consider buying a new one. Ethernet cables, the kind used to transfer information betwixt a router and a modem or the router and the cyberspace jack, have what is called an “RJ-45 connector” on the stop.

When you push an RJ-45 connector into an ethernet port, at that place should exist a satisfying “click” as soon as the connectedness is secure. If you can’t hear the click, and so the connector is likely cleaved and should exist replaced.

Here’south what to exercise with all your old chargers and cables.

Pace 2

Reboot the Router

Rosario Bergamasco / EyeEm/Getty Images

Now we get to the tried and true, golden classic of tech troubleshooting: Have you lot tried turning it off and then back on again?

Plenty of people know y’all can solve cyberspace issues by simply unplugging the power cable of your wireless router (usually a black cord that doesn’t look similar an ethernet cable), waiting a short menses of time, and so plugging it back in. Less well known, though, is the reason why this troubleshooting step works.

Your router is a computer and, like any computer, things go wrong internally from time to fourth dimension. Unplugging the router from its power source resets the device. Waiting a curt catamenia of fourth dimension after unplugging, fifty-fifty ten seconds, allows the router to power downwards so that a full reset takes upshot. Reseting the router’s internal computer is oft plenty to restore the device to proper working gild.

Step 3

Bank check in With Your ISP

nicolamargaret/Getty Images

If y’all’ve checked the cables and reset the router and your WiFi still isn’t functioning properly, information technology’s fourth dimension to check in with your internet access provider.

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There’s a chance that the problem with your network has nothing to with you or your router, that something is wrong on the other end. Some ISP’south have a map on their website reporting locations with system outages or reported slower speeds, making information technology easy to run across if at that place’due south a problem in your area.

If your ISP does non provided this service, requite them a call and come across if they are experiencing any widespread outages. If they are, at that place’s nothing else you can do except wait for the company to resolve any problems are causing the issue. Sometimes calling in is the all-time manner for your Internet access provider to notice an issue and ship a technicians to investigate.

Step 4

Move the Source of the Network

installing internet wireless access point

If your Internet access provider don’t see anything wrong with their networks, try moving your router to a more fundamental location in your dwelling house. Your slow speeds might simply be a symptom of your device’due south altitude from the source of the network.

Past repositioning the router, you’re making it easier on devices that may take had trouble establishing a connection. Moving your router can exist as uncomplicated as ownership a longer ethernet cablevision and snaking information technology through your dwelling to a more suitable spot. Choice a location that’s in the open and unobstructed by large, metallic objects.

But if you lot don’t desire to go through all of that hassle, setting up a WiFi range extender is as well an choice. Say your router is on the top floor of your habitation and speeds are slow in the basement. Putting a range extender on the heart floor will exercise exactly that — extend the range of your network by creating a new bespeak from the aforementioned network.

You’ll have twice as many network names to sort through when yous’re trying to connect to WiFi, but you’ll also have a working wireless internet connection no matter where you lot are in your home.

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Step 5

2.4GHz v. 5GHz

Many mod routers are “dual-ring,” which means they tin can be set up to circulate two WiFi channels. Dual-band routers feature 2.4GHz and 5GHz channels, and the differences can be stark.

A 2.4 GHz network has more than range but can’t lucifer the bandwidth or speed of the 5GHz connection. The 2.4GHz frequency is also more common and can be clogged with other devices sending out signals on that aqueduct, like a baby monitor or a garage door opener.

increasing the internet speed
on a device can exist as simple equally switching from the ii.4GHz to the 5GHz network. Note that some devices, similar select older iPhones, cannot connect to 5GHz WiFi. If you’re having trouble connecting to or discovering a 5GHz network, run into if your device supports that frequency in the kickoff place.

Step half-dozen

Upgrade Your Router

Wi-Fi wireless router on wooden table

If you’ve gone through all the steps in a higher place and the WiFi in your home is still performing at low levels, information technology might be time to replace the router with a newer model.

If you’re renting your router from your ISP, contact them about a new model. If non, do some research and find out what kind of router you demand to fulfill all your network needs.

Make sure that the model you purchase is capable of handling the maximum internet speeds that you’re paying your ISP for. Paying for “high speed internet” wastes money if your router can’t handle your plan’s elevation speeds.

You don’t have to suspension the bank to get a acme-rated, high performance router, either.
This model from TP-Link
is dual-band, supports speeds up to ane,300 mbps (more enough for the average home), and can even be
gear up up with a VPN for a safer, more secure network
— all for less than $lxx.

Desire to know more before making a buy?
Hither’s our guide to buying a router.