Wi-Fi is both a blessing and a curse. When it works well, you can easily use your gadgets anywhere in your house or office without wires tying you to one spot. When it doesn’t work right, it can be incredibly frustrating.
How many times have you clicked on an email or a web link and waited, and waited? You can’t know for sure if it is your gadget, your Wi-Fi or the website that’s holding up progress. All too often, the fault is with your router. And sometimes, it’s caused by settings that are meant to give your network an extra layer of protection.
Aside from protecting your network from unauthorized bandwidth usage, which could slow down your network without your knowledge, did you know that the type of wireless security you use could impact your overall speeds too?
One setting to look for:
First off, if your network is Open (no security) or is using WEP, please change the security setting immediately! Obviously, an open network will make it easy for someone to steal your Wi-Fi, and the older WEP security is easily hacked, so avoid it at all costs.
This leaves you with WPA, WPA2 with TKIP or WPA2 with AES.
WPA and TKIP are older protocols and are now considered insecure. Even worse, these security protocols will actually slow down your network to 54Mbps even though you have a newer N or AC device.
The way to go, then, is WPA2 with AES. AES is a newer and more secure tweak you could employ and it will let you achieve the speeds you bought your N router for in the first place.
But what if you have older B or G devices that will not connect with AES enabled? Then this is where having a multiband router will be vital. Though not recommended (just ditch those antiquated devices), you could set the slower 2.4GHz network to WPA or TKIP temporarily without affecting your 5GHz devices.
Beyond security settings:
Security settings aren’t the only things that could slow down your connection speed. Network congestion, outdated equipment, thieves and weak range can also contribute. Click here for a detailed look at each of these factors that could be adding to the sluggishness of your network, and what you can do to solve them.