Internet speed dropped after self-isolation: what to do?

Also noticed, that the pages in the browser began to open for a very long time, is it impossible to download files at all? We tell you, how quarantine affected Wi-Fi.

Now most of us are sitting at home. Possible, someone is watching TV, but most still use the Internet one way or another. They work remotely, are playing, entertain themselves with YouTube videos… The number of users has grown dramatically, the volume of traffic ‘by air’ too. At the same time , many began to notice, that the internet speed has also plummeted, and regardless of the provider and restrictions in the tariff plans. What happened and how to deal with it? 

  • Operation

Is the provider having problems or am I having problems?

Before, how to start doing something, it’s worth making sure, that the problem is on your side. Although it is not excluded, that the provider is not coping with traffic and speeds have dropped. It’s easy to figure it out: connect your computer or laptop with a cable to the router and run a speed test. If the speeds are close to those, which provider promised you, means, the network is fine. Now do the same with a Wi-Fi connection. Right here, certainly, you will see a bleak picture like this. There is a reason to think. 

Who is this ‘wifi’ of yours?

For sure, have you known for a long time, that Wi-Fi technology is based on the transmission of digital data streams over radio channels. Any radio channel has a range and frequency.Coverage areafrequency

First, what needs to be done, to increase the speed of the Internet via Wi-Fi check, how well your router is positioned. We will not repeat ourselves on this topic, we have a separate article. 

What’s wrong with your regular Wi-Fi?

The 2.4GHz wireless communication standard is the most popular. He was at the origin of the creation of home network equipment. But his opportunities have long been exhausted. There are many devices operating in this range, and every year there are more and more of them. Of course, you can remember about that, that the value of 2.4 is not fixed. This is an average designation of the frequency of a dozen channels - from 2.4 to 2.5 GHz in increments of 20-40 MHz. But it’s still not enough. Every year there are more and more smart appliances in apartments, all these gadgets work exactly at 2.4 GHz. This leads to, that the signal is getting worse due to, that the devices ‘jam’ each other. 

  • Tips

But a lot of users have a much greater impact, actively using the Internet. As we wrote above, now everyone is sitting tight on the Internet needle. And what else is left to do in quarantine? The question remains open, but is it really really necessary to put up with low speed?

Switching to the new standard

Relatively recently, a standard with a frequency of 5 GHz was introduced into network equipment. It is designed to unload the outdated 2.4GHz channel. Besides, increases throughput, but it pays for this by reducing the coverage area. Not all routers and especially devices support this range, but if your support, this can be a real salvation. If the old channel was enough for you before, now is the time to check their operation at 5 GHz. 

The easiest way to do this is to drive the device model into the search engine and find the specification. If the technology is supported, we climb into the router settings using the cherished numbers192.168.0.1

Everything is here, what we need. If the router supports the 5 GHz channel, by default, transmission in this range can be disabled. Accordingly, we connect it: at the same time, sometimes you can do it in parallel with working in 2.4 GHz. Besides, find the item ‘Data transmission power’ and set the desired value.

But this method will not always help. The Internet connection is a capricious thing, the stability of which depends on many factors. Quite likely, what’s the neighbor, downloading all Santa Barbara series has nothing to do with it. It is worth checking the degree of channel congestion.

Checking the channel load

A lot of utilities will cope with this, as on Windows, so it is on Linux. But why look for an official website, download, set, when can I get exactly the same functionality with two clicks in the Apple Store or Google Play? Just take a smartphone and download any application like Wi-Fi Analyzer.

  • Technologies

We open it and see a visual graph with the signal strength of each connection in several hundred meters. If the ranges overlap it’s bad. Means, they interfere with each other. The more sources there are, the sooner you need to switch to 5 GHz. It is not known when the quarantine will end, and the new series of Rick and Morty won’t watch themselves.

Choosing routers with 5 GHz support

What to buy? We have selected several router models with support for the desired range and an attractive price. You can order them with delivery in many stores.

TP-LINK Archer A2

Very budget device, it has a simple setup and supports two ranges at once. The maximum wireless connection speed is 733 Mbit/s. Three external antennas provide a powerful signal equal to 20 dBm. And four LAN ports are enough for home use.

MikroTik hAP AC Lite Tower

This model is slightly more expensive, but more functional. An optional 4G modem is supported. There is a VPN and two operating ranges of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. A huge number of system settings. You can install the device in an upright position and configure network storage.

Ubiquiti UniFi AC Lite

An even more advanced option, designed for fans of very fast internet. The maximum wireless connection speed is 1167 Mbps. And the coverage radius is 122 meters. Truth, this is without taking into account the geometry of the room. A seamless network between multiple points is supported. There is an automatic import of settings from one point to another.

See also

  • 15 life hacks, how to increase internet speed
  • We carry out quarantine with benefit: free services for self-development