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Why Is My WiFi Slow?

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Using The Internet

Wayne from Clearwater, FL writes:

Regarding the Comcast boondoggle with them using you as a neighborhood hot spot, could Verizon be doing this as well. I have FIOS and on many occasions my service is horribly slow. When tested with sites like speakeasy, etc. my download is below 1mbps! It is supposed to be 15. Verizon denies any “issues” but I wonder. They can change speed and cut and re-instate service from their office with just a phone call to them when such things are needed, so what else are they capable of?

Hi Wayne.

I cannot find any information about Verizon using routers in the way Comcast is. However, if they were, it would have to be stated in the terms of service agreement that you signed with them, so maybe take a look at that.

As far as the speed issue is concerned, there are several factors. I am first going to assume you are talking strictly about wireless connection, and not wired. Wired speeds generally will give you the promised and advertised speeds. But there are often restrictions on the wireless.

You also don’t state what router model you have. Different models support different bands – usually n or g. Older models only support g, which usually maxes out around 25-30 megabits. Still better than what you are getting or supposed to be getting, but just something to keep in mind. You may want to look into getting an additional wireless router to use along with the modem/router supplied by Verizon. I’d suggest looking for a dual-band wireless router, that way you can connect using n or g bands, if you choose this option. Also make sure you have your security set up, as it could be someone is stealing your WiFi connection and using up some of that bandwidth. It is recommended to use WPA2 security, rather than other options, as this is the most secure encryption at the current time.

Also, how close to your router are you? If you are farther away, the connection may be slower. The closer you are to the router, your connection is generally faster and better.  Maybe look into relocating the router to a more centralized location, and avoid objects that cause interference, such as cordless phones, microwaves, and other appliances.

But my first suggestion would be to try to connect using a different channel. There are three recommended channels in WiFi: 1, 6 and 11. You would need to get into the router and configure it to use a different channel. You may need to look at your router’s information for steps on how to do this, or do an Internet search for “router model change channel”, where you insert your router instead of ‘router model’. This has been known to help speeds in many cases. There are programs and apps available to analyze your WiFi, many of them free, so I’d suggest maybe using one of those.

Hopefully one of these suggestions will work out for you and improve the wireless connection. As far as I can tell, Verizon has not made it an option for sharing of your modem, so I don’t think that that is the culprit.

– Audra

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