Author: Tithi Raha
Wednesday, December 7, 2022

What Affects Wireless Network Connection Speed?



You've upgraded to the greatest and latest internet technology, but it's still disappointing as your wi-fi is running at a snail's speed. There can be a lot of factors that affect your speed, performance, connectivity and it's coverage. Some of these can be fixed, but others will require a higher level of troubleshooting. 

A slow internet doesn't always occur due to connectivity errors, but it often happens due to slow Wi-Fi. There are a variety of factors that affect the connection quality of your Wi-Fi. This includes a weak router antenna, router placement, eco settings, firmware issues, and the list goes on. But, the solutions are pretty quick and easy. Sometimes, even seemingly trivial things like putting your router back on the top shelf or turning the antennas can fix the issue and restore your internet speed back to normal. However, sometimes, the issues can be more complex. And, it goes out of your control. In such cases, expert advice and supervision are needed. 

Keep on reading this article to know more about the reasons that impact your wi-fi speed negatively. It will help you diagnose the issues quickly so that you can take immediate action and fix it. So, let's get started, 

What Affects Wireless Network Connection Speed?

What Affects Wireless Network Connection Speed?

Every internet connection faces some sort of connectivity issue whether it is a wired connection or a wireless setup. However, these connectivity issues are pretty common in a wireless setup. It's because the signals are transmitted through a wireless setup and it's more prone to interferences. Sometimes, you simply place your router far away from the devices to which it's connected and it blocks your signal. 

Therefore, it's important to know the possible reasons behind a wi-fi slowdown. After all, most of our homes use the wireless setup for its convenience and cost-efficiency. So, connectivity issues can impede our day-to-day activities. Diagnosing the underlying causes and fixing those issues can help you restore your wi-fi speed. 

The factors that affect Wi-Fi speed include:

Impact of Antennas

What Affects Wireless Network Connection Speed?

Wi-Fi speed can be negatively affected by the way the antennas are placed. Generally, there are two types of antennas out there, an Omnidirectional antenna and a ceiling-mounted antenna. Depending on how the antennas are placed, your devices will receive more or less connectivity. So, it's important to check whether the Wi-Fi antennas are in-built or it's outside the setup. 

In case, you have an omnidirectional antenna, then you can tweak it in a 360-degree pattern and it will still transmit proper signals without any interferences. On the other hand, the ceiling-mounted antennas are used for transmitting signals to the floors situated below the wi-fi. If these antennas are near any metal structure like a cement beam or a metal grid, then this can negatively affect the overall wi-fi transmission. 

Utilization of Wi-Fi

There are three different types of Wi-Fi transmission out there, data, control, and management frames. The air time utilization of your Wi-Fi is a logical factor that may impact your overall Wi-Fi performance. This is why the highest capacity of your Wi-Fi should be used for data transmission.

If your Wi-Fi is utilized for controlling and managing frames rather than transmitting data, then it will impact your speed and slow it down. Sometimes, your network may support a lot of SSIDs in which the utilization is taken up by beaconing or probe responses. It will slow down the wi-fi speed

Power Levels Of Your Wi-Fi

What Affects Wireless Network Connection Speed?

Although, it may not seem a reason that negatively impacts your wi-fi speed, one of the most common factors that negatively influences your Wi-Fi speed is the power level. Power levels are basically transmitted by the access points and there should be enough of it to enjoy sufficient coverage and uninterrupted internet. You may not find the mention of power level on the settings or packages that come with your Wi-Fi equipment. But, coverage issues may sometimes be caused by low power levels. 

Higher Level Protocols

If you're using higher-level protocols like TCP or IP, it can hinder your wi-fi performance. Generally, TCP is also known as a transmission control protocol, used for online transitions or file transfers. Data packets sent via TCP require acknowledgment from the TCP receiver. If it's received within a specific time, then only the transmission window will open. But, in case, there's a delay in the acknowledgment, it prompts TCP to shut the entire transmission window. 

This may impact your Wi-Fi speed as your connection will slow down when the TCP shut down the transmission window. In addition, some network parameters like packet loss and also latency at a wireless level will negatively impact the speed of your Wi-Fi as well. 

The Firmware Issues

What Affects Wireless Network Connection Speed?

A common culprit behind the slow Wi-Fi speed is outdated firmware. Even if you purchase a brand-new router, it's always important to check for updates on a regular basis. This is pretty similar to your smartphone. Every time there's an update, it fixes some of the internal bugs. If you delay the uploads, the firmware becomes more vulnerable to virus attacks and further slowdowns. 

Along with your firmware, check for updates to your Wi-Fi adapter. A lot of you rely on your operating system to update the drivers and firmware automatically. But, it's much better if you manually visit the manufacturer's website and setting page and look for updates from time to time. It will help you keep your router protected from virus attacks and improve its performance. 

Router Placement

Well, your router transmits signals through a wireless setup. So, it can only cover up to a certain area depending on the router's efficiency. However, if you've placed the router inefficiently, then it will impact your wi-fi speed. Sometimes, people place their routers far away from where they connect to the internet or in a closed environment where the signal can't be transmitted properly. 

In such cases, you will face a slowdown. A heat-mapping tool like heat-mapper can help you in this case to highlight the signal strength of your Wi-fi network and throughput. Basically, these tools allow you to choose from their pre-selected floor plans or you can draw a custom floor plan. Then, you can walk around with the laptop and figure out the areas with high and low signal strength. Depending on the results, you can place your router accordingly or adjust your area of work. 

These are the most common reasons that may negatively impact your Wi-Fi speed. However, make sure you test your speed using some free tools available on the internet to know everything in detail. Along with that make sure you're using a high-speed router capable of transmitting signals at the optimal speed provided by your internet service provider. Else, consider using a Wi-Fi extender for more help. 

Conclusion

A slow wi-fi can not only hamper your personal life but also your professional experience also. Along with these points, you must also consider the router's age and replace it as it gets older. A maximum of 5 years of age is still good for your router but if it exceeds this, then the performance will degrade. Therefore, you must contact your internet service provider to replace your router every five years if the speed gets slowed. Else, if you're facing issues troubleshooting any network error, contact us at the earliest. We hope you've enjoyed reading this guide and it helped you understand your router problems. 

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