6 Ways to Keep Your Home Network as Fast as Lightning
January 31, 2017
When life demands fast and reliable technology, yesterday's home network just isn’t always up to speed. Keeping your network at peak performance is not only crucial to your career, but it's just as important to your family. If your setup doesn't seem to be working quite like you thought it would, it doesn't always mean it's time to upgrade your router or invest in a new cable modem. Instead, first try these six simple tips to keep your network operating fast and efficiently.
1. Integrate Wired and Wireless Technology
Wireless home networks are the norm since the advent of mobile technology, but Wi-Fi doesn't always deliver the speed or stability needed to keep you moving forward. Wire specific parts of your network to enhance overall performance. Ethernet cables offer the most efficient way to connect multiple computers in your office, and wired connections to modems are usually the best choice for devices used for online gaming, video chatting and other bandwidth-heavy applications.
2. Optimize Your Wi-Fi Reception
Give yourself more freedom and flexibility by making certain you have a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout your property. Place your router or Wi-Fi cable modem in an open area with as little obstruction as possible. Strive for a central location in your home and mount the unit on a shelf or wall to maximize coverage. Incorporate powerline adapters, access points and range extenders into your setup to boost the signal in weak areas. Opt for wired adapters and range extenders for applications that require a strong and stable connection.
3. Gain Control Over Network Traffic
Put an end to dropped conference calls and incomplete file downloads by specifically allocating bandwidth to those applications where it is needed the most. Use a program that analyzes and troubleshoots traffic to gain insight into your network's typical habits. After, select the devices and applications that should have priority, limiting the programs and tasks that are less important. Your router may already include a feature that lets you analyze and configure bandwidth usage across the network.
4. Eliminate Virtual Clutter
A fast home network is typically a well-maintained network. To help ensure this, regularly purge your machines of unnecessary files, such as cookies and temporary Internet files and also routinely check for updates to drivers, firmware and operating systems. Malicious programs, such as viruses and spyware, can also wreak havoc on the speed and performance of your network. Install reputable and up-to-date security and antivirus software on every computer within your network to keep the entire system running smoothly.
5. Minimize Outside Chatter and Interference
Wireless home networks are especially susceptible to interference from non-network electronics. Nearby routers are common culprits when they are operating on the same frequencies. Use a program that will allow you to scan for channels with the least traffic, and switch your router channel accordingly. Other household electronics, including microwaves and cordless telephones, may also disrupt your network connection if they're used within close proximity to your router.
6. Test, Repair and Upgrade Home Network Cables
Worn out cables and faulty connections often cause noticeable differences in network speed and stability. Invest in a quality microscanner to help pinpoint problem areas that require attention. These tools detect shorts, crossed wires and disruptions within cables. Some models also test for outside noise and interference that may affect your setup. Track down the source of the lag, and repair or replace the affected components. Consider upgrading your Ethernet cables, especially if you recently upgraded your equipment to components with ports that support faster transfer rates.
The right tools and accessories make it much easier to maintain a fast, efficient and reliable home network. Stay a step ahead of your competition as you get things done faster than ever.
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