Increasing internet speed has been an obsession of one too many people. It is also a subject for competition between different institutions and governments. Just the other day, Australia announced that they have the fastest internet connection in the whole world. For your home or office, can a router increase internet speed?
Internet speed is dependent on several factors. However, the most important bit to remember is that as explained by a common statement, “you are as strong as your weakest link”.
The internet speed for your home is that as fast as the weakest gadget for your home. This is thus dependent on 3 factors:
- The bandwidth that you have in your home. This is the pipeline that brings the internet to your home and the bigger the pipeline the faster the internet.
- The latency of your connection. This can be explained as the velocity of the things flowing through your pipeline.
- If there is data loss between the ISP connection and your devices. This can be explained by leaks of materials flowing through your pipeline.
From these three factors, it is therefore subjective to say that a router will increase internet speed. This is because the router is just a part of the pipeline and will therefore work better if the other components are all working better.
Finally, wired connections are faster than wireless connections as long as the Ethernet cable is a fast one. If you are using a Gigabit Ethernet network cable you are likely to achieve the theoretical advertised speeds of your router.
Factors affecting internet speed
We will try and elaborate on the three factors listed above to help you to increase the internet speed in your home or office. We will try and link up the explanation of the effect of the router on this factor.
There are some simple steps that can be taken to increase the internet speed that we will discuss later.
1. The amount of bandwidth
The bandwidth is the internet tier that you have subscribed to from your internet service provider (ISP). You will see the ISP’s advertising for different internet plans in Megabits per second (Mbps).
So, the internet speed in your home will be dependent on the internet plan that you have subscribed to from your ISP. The bandwidth depends on your location and the amount of money you are willing to pay.
The more the bandwidth, the faster the internet speeds in your home or office. The higher bandwidth will enable more data to be transmitted at the same time. This thus ensures that your devices do not get lags since the bandwidth can handle more and more data needs.
As you are checking your bandwidth, you can check the download and upload speeds. These will help you to receive and send data fast.
As you are getting a router, ensure that you get a router that can handle your bandwidth. Getting a slower router can slow down your internet connection if you have more bandwidth that the router can handle.
However, in addition to the router, the other components of the system should also be able to handle more bandwidth. These components include the modem, the Ethernet cable, and others.
This is in a nutshell, the speed at which data flows through your system The pipeline speed affects the internet speed in your home.
How quickly does data move from a remote server to your phone and back is the easiest definition of latency.
The slower the latency the better for your internet speeds. The latency is dependent on a few factors including:
- The transmitting medium: There is some medium with lower latency as compared to others. For example, fiber optic cables are faster than using satellite for internet connections.
- Propagation: This is the amount of time that a packet of data will take to travel from one source of information to another. For example, fiber connections have minimal propagation time as compared to satellites.
- Router: Some routers take more time to process the information for transmission than others. The speed of the router is dependent on the processor speeds and other technologies. Can a router increase internet speed relative to latency? yes!
- Storage delays: When you have intermediate devices like bridges or switches, the latency time may be increased since they take some time to store and access the data.
3. Data packet loss in the system
This can be defined as when a packet or packets of data does not reach the intended destination as they travel through a computer network. This may happen when there is a failure or inefficiencies of any of the components of the system.
The causes of packet loss is for example having a loose cable connection, having a faulty router or modem or in other cases having a bad Wi-Fi signal.
Packet loss leads to slower internet speeds since the received information will not be easily processed by the receiving computer or smartphone. In most cases, the receiver will wait for the packet to be received thus causing internet connection challenges.
The packet loss can be fixed easily by examining the network connections to ensure all components are working properly. In addition, you can restart the hardware such as the router and the modem. You can also ensure that your device software is up to date.
In this factor, some routers can help to fix the data packet loss. QoS, that is available in some routers can enable you to prioritize some devices for faster connections.
How to increase the internet speed in your home or office
There are other things that can impact the speed of your internet connection. Some of these factors can be easily fixed while others can not be fixed. We will try and explain some of the easy ways to increase internet speed as follows:
Ensuring all connections are done properly
In an internet setting in our home or office, we have several components that work to provide internet in our homes. These components include:
- A modem
- The coaxial/ fiber optic cable from the ISP to the modem
- The Ethernet cable from the modem to the router
- A router
- The Ethernet ports from the router to the devices or the Wi-Fi connection
Each of those components must be installed properly and should be working well for the internet connection to be seamless.
Using wired connections instead of Wi-Fi
As stated in the introduction, fast wired connections are faster than Wi-Fi connections. This is because there are lesser obstacles between the router and your devices. A connection using a Gigabit Ethernet cable can achieve or come near to the theoretical speed for your router.
There are however several reasons why people will prefer slower Wi-Fi than faster-wired connections. One of the main reasons is the portability of the connected devices. Connecting a device like a laptop to an Ethernet cable means you can not move it from one room to another.
Another drawback of the Ethernet cable is the installation process. It will mean running the cables throughout your home which is not aesthetically appealing and is also quite taxing to do it.
Also, there are other devices that can not be connected to wired devices like smartphones, tablets, the streaming stick, some newer laptops, and also some printers. For these devices, you have to use Wi-Fi.
However, if you need faster internet speeds for example to a gaming console, you may consider connecting it using a Gigabit Ethernet cable. Can a router increase the internet speed on Ethernet cables? Yes, there are some routers that support Gigabit Ethernet on their ports while others do not.
Restarting the internet connection hardware
Restarting your hardware is one of the simplest ways of increasing internet speeds for your home. Can restarting a router increase the internet speed? Yes, if the router was faster but the speeds have reduced with time.
Restarting the hardware helps to resolve many technical faults and bugs.
Removing any source of interference to your Wi-Fi
There are several devices that can interfere with your Wi-Fi connection. Some of these devices include wireless devices like speakers, microwaves, and power lines.
You can remove them from near your router thus reducing interference. Removing them from the pathway to a router can increase the internet speed.
Updating the devices software
Running your devices on software that is not updated can be a cause of your devices running slow on the internet. Therefore, it is important to ensure that the device’s software is kept up to date at all times.
The software includes the browsers in your devices, apps, operating systems, and others. For the router, updating the firmware can increase the internet speed even if it is marginal.
Replacing the outdated hardware
Sometimes your router, modem, or even Ethernet cables may be deficient or outdated. Replacing them may cause an increase in internet speeds in your home or office.
In this case, replacing the router can increase the internet speed. This is because you may be having a router that does not fully support the ISP internet plan that you have subscribed for. Some of the routers available in the market today support QoS (Quality of Service). The QoS enables you to prioritize some of the devices thus increasing their connection speed.
Changing the ISP internet plan
If you feel like the internet is slow even after trying all the above steps, and also if you are using multiple devices on the internet, you can consider increasing the bandwidth in your home.
Having too many devices can clog your network thus slowing down the internet connection. To solve this, you can get a better ISP internet plan in addition to getting a router that can support multiple devices.
Combining a better plan and a good router plus modem should give you a faster internet.
Changing the Internet service provider
One of the main concerns for connectivity is how well your ISP is connected to other networks. The internet is made of millions of pathways that connect one network to another.
If your network provider is not well connected to other networks or your connection has to go through several blocks before reaching the destination, the internet will be slow. Also, your ISP may be using some equipment that is either faulty, not capable of the task, or is out of date.
After trying all of the above, you may consider changing the ISP for your connection.
What can a better router do to increase internet speed?
There are some things that a better router can do to increase the internet speed. Some of these are simple solutions that make your connections faster.
- Getting a better router can increase internet speed because it is able to handle the bandwidth. A router with newer standards will perform better. For example, a Wi-Fi 6 router gives you more speed and capacity as compared to other routers. Also, there are more features that come with newer Wi-Fi standards.
- Range: There are routers that give you better internet speed at a longer range than others. The best long-range routers which include mesh routers give you better coverage and Wi-Fi speeds.
- Solving environmental issues: Most routers are affected by thick walls or interference by other devices. However, with the current technologies, a router may mitigate these issues. The current technologies include Beamforming, having multiple bands, and QoS among others. Some of the new routers also have more powerful antennas to ensure the coverage is better.
Can a router increase internet speed? Getting a better router may increase the internet speed in your home or office if the limitations of your current router are the cause of your slow internet speed. This can only be known if you get and test the new router.
To easily check if the router is the problem, you can connect your computer to the modem and check if there will be a difference in the internet speed.