Home ServicesNetworkimproving home network speed

June 10, 2024by Inlink Systems

We all need to speed up our home networks. We often don’t think of having a “network” at home, but that’s exactly what we have nowadays. We take the Internet connection from the router and try to spread that around the house as best we can. Understanding that we have a home network is the first step to boosting speeds in our homes. Now we can set about making it faster and able to take the strain of so many demanding devices. Here are our favorite tips for speeding up and optimizing a home network.

Key Takeaways

  • Optimizing the placement of your router can significantly improve your network speed and coverage.
  • Choosing the right wireless band (2.4GHz vs. 5GHz) can help balance range and speed according to your needs.
  • Upgrading your network equipment, such as investing in a modern router or quality Ethernet cables, can lead to better performance.
  • Managing network traffic by prioritizing devices and applications can ensure smoother performance for essential tasks.
  • Extending your network range using Wi-Fi extenders or powerline adapters can help eliminate dead zones in your home.

Optimising Router Placement

The physical location of your wireless router plays a crucial role in determining the internet speed and coverage in your home. Many people make the mistake of placing their routers in corners or against walls, which can hinder the signal propagation and reduce the effective range. Instead, position your router in a central location, ideally elevated to ensure the signal can reach all areas of your home more efficiently.

Choosing the Right Wireless Band

Understanding 2.4GHz and 5GHz Bands

When it comes to wireless bands, the two most common options are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and understanding these can help you make the best choice for your home network. The 2.4GHz band offers longer range but slower speeds, while the 5GHz band provides faster speeds but shorter range. Additionally, the 2.4GHz band is more crowded due to its use by many devices, including smart home gadgets and older equipment.

When to Use 2.4GHz

The 2.4GHz band is ideal for devices that require longer range and can tolerate slower speeds. This includes smart speakers, security cameras, and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. If you have a large home or need to connect devices that are far from your router, the 2.4GHz band is a good choice.

When to Use 5GHz

On the other hand, the 5GHz band is perfect for high-speed activities like gaming, streaming HD videos, and video conferencing. If you have a smaller home or your devices are close to the router, opting for the 5GHz band can provide a significant boost in performance. However, keep in mind that walls and other obstacles can reduce the effectiveness of this band.

If you’re experiencing interference or slow speeds on one band, it might be worth switching to the other to see if performance improves.

Here’s a quick comparison to help you decide:

Band Range Speed Congestion
2.4GHz Long Slow High
5GHz Short Fast Low

Upgrading Your Network Equipment

Selecting a Modern Router

One of the most impactful upgrades you can make to your home network is selecting a modern router. Older routers may not support the latest standards, which can significantly limit your internet speed and coverage. When choosing a new router, look for features such as dual-band or tri-band capabilities, MU-MIMO technology, and support for the latest Wi-Fi standards like Wi-Fi 6.

Investing in Quality Ethernet Cables

While Wi-Fi is convenient, wired connections often provide more stable and faster internet speeds. Investing in quality Ethernet cables can make a noticeable difference. Look for Cat 6 or Cat 7 cables, which offer better performance and future-proofing compared to older Cat 5 cables.

Considering Mesh Wi-Fi Systems

If you have a large home or experience dead zones, a mesh Wi-Fi system can be a game-changer. These systems use multiple nodes to create a single, seamless network, ensuring strong coverage throughout your home. Mesh systems are particularly useful in homes with thick walls or multiple floors.

Upgrading your network equipment is an investment in both speed and reliability. By choosing the right router, cables, and possibly a mesh system, you can significantly enhance your home network’s performance.

Managing Network Traffic

Managing network traffic is crucial for maintaining a smooth and efficient home network. By prioritising devices and applications, limiting bandwidth-hungry activities, and using Quality of Service (QoS) settings, you can ensure that your network runs optimally.

Prioritising Devices and Applications

One of the most effective ways to manage network traffic is by prioritising certain devices and applications. For example, you might prioritise video conferencing or online gaming over background software updates or IoT devices. By effectively managing your network’s bandwidth, you can maintain a smoother internet experience for all connected devices.

Limiting Bandwidth-Hungry Activities

We’ve all experienced the frustration of computer slowdowns caused by unnecessary applications running in the background, and the same thing can happen if your home network has dozens of items running on the same channel. To avoid this, eliminate unnecessary network connections and limit activities that consume a lot of bandwidth, such as streaming high-res videos or downloading large files.

Using Quality of Service (QoS) Settings

Good routers offer controls to prioritise a particular device or service. It’s a handy way to make sure your games never get interrupted by someone else streaming videos. By enabling QoS settings, you can allocate bandwidth more effectively, ensuring that critical applications get the necessary resources.

Managing your network traffic is an essential part of wifi network maintenance. By following these steps, you can optimise your home network for better performance.

Extending Your Network Range

Using Wi-Fi Extenders

If relocation is an issue, you may want to consider Wi-Fi extenders. These devices connect to your router in Repeater or Access Point mode. In Repeater mode, the device uses Wi-Fi to connect to your router and rebroadcast the Wi-Fi network. In Access Point mode, the device connects to the router using Ethernet and creates a secondary Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi extenders or boosters do exactly what they sound like: They extend the range of your Wi-Fi network simply by being plugged in and connected. Keep in mind the WiFi signal from these extenders will be weaker than the original.

Setting Up Powerline Adapters

Powerline adapters are another excellent option for extending your network range. These devices use your home’s electrical wiring to transmit internet signals. Simply plug one adapter into a power socket near your router and connect it via Ethernet. Then, plug the second adapter into a socket in the area where you need better coverage and connect it to your device. This method can be particularly useful in homes with thick walls or multiple floors.

Creating a Wired Backhaul

Creating a wired backhaul involves connecting multiple routers or access points using Ethernet cables. This setup can significantly improve your network’s performance and reliability. By using a wired connection, you can avoid potential interference and ensure a stable connection throughout your home. This method is often used in conjunction with mesh Wi-Fi systems to provide seamless coverage across larger areas.

If your router or gateway is in the best location, but you’re still having speed or connectivity issues in certain areas of your home, you may need to extend your network’s range.

There are a few different devices you can use to increase the reach of your network.

Securing Your Home Network

family using high-speed internet securely at home

Securing your home network is crucial to prevent unauthorised access and ensure that your bandwidth is used exclusively by your devices. Set a strong and unique password for your Wi-Fi network to prevent unauthorised users from leeching off your bandwidth or compromising your network’s security.

Changing Default Passwords

Avoid using default passwords provided by the router manufacturer, as these are easily guessable by potential intruders. Use a password that contains a mixture of numbers and upper and lower case letters.

Enabling Network Encryption

Enable network encryption, such as WPA2 or WPA3, to encrypt the data transmitted between your devices and the router. Encryption adds an extra layer of protection, safeguarding your personal information from potential threats and eavesdropping attempts.

Regularly Updating Firmware

Regularly updating your router’s firmware ensures that you have the latest security patches and improvements. This helps in protecting your network from newly discovered vulnerabilities and exploits.

If you don’t keep your wireless router secure, anyone nearby could log on to your broadband. Not only could this slow down your internet speeds but your online security could also be at risk.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

When it comes to maintaining a fast and reliable home network, troubleshooting common issues is essential. Here are some steps to help you identify and resolve frequent problems.

Identifying Slow Devices

One of the first steps in troubleshooting is to identify if a specific device is causing the slowdown. Use network monitoring tools to check the speed and performance of each device connected to your network. This can help you pinpoint the culprit and take appropriate action.

Restarting Your Router Regularly

While there’s no need to reboot your router regularly, if you are experiencing persistent issues, it might be worth restarting it. A simple reboot can often resolve temporary glitches and improve your network’s performance.

Checking for Firmware Updates

Ensure your router’s firmware is up to date. Manufacturers frequently release updates that can enhance performance and security. Regularly checking for and installing these updates can help keep your network running smoothly.

If you’ve tried all these steps and still face issues, consider contacting your internet service provider. They may be able to identify and fix any underlying problems.

By following these troubleshooting tips, you can maintain a stable and efficient home network.


In conclusion, improving your home network speed is not just about having the fastest internet connection available, but also about optimising the various elements within your home network. By understanding that your home setup is indeed a network, you can take strategic steps to enhance its performance. From the placement of your router to choosing the right frequency band, and even switching to wired connections where possible, each small adjustment can lead to significant improvements. Remember, the goal is to create a seamless and efficient network that can handle the demands of modern-day digital life. By following the tips and best practices outlined in this article, you can ensure that your home network is running at its optimal speed, providing a better and more reliable internet experience for all your devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find the ideal location for my router?

To find the ideal location for your router, place it in a central location, away from thick walls and electronic devices that can cause interference. Elevating the router can also help improve coverage.

Should I use the 2.4GHz or 5GHz wireless band?

Use the 2.4GHz band for longer range and better penetration through walls. Use the 5GHz band for higher speeds and less interference, especially if you are close to the router.

What are the benefits of upgrading my router?

Upgrading to a modern router can provide better speed, improved coverage, and support for more devices. Newer routers also come with advanced features like Quality of Service (QoS) settings and better security.

How can I manage network traffic effectively?

You can manage network traffic by prioritising devices and applications, limiting bandwidth-hungry activities, and using Quality of Service (QoS) settings to ensure important tasks get the necessary bandwidth.

What are some ways to extend my network range?

You can extend your network range by using Wi-Fi extenders, setting up powerline adapters, or creating a wired backhaul. These solutions help cover larger areas and eliminate dead zones.

Why is it important to secure my home network?

Securing your home network is essential to protect against unauthorized access and cyber threats. Change default passwords, enable network encryption, and regularly update your firmware to keep your network secure.

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    Inlink Systems

    Inlink Systems

    The nature of audio-visual requirements has changed for small businesses and residences thanks to the increased use of network-enabled devices. Inlink Systems provides industry-leading, robust network infrastructure to support contemporary IT and AV solutions that enhance your home and work-life. Flexible solutions tailored to your unique needs with ongoing IT support.

    The nature of audio-visual requirements has changed for small businesses and residences thanks to the increased use of network-enabled devices. Inlink Systems provides industry-leading, robust network infrastructure to support contemporary IT and AV solutions that enhance your home and work-life. Flexible solutions tailored to your unique needs with ongoing IT support.

    Contact Us
    0207 101 3432
    57 Rochester Place, London NW1 9JU, United Kingdom
    Contact Us
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    57 Rochester Place, London NW1 9JU, United Kingdom

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