Tips to Fix a Slow WiFi Connection

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By George Khoury, Esq. on June 18, 2019 6:00 AM

In today's modern world of internet connected thermostats and smart refrigerators, there's almost nothing worse than a slow WiFi connection.

And when it comes to legal work, slow WiFi can lead to increased costs, decreased productivity, and whole lot of lawyer, and support staff, stress. Simply put, with the state of the internet today, there is no excuse for slow WiFi. So if your home or office is suffering from slow web speeds, check out the following tips below to hopefully get your speeds back up so you can return to streaming Netflix (or your CLEs) while reviewing online discovery without one or the other always buffering.

DIY Tech Support

First things first: have you tried turning your modem or wireless router off, then back on again? If not, go do that now. If there's no off switch, you may need to unplug it for 30 seconds or a minute for it to fully power down. Note that it may take several minutes (and sometimes up to 15 minutes) for your connection to come back online. This delay can often be due to automatic updates to your device's firmware being updated automatically (though not all devices will automatically update).

If turning it off then back on didn't do anything, check to make sure the wires going from the wall to your device are not damaged. If that's not the case, then you will need to get a bit more technical and manually run an update.

If you don't still have your modem or router's manual, you may need to run a web search for instructions. Look up your device on the manufacturer's website (or grab your manual), and look for the series of numbers or url to type into a browser on your computer so you can enter your device's portal (basically your device's settings page, which you'll navigate to like a website). From there, you should try to update your device's firmware or software. It should be as simple as clicking the button or link that says "update," though that may be buried under a "settings" tab. Pro tip: If your router is on the newer side, there may be a smartphone app you can download to make accessing the device portal even easier.

If that doesn't help, then your next step is to try resetting it to factory defaults and then setting it back up. Again, you may need to run a web search for instructions on how to do so. Look up your device on the manufacturer's website, and look for instructions on how to reset it and set it back up. While on the manufacturer's website, you may want to check out their support pages to see if others have the same problem and how they fixed it. Pro tip: To avoid forcing everyone in your office to reconfigure their connections, you can use the same network name and password you originally had when you set it back up. 

Time for Help

If after cycling, updating, and resetting, your speeds still don't improve, you may want to place a call to your service provider for technical assistance. It is a good idea to double-check the wires before you do so, as you don't want to pay for a service call when all they're going to do is replace the wire that goes from the wall to your device.

During that service call, don't be shy about asking questions and asking for recommendations on hardware upgrades. Recently, wireless mesh networks have become commercially available (and affordable) in pre-setup devices, and these provide superior WiFi coverage in homes and offices that have more space or odd configurations to cover.

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