Your internet might be fast enough for a weekend of browsing online – but is it fast enough to handle all of the tasks you need to complete when working from home? As increasingly more people begin trading in traditional offices for home workspaces, remote work is becoming more common. And that’s putting an unexpected strain on home Wi-Fi.
Using your wireless internet connection to work from home can result in more strain. In turn, you can wind up with slower internet speeds, which could seriously affect your ability to get work done. Luckily, there are ways to combat slow Wi-Fi without paying your internet provider more money.
If you’re looking to increase your home internet speed without spending money, here are a few tips to try.
Consider a Cheap Provider Upgrade
One way to combat slow home Wi-Fi is to upgrade your internet service. Plenty of internet providers will allow customers to add to their current package, both for the short-term and long-term.
Unfortunately, that decision to upgrade usually comes at a high price.
But right now, some internet providers are catering to those working from home. They’re offering special upgrades and add-on options to help increase your internet’s speed. And that means you may be able to secure better, faster wireless speed without paying more.
For example, AT&T is offering a special deal on fiber internet. Current customers can upgrade their home internet to AT&T Fiber’s new Superfast 1 GIG Internet, which offers upload speeds that are 20 times faster than cable internet¹. With a 1,000 Mbps connection and over 99 percent reliability, you can count on this package to give you everything you need to work remotely. And right now, it’s discounted to $49.99 a month from the usual price of $70².
Windstream is also offering a special upgrade deal. Customers can get high speed internet, up to 200 Mbps with available Shield Security and no data caps³. And it costs just $19.99 per month⁴.
Check with your current internet provider to see if cheap or discounted upgrades are available. You can get these upgrades both by calling and searching online for current offers.
Try a Hack
For speedier Wi-Fi, you can also try to boost your internet without leaving home or contacting your internet provider. With a few creative tricks and internet “hacks”, you may be able to make adjustments that improve your speed and connection. All you need is the right hack to potentially get better results from your home router.
These hacks, or adjustments, don’t require any spending or purchases either. Here are a few free and easy hacks you can try to get a stronger Wi-Fi signal.
Center Your Router
Typically, your router will be placed wherever it’s convenient – and that’s usually as close to your home’s internet cables or connection outlets as possible. However, if you’ve noticed slower-than-usual speed, it’s time to consider moving your router.
Move your router so it’s located in the center of your home⁵. If it’s placed far away, like the corner of a room in the back of the house or out in the garage, the signal might not reach very far. When it’s in the center of your home, your router is better able to send a far-reaching signal throughout your living space.
Update Router Firmware
Sometimes, slow internet is the result of outdated software. And you can easily fix this problem in minutes with an upgrade to your router’s firmware.
Router manufacturers are frequently making adjustments to software and firmware to better router performance⁶. As a result, you should update your router’s firmware regularly to ensure it’s working at its best. Many routers have easy update options built right into them – you can just hit a button to get the process started.
Search for your specific router model online to see what steps are required to update the firmware.
Upgrade Your Router
If a router firmware update doesn’t do the trick, you can also completely replace – and upgrade – your router. Older routers can become outdated after a few years, and older devices may prevent you from being able to fully maximize your internet’s speed and capabilities⁷.
Upgrading to a new router doesn’t have to cost you anything. If your router is causing slower internet speeds and you’ve rented it from your internet provider, you can call them to come replace the router. Or, you may be able to use a router you already have that offers faster, more consistent speeds.
Add Aluminum Foil
Sometimes, a small and surprising adjustment can do the trick for slow internet. And according to students at Dartmouth College, you might just need a piece of aluminum foil to speed up your home Wi-Fi.
Dartmouth students found that adding a “virtual wall” of aluminum foil behind your router can improve signal strength, increase coverage within your home, and speed up your internet⁸. All you need to do is add a sheet of aluminum foil, or even an empty aluminum soda can.
Look for Special Deals and Promotions
Lastly, you may be able to get faster internet speeds by changing your current plan or package. If your home Wi-Fi isn’t meeting your needs, you’ll want to look for affordable ways to adjust your service.
And the best way to do this is to take advantage of special deals, discounts, and promotional offers. Internet providers frequently offer new customer specials, low pricing for new options and services, and deals throughout the year. You should search online to see what your internet provider is offering. You can then also search for – and compare – what kinds of low prices other internet providers are promoting.
If you look for these deals and discounts, you may be able to get faster internet for less. Make sure to search often, as internet providers can change their offers regularly. A deal you find this month might become even better next month. Keep an eye on what’s available, and you may be able to save without sacrificing your internet speed.