Slow internet is one of life's truly annoying things: everything is set up just right and then the Wi-Fi won't work, often for no obvious reason at all. We've all been there and it's aggravating.
Besides getting a mesh network or Wi-Fi booster, there are a few easy steps you can take to help boost your Wi-Fi coverage for free. Not everything has to cost money and involve a fancy gadget, after all, although we do obviously love gadgets.
With the arrival of gigabit broadband speeds across the UK, there has never been a better time to find the best broadband deals to get your Wi-Fi off to the best possible start, letting your play your brand new PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch without having to worry.
So, let's jump into three easy ways to boost your Wi-Fi speeds for free.
1. Make sure your router is in the right place
You might be thinking "duh" but this one is really important: the location of your router dictates a lot of how fast your Wi-Fi actually is on a day-to-day level. Make sure your hub isn't obscured behind any walls or heavy furniture, as the connection will be disrupted.
If possible, place your router in an elevated, central location in your house, such as the living room, where it will be nearest to your gadgets. Obviously this is dictated by where your socket is, but extension cables are pretty cheap if you don't mind having wires running around the place.
Electronic devices and appliances, such as your fridge, also make a difference, so avoid those if possible for the best Wi-Fi speeds.
2. Router spring cleaning
Some router and network-related spring cleaning likely wouldn't go amiss, too. Make sure your software is as up to date as possible, remove any dormant devices from your network, perhaps even change the Wi-Fi password to boot any secretive users.
Making sure your router's software and firmware are up to date is probably the most important of these tips and each manufacturer will guide you through the process. It also helps keep your network more secure from malware and other nasty things, so there's that too.
3. Bandwidth-heavy apps
Lots of modern routers include so-called Quality of Service (Qos) tools that let you control to some degree the kind of apps using the service, including seeing which are taking up the most bandwidth.
Having a fast connection is fine in theory, but once bandwidth-intensive apps get their teeth into it, the space left for everyone else can vanish, especially if your connection is already slow to begin with.
Each router is different, so check with your provider first, but there should be some kind of controls for removing especially bandwidth-gobbling services.
Looking for something more intensive?
If price is no option, we really recommend a mesh network system, such as those from Amazon-owned Eero. Even just upgrading to a base unit over your existing router can make a different.
To help with the search, we've found the best prices for some Eero devices.