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Where’s My Speed Channel?

“My computer worked fine at the coffee shop. Why is it so slow at home?” We’re hearing this complaint more than we’d like. The problem usually is that you don’t have your connection set to the channel at home that gives you less interference.

We get a lot of calls about this from clients who have been on a public network and then find their computers running “slower than molasses” on their wireless network. In most cases, the computer is fine. The problem usually is with the connection channel and a conflict with other wireless devices in your house or neighborhood.

It’s very easy to see if your wireless channel setting is the problem. Just plug your laptop directly into your router. This gives you a direct, wired connection – the fastest connection you can have. If you see an immediate improvement in your computer’s speed in browsing the web and downloading files, you’ve likely identified the problem as a wireless issue and not one with your computer.

We can typically fix this problem very easily by remote access to your router and computer. Every router and computer is different – even if you have two routers and computers that are the same models from the same manufacturers. Settings can vary.

In addition, homes have a lot of devices that all broadcast radio signals of one sort or another. Besides routers and computers, you have cordless phones, bluetooth devices and TVs that either run through your Wi-Fi network or run within a limited bandwidth range.

We have the training and tools to analyze your router, computer and how all devices in your home interact with each other. We can tweak various settings to optimize your network and Wi-Fi devices to get you on the right channel for maximum speed.

We can also help you with the proper placement of a Wi-Fi extender. The best location for an extender is where you get a strong signal from the router to the extender and from the extender to the locations in your house where you use a computer or tablet connected to the Internet. If that ideal location is in a place where you don’t want the extender to be seen, we can help you conceal it.

Somewhere down the line, increasing use of LED light bulbs in homes and offices will affect wireless networks. The LEDs in the bulbs have the ability to transmit data, and we may soon see “Li-Fi” networks. They will present other challenges in managing radio interference to keep networks running smoothly.

In the meantime, if you need to find the right speed channel for your home or office, call us at 973-433-6676 to set up a remote troubleshooting session or email us to schedule one.

This article was published in Technology Update, the monthly newsletter from Sterling Rose LLC.