How To Get The Most Out Of Your Internet Connection At Home

Date Jan 19, 2021
Blog category Broadband
By Staff Writer

Have an ultrafast, unlimited fibre broadband plan? Great! But are you really getting the most out of it? Are the numbers translated in your day-to-day broadband usage?

If your broadband doesn’t deliver the best speeds and most stable connection, it’s time to find ways and make the most out of your internet at home. 

Boost your internet speed, and learn to set up a more reliable connection! Check out these quick and easy ways to maximise your broadband plan.

Upgrade your broadband router

Sometimes, your internet connection isn’t the problem — it’s your router! 

Just like any electronic devices, the internal parts of your router can get outdated. If you want to take advantage of the top speeds and wide reach of your internet connection, replace your old router with a more modern one.

Luckily, some providers offer free replacement for your old router. Simply contact them to know your best options. Otherwise, buy a specialised broadband router that distributes signals over long places with little to no significant drops. 

Here are some of the best routers in NZ:

  • Google Nest Wifi
  • TP-Link Archer C5400 v2
  • NTP-Link Deco M9 Plus
  • Asus RT-AX86U
  • D-Link Covr-C1203

Read: Faster Than Fibre: Top 10 Gigabit Modems

Download the latest firmware updates

If you already have the latest router, keep its firmware up-to-date. Manufacturers often include update support for your device to ensure you get the most out of your connection.

To get the firmware updates, it’s usually just one visit to the manufacturer’s website. Simply click the update button for the download to begin. Other newer models have a designated page on the administrator’s website — the one where you change the login details of your Wi-Fi — that you have to click for the firmware to update.

Nonetheless, you can always set up automatic firmware updates for your router. Once the manufacturer releases a new update, you can take advantage of it immediately. The process may vary depending on the router. It’s best to check the specific details of your router to set up this auto-update feature.

Change the placement of your router

One of the biggest factors why your internet signals drop is its placement! As routers only deal with signals, any interference — no matter how small they are— can affect your broadband connection dramatically.

The easiest hack to find the right placement for your router is your line of sight. If you can see the router from all parts of your home, chances are it can deliver signals to your devices. Don’t hide your router in the cupboards. It will only limit the distribution of signals at home because of the walls and doors that enclose it. 

Most of all, avoid placing it alongside other electronic devices in your home. Their signals can fight with your router, causing it to slow down. It’s best to avoid these common Wi-Fi blockers:

  • TVs, radios, smartphones, and other digital devices
  • House appliances like microwave ovens and fridges
  • Doors, walls, and other enclosed furniture pieces
  • Glasses such as fish tanks and mirrors
  • Different floors or storeys

Optimise the settings of your router

While the default settings of your router are good enough, it’s recommended to recalibrate the settings of your router to fit the needs of your household.

There’s no one setting that works for all. You may have to change it many times until you find the one that suits your needs. Generally, make sure to check out these settings to improve the signal strength of your internet connection.

  • Turning on entertainment settings, where you can prioritise bandwidth for playing games and streaming content
  • Lowering your Request to Send (RTS) thresholds, which can improve your connection in a congested network like a flat complex
  • Changing your Wi-Fi channel to 5Ghz to boost your internet speeds, give you more bandwidth, and reduce interference
  • Limiting your bandwidth allocation per day, which is especially useful if you have data cap in your broadband plan
  • Changing the channel of your Wi-Fi to avoid connecting at the same network with your neighbours that often leads to congestion

Of course, the setting options may differ depending on the model of the router. It’s best to research more about what optimisation methods you can do for your router.

Run through who’s connected at the same network

If you have a boosted internet connection but are still experiencing drops in your connection, there may be intruders in your network!

Read: 10 Tips To Secure Your Smart Devices and IoT Devices At Home

While it’s not very common, it’s not all that impossible to happen. If you have an unprotected network or a predictable password, they can easily enter your network without you knowing. That’s why you must run through who’s connected in your network once in a while.

Usually, you can see them by accessing the administrator’s page of your router. If you track an unsolicited device, change your password immediately! It’s also helpful to change your username at the same time. 

This way, you can refresh your connection and prevent intruders in your network.

Connect via a wired ethernet cable

If you really want an extra boost of speed and reliability in your internet connection, then embrace ethernet! As the cord carries the internet directly, you can worry less about lag, drops, and interference in your connection.

For an even better wired connection, you can purchase high-grade connectors that deliver a huge amount of bandwidth in a short period of time. This increases your internet speed and reliability even more. 

It’s recommended to get at least a Cat 5 to get a maximum bandwidth of 100MHz. If you really want to level up your connection, get a Cat 8.2 cable that delivers max bandwidth of 2,000MHz with max speeds of up to 40Gbps per 100 meters.

Check out this list for more information:

Ethernet cord classification Maximum transmission speeds/ 100m Maximum bandwidth
Cat 5 10/100Mbps 100Mhz
Cat 5e 1Gbps 100Mhz
Cat 6 1Gbps >250Mhz
Cat 6a 1Gbps/10Gbps 500Mhz
Cat 7 1Gbps/10Gbps 600Mhz
Cat 8.1 25Gbps 2,000Mhz
Cat 8.2 40Gbps 2,000Mhz

Source: Electronic Notes

Purchase Wi-Fi repeater and mesh extenders

To rid your home of dead zones, get a Wi-Fi repeater and mesh extenders! They offer an extra bit of help, especially during peak times!

Wi-Fi repeaters and mesh extenders use smart technologies to scan the topography of your house. They use this data to distribute signals strategically throughout all areas of your home. Essentially, they don’t reproduce signals. They simply decrease the interruption and boost the coverage in your home.

Here are some of the best Wi-Fi mesh routers in the market.

  • Netgear Nighthawk X6 EX7700 Mesh Range Extender
  • TP-Link RE650 AC2600 Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • Linksys Velop Wi-Fi extender
  • Linksys RE7000 Max-Stream AC1900+ Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • Netgear Nighthawk X6S EX8000 Tri-band WiFi Extender

Get a broadband plan with reliable services in your area

Have you purchased the highest-end, ultrafast fibre unlimited broadband plan? If you’re still experiencing lags and interruptions after all these, then it's time to switch!

While they really do offer the speeds as advertised, it’s simply not the best in your area. If that’s the case, make sure you get the most reliable broadband plan in your address. Finding the right internet provider can be difficult, but CompareBear’s broadband comparison makes it easy for you.

Compare the best broadband plan with the most reliable services in your area today!