What The Tech: improving home’s WiFi

What the Tech

(WHATTHETECH)— Everything was just fine until about a month ago, and now people are having trouble with their WiFi connection. Maybe it’s when they’re watching Netflix or Amazon, maybe when the kids are playing games, or maybe you notice it when you’re trying to upload a photo to Facebook on your laptop. What’s going on all of a sudden? There’s actually a good explanation and an even better solution.

If you added any connected devices over Christmas, that may be the reason. Alexa devices, doorbells, security cameras, maybe new laptops or iPads. Every additional device connected to the internet is competing for bandwidth. Log on to your router using its app and see what you find. You’ll likely be surprised at just how many devices in your home connects to your WiFi router. But help is on the way with WiFi 6.

“Wifi 6 is all about improved performance, so you’re going to get faster speeds, and it’s about better efficiency, so the more devices you have, the better WiFi 6 is going to be for you,” said Rayan Fakhro of D-Link. He explains that WiFi 6 is 3 to 4 times faster than the previous generation. It not only connects more devices to your home’s internet service, it smartly manages which devices need the most bandwidth at any given time.

“Because it can support all of those devices that are fighting for traffic currently and overwhelming the router you have at home,” he said.

If your home WiFi is suddenly getting worse, it may be time for a router. Take a look at what you have now. Look for the number 802.11 pay attention to the letters after that. If it’s an ‘n’ that’s WiFi released 10 years ago. if it’s ‘g’, that’s 17-year-old technology. Even if it’s ‘ac’, it’s still 6 years old and is 3 times slower than the new WiFi 6 routers.

Fortunately, we won’t have to keep up with those letters as the governing body over WiFi standards is re-naming everything with just a number. WiFi 802.11ac will now be known as WiFi 5.

If you have more than 5 things connected to your WiFi router and you’re getting the buffering, it’s probably a good idea to get a new router. The latest WiFi 6 routers are in the $400-$600 price range.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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