Once you have WiFi in your home, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your connection. Older equipment and poor network configuration can slow down the speed of your WiFi connection in your home, which could lead to slower downloads, lagging online games and streaming video, and overall slower Internet performance.
What else can impact the speed or performance of your network?
- Number of WiFi devices on your home network
- Interference from neighboring WiFi networks
- Limitations of individual WiFi devices
- Distance between the wireless gateway and your WiFi-enabled device (i.e. mobile phone, tablets, laptop, etc.)
- Physical factors (i.e. home construction, apartment vs. single home)
Here are a few ways to improve your WiFi network.
Wireless Gateway Placement
The placement and location of your wireless gateway can affect the WiFi radio signal strength and speed of your connection. For best WiFi coverage, ensure your wireless gateway is elevated (off of the floor) and in an upright position.
Place your wireless gateway in a central area where you’ll most commonly use your WiFi devices. In general, an open space is better than a crowded space.
For the best WiFi reception and the least interference from nearby wireless networks, place your wireless gateway in an open area, away from:
- Metal surfaces (including computer cases)
- Halogen/fluorescent lighting
- Microwaves and refrigerators
- TVs and computer monitors
- Cordless phones (excluding DECT or 900MHz models)
- Baby monitors
- Large amounts of water (like aquariums and water heaters)
Keep in mind that the WiFi-capable devices you connect to your in-home network play as important a role as the wireless gateway when it comes to range and speed issues. Additionally, locations that tend to have high WiFi usage, such as crowded neighborhoods and apartments, may affect your speeds, especially during peak hours.
If you use a separate router along with the wireless gateway, make sure the wireless gateway is in bridge mode. (See Enable or Disable Bridge Mode on a Wireless Gateway.)
To find out more about wireless networking, please see What is WiFi? to find out what WiFi is and how it works.
For information on home networking and how to set up a home network, see What is Home Networking?
Upgrading Your Modem
Comcast provides several levels of Internet service offering different speeds, such as Performance, Blast! and Extreme 105 or Extreme 150. Your level of service is listed on your billing statement.
Because some older modems and gateways can’t adequately support higher levels of Internet service, you may still be accessing the Internet at slower speeds, even if you’ve upgraded your plan. If you lease a modem/gateway from Comcast, you’ll want to upgrade your modem/gateway to make sure you’re getting the fastest network speeds possible.
You can find a list of Comcast-approved modems and their specifications at the DOCSIS Device Information Center.
To find out more about upgrading your equipment, see Upgrade Your Wireless Network Equipment.