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Is Your Home Network Up to Par?

Three Signs That You Might Need an Upgrade

Is Your Home Network Up to Par?

Diagnosing networking problems is often challenging.  Since almost everything we do with our devices requires network connectivity, it’s difficult to pin down a specific problem. If your computer is loading web pages slowly, it might be related to your hardware or software. If your smartphone or tablet apps are not responsive, it could be related to the device itself or the software it’s running. 

Occasionally problems are temporary. Perhaps a website you’re accessing is slow for a period of time, and the experience is the same on all of your devices. Sometimes while streaming a show on Netflix, the video quality slows and reminds you of old standard definition quality with bad reception. It could be that your internet connection just slowed down temporarily.  And there’s always the possibility that it’s not your network or any device. The truth is, internet connectivity can suffer in many parts of the Rhode Island countryside. 

On the other hand, your network may be the culprit in a multitude of connectivity sins.  If any of the situations above happen more often than not, you may have networking issues. How do we figure out if these problems are network related or due to something else? 

Let’s look at some ways to zero in on potential issues with your home network setup in your Westerly home. 

SEE ALSO: 3 Reasons You Need A Network Installation

Slow Internet

The signs of a slow internet can manifest themselves in many ways.  A show on Netflix could be grainy, choppy, or continuously freeze and stop.  Another culprit could be the Internet connection from your service provider. Another could be a bad Wi-Fi connection. How can you tell?  Simply try the same video on another device.  If the same things happen, it can be narrowed to your network or the internet connection.  Another tried and true method – power down your TV or device and restart the app and the video.  Sometimes something as easy as resetting the network connection cures your issues. 

If you have a good wired network connection on a computer, but your wireless devices are not running, then you are having a Wi-Fi issue.  But if every device has a slow experience accessing web pages, music, or video from various points in your home, you may have an Internet provider or router problem. If after resetting your router and modem you still have these slowdowns across the board – and you confirm with your service provider that there’s not an outage – you have a network issue.

A note about routers: not all routers are the same, some can handle many and more complex tasks than others.  Routers are special-purpose computers running networking-specific software.  If you have many devices accessing the Internet – smartphones, tablets, computers, smart TVs, gaming consoles, and more – you need a router capable of handling the load.  Some routers have more powerful processors, and some have more memory. Routers make a difference between fast and efficient connectivity and intermittent hard-to-diagnose frustrating problems.

Wireless Dead Zones

Are there some spots in your home that get weak or no signal?  That may be a sign that your router is either not installed in the right location (if there’s a choice depending on your wiring), or it doesn’t have the proper coverage strength for your home. A higher-performance router may be the answer; one that operates in multiple bands, supports higher speeds, and has better antennas and more powerful radios.  But even the best routers can’t fix some dead zones. These zones are often caused by interference from other electronics or the way a home is constructed. Dead zones can be remedied with strategically located wireless access points or the use of a mesh networking system.

4K Streaming Glitches

If you upgraded to new 4K TVs recently and now things aren’t as snappy when streaming 4K content from Amazon Video or Netflix, perhaps your old router isn’t cutting it. You may need to upgrade your Internet service speed, your router, or even both.  4K video content requires 3-4 times the bandwidth of regular high definition content.  Having several TVs streaming in 4K at the same time could strain your network.

If you think that your devices aren’t working as fast as they use to, or some part of your house seems to have intermittent connectivity problems, we can help.  We can test your network installation, diagnose issues, and provide you with a comprehensive solution. What’s more, we can also recommend solutions to things you may not think about often, like protecting your network from hacking. 

Contact C&T Systems today for a no-obligation consultation!