Why Is Unmanaged WiFi Is So Slow

The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article about the varying speed issues that can occur over a residential WiFi network.

Many variables affect the speed of a wireless connection, including max capacity and placement of the router, air-wave interference, and number of users sharing bandwidth. While most homes with a broadband connection share, on average, 6 devices, this poses a problem for connectivity speeds; especially when coupled with the initial lag due to “real world” speeds vs. promised performance, which, for the average American, is roughly 54 mbps.

There may be limited options on a residential network to ensure fair distribution of shared bandwidth, parents and siblings will likely continue with dueling downloads and slow streaming. For commercially deployed networks, however, there are more options. It is essential to make sure that there is, first and foremost, enough bandwidth to handle the network usage, but secondly, enough access points placed around the structure to ensure even signal distribution throughout. It is important that equipment is updated fairly frequently, because even if your broadband distributor is offering speeds upwards of 300 mbps, it is irrelevant if the router cannot process them. It is essential to make sure the router is configured to handle the allotted bandwidth. One last point to help beat slow wi-fi is a Managed Network, as you are able to set limits on the bandwidth each user gets, making sure no one user is eating up all the bytes, leaving other users starving for service.



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