Superfast Wi-Fi is very important everywhere we go nowadays, be it our homes or offices. But sometimes, much to our agitation, the internet can slow down and it is difficult to determine the cause for it. Here, are some pointers on how to optimize your Wi-Fi and speed up the internet.
Choosing the right Wi-Fi channel
It is given little importance although it is the most effective way of optimizing your wireless experience. What most people fail to realize is that only one device can talk to the network at one time using Wi-Fi. Every device must wait for its turn to transmit and too many can result in crowding which will slow down the transmission. So, to ensure your wireless’ best performance, try to choose a channel that is being used by the fewest devices. Devices using overlapping channels may transmit simultaneously causing wireless collisions, and more often than not resulting in performance issues.
Testing the Performance of WLAN
There are certain ways of assessing the speed of your Wi-Fi to know how it will affect voice and video applications. For example, you will be able to determine if web browsing would cause interruptions in a voice over Wi-Fi phone call. It will help you understand the true potential of your wireless network.
Performance tests require a server and a client computer. Test in the most remote location you think a user will use the WLAN in order to determine if another access point is required or not. Two computers will be able to simulate Wi-Fi activity very well using a performance analysis tool.
Avoiding Wi-Fi Interference
Wi-Fi uses public ISM (industrial, scientific and medical) bands to provide wireless access and non-Wi-Fi devices such as cordless phones, Bluetooth, audio transmitters, and security cameras use the same ISM bands which can hinder a WLAN’s performance by interfering with the signals. Unfortunately, Wi-Fi network interfaces are not able to detect such interferences. However, a spectrum analyzer is a device that can show all types of RF transmitters and the channels they are impacting.
A spectrum analyzer will tell you about the best channel available based on RF measurements. All activities including those caused by overlapping channels, Wi-Fi client consumption, and non-Wi-Fi transmitters are looked at by the measurements.
Measuring Client Density
To determine the density of Wi-Fi traffic in the air, you can use a packet analyzer which requires a special Wi-Fi card and drivers that can decode raw 802.11 frames. Analysis software can use the decoded 802.11 frames captured to determine which channel has the most active wireless networks, and which clients are using the most air time.
In the wireless world, if a client uses less air time to transmit a series of frames it makes more air time available for everyone else. This is similar to someone talking quickly and efficiently in a group conversation. As Wireless Clients get further away from an access point, they communicate more slowly, which translates into using a lot more airtime to send data. Slow talkers take a disproportionate amount air time reducing everyone’s performance. Packet Analysis tools can show the data rates, air time utilized, and total bytes transferred per client.