Here’s a question we get all of the time: “My internet goes down a lot, or doesn’t work reliably….what can I do to fix it?” It’s a multi-leveled question, and not always an easy answer, but there’s a few factors to look at when talking about internet speed and performance:
- Check Your Speed. If you question your internet speed and performance, go to http://speedtest.net, and run a test of your internet speeds. It will tell you how fast you’re downloading and uploading, and it’s a good baseline to have these numbers before you start working to correct the problem.
- Contact Your Provider. Most people in our service area have cable based internet (from Comcast, WOW, etc), and it comes into their homes and businesses through a coax cable to a box called a cable modem. If your computer is hooked directly up to that cable modem and it’s having issues with speed or connecting to the internet, chances are that your first call needs to be your cable provider. If what’s coming into your home isn’t working, then they need to fix it, and likely there is no charge for this service. In many cases, you might just have an outdated box, and they can come bring you a new one, or they can refresh the service on their end to see if that helps. Once your internet provider has confirmed the internet coming into your home is good, then it’s time to move to the next step.
- Look At Your Router. Chances are, most of you have a wireless internet connection available at your home/office, and often times that can be the source of internet problems. By default, most of the cable internet providers will provide a combo cable modem/wireless router that they pre-configure for you when you first get the service and rent to you for around $10/month. Sometimes those combo units aren’t set up as strong as they can be, or they have a lot of interference (see below), or are simply older and need to be newer technology to connect reliably with newer devices. If you are renting your unit, see if your provider will upgrade/update your unit at no cost, or consider having Canyonero come out to put a higher quality external wireless router in your home. Purchasing your own wireless routers can be an inexpensive yet significant performance upgrade to the standard rented equipment. They make hundreds of different boosters and routers out there, so it’s a good idea to get professional advice before buying something new. We can also purchase a cable modem, which will allow you to forego that monthly rental fee all-together and get you newer, more reliable equipment!
- Location, Location, Location! Having a good central location on your wireless router is key in getting internet in your home. Is the wireless router located in an area with a lot of interference from other electronic devices, metals, stones or brick walls? Lots of times, the wireless signal can be affected by both walls and hard structures as well as electronic interference from things like your cordless telephone or microwave oven. Try moving the wireless router to the most central location in your home, or away from other electronics and see if that helps the speed and stability of your service. In some cases, you may need a wireless extender or 2 wireless routers if your square footage is too large or oblong for a standard wireless signal.
If you can identify where the performance problems are coming from, that’s usually the first step in the process. In many cases, a phone call to your provider can help address or identify problems, but if not, there are many things we can try to help boost the performance, speed, and reliability of your internet service.