What Role Does a Router Play in Internet Speeds

An internet router plays a critical role in offering a solid internet connection to your wireless devices. Whether they are smartphones, tablets, laptops, smart watches, smart TVs, smart home devices, or even smart ACs, they are all connected to the internet thanks to a Wi-Fi router.

A question a lot of people ask is what effect do routers have on the internet speeds? Before that, it is important to note that the speeds you receive depend on your subscribed plan and company. You can contact your provider to ask about your subscribed plan like you can dial the Cox customer care number if you are subscribed to the network. If all is good from your ISP, then the speeds may depend on your Wi-Fi router.

What Does an Internet Router Actually Do?

Before getting into the effects of a router on internet speeds, it is important to understand its role. A Wi-Fi router converts the internet speeds from your respective ISP and spreads the signals for your devices to connect. Also, your Wi-Fi routers work as an access point and help in controlling the traffic accessing the connection.

Thanks to serving all the important functions for an internet connection, it won’t be wrong to say for a user that Wi-Fi speeds can enhance your internet speeds and quality of connection. And a bad one can lower the quality of the signals and bottleneck the speeds. So, it is worthwhile to know how to test your internet speeds through a Wi-Fi connection. This way, you will know how well your router is working.

Steps to Test Your Speeds Through Wi-Fi Connection

An internet connection generally has a modem and router connected on your side. You can test the speeds on the modem and router by taking the following steps:

1). Take an ethernet cable and connect its ends to a router and a laptop.

2). Disconnect Wi-Fi on all your other devices apart from the device connected via ethernet cable.

3). Open your browser and visit an internet speed testing website. You can simply visit Fast.com for this purpose.

4). Test the internet speeds and note them down.

5). Now connect the device directly to the modem and repeat the same process. 

There are two expected outcomes from this testing. If you get the same speeds on the modem and router, your complete internet connection is working fine. And if the speeds are lower, then your router is probably choking the speeds. An important thing to know is that the ethernet cable connected to your router is the fastest internet speed you can receive from a router. With wireless signals and multiple devices connected to the router, the internet strength is divided.

Suitable Wi-Fi Router and Internet Connection

Often people have routers and connections that do not completely support each other. For example, if you have a 400mbps connection and a 300mbps supporting router, your Wi-Fi router will choke the internet speeds. You will face a significant decrease in the speeds you signed up for.   

In contrast, if you have a router supporting higher speeds connected to an internet connection of a lower speed, it will only deliver the speeds as per your subscription. Usually, internet service providers include a router in your subscription. That router is well suited to the internet speeds. But in case you have to buy a separate one, it is best to consult with your provider about the model and specifications.

When to Get a New Router

When you are using the same Wi-Fi router for years and your speeds feel slower, it is likely because of your old router. Wi-Fi routers with generally more than 3 years of use can interfere and affect internet speeds. So, it may be time to thank your old router for its service and get a new one. But again, consult your ISP before getting a new router.

Fixes to Increase Wi-Fi Speeds

Often you can boost your internet speed without buying a new router and boost your Wi-Fi speeds. Two such easy fixes for your existing connection are repositioning (of both router and antennas) and resetting the router.

Generally, you can fix many of your speed and strength issues just by repositioning the router. It is best not to put the router against a wall. It is because signals cannot pass through thick walls very well and it affects your coverage. Place your router in a central position with enough space on all sides. This way, your router will offer better coverage at places in your home. Another thing you can do is tweak the directions of antennas. Adjust and test what works best for you.

The last resort with an old router is to reset it. However, it can be a bit challenging if you have never tried it before. But doing so can sometimes make your router work like a new one.

Zaheer Ahmed

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