Max WiFi Speed: 7 Factors That Affect Network Performance

Marketing 12 minute read 7th June 2024

If there’s one thing all Internet users can agree on, it’s the importance of max WiFi speed. Nobody likes to wait for hours to load a webpage, and this is especially true for customers using public WiFi.

Therefore, businesses that provide WiFi in their venues can’t ignore the network signal’s speed, reliability, and quality. But how will they do that when they’re unaware of the factors that come into play?

So, whether you’re an individual or a business looking for WiFi maximum speeds, this article can help. Read on to explore seven factors affecting network performance and the importance of excellent WiFi speed for local businesses.

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7 Factors That Affect Max WiFi Speed

Did you know New Jersey has the maximum WiFi speed among all U.S. states? Even then, some people find their guest network router’s WiFi lacking speed and quality. If you belong to that group, it’s natural to wonder why.

Several factors can affect an individual network regardless of the area’s average WiFi speed. People know some of these factors, like connected devices and distance from the router.

However, other factors like frequency bands and WiFi standards remain unknown. So, here are the seven factors that affect max WiFi speed.

1. Distance From the Router

It’s common knowledge that the signal gets weaker as your device moves away from the WiFi router. As a result, you can’t enjoy the maximum speed your router can provide. If that’s the reason your WiFi is slow, try moving close to the router.

However, this might frustrate many people and make them want to switch to Ethernet cables. In this case, try to move the router to a central position. Mounting the router on the ceiling or a wall would cause the signals to cover the whole area.

Placing the router at a place roughly equal to the distance from all other spots will also have this effect.

Unfortunately, position tactics might not always work. For example, when you want to use secure WiFi in your garage, you’ll be far from the router.

A good solution here would be to invest in a WiFi extender. These devices take the existing signal from your router and rebroadcast it. They also work to provide signals in dead zones, where the router’s signal is weak or non-existent.

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2. Interference in the Signal’s Path

Another factor that affects WiFi speed is the amount of interference in the signal’s path. This could be other Wi-Fi networks interfering with your network’s signal, walls and boundaries, or other appliances. Let’s explore these interferences in detail.

WiFi signals cannot pass through thick walls, and this depends on the type of material. For example, concrete walls make it harder for the signal to penetrate and reach the other side.

Moreover, appliances like microwave ovens and cordless can emit electromagnetic radiation that disrupts the WiFi signal.

Most people are aware of this, but they struggle to deal with it. Your first option is to analyze the interference and see which one is causing the trouble.

If it’s the appliances, moving the router away from them should do the trick. However, if the walls are creating the problem, you have a few options to try.

Staying on the cheaper side, you buy WiFi boosters and extenders. If these devices don’t work, you might have to invest in powerline adapters. This setup uses your location’s electrical wiring to connect to your computer.

As a last resort, you can switch to an ethernet connection. Since that involves wires, interference will no longer be an issue.

3. Type of Hardware

Using older and outdated routers also affects your WiFi speed. These routers might not have the latest technology. Therefore, they might be unable to handle newer devices supporting the latest WiFi standards. Besides, old routers also lack the necessary security protocols.

As WiFi standards become more advanced, so should their corresponding hardware. For example, you can’t use Wi-Fi 6 on a router that you haven’t updated for 20 years. Of course, some compatibility might exist. But an outdated router won’t be able to deliver your Internet plan’s full potential.

The same goes for your device’s WiFi adapter. Therefore, buy the latest routers, such as Wi-Fi 6 routers, and devices with the latest adapters.

Apart from that, some adapters have limitations on the bandwidth they can handle. As a result, they create a bottleneck even if your router offers high speeds. So that’s another thing you need to check.

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4. Number of Connected Devices

Another factor that affects WiFi max speed is the number of simultaneously connected devices. As you add more devices to the network, each one will have to share the speed. This will cause each device to face speed issues.

This becomes a bigger problem for businesses offering free WiFi or doing WiFi marketing. Everyone will want to connect to the WiFi at the same time, which might compromise the speed.

Now, you can’t avoid connecting multiple devices in your home or business. However, you can prioritize your devices for faster speeds. For example, if you work from home, ensure your laptop has more bandwidth than a streaming device. As a business, you can create tiers for people who want to use the WiFi. How you set the tiers is up to you.

You can have people pay for more than one hour of usage. Or you can create exclusive packages for your loyal customers. But remember, this won’t be possible without WiFi marketing software, so consider investing in one.

5. Applications That Demand More Bandwidth

If multiple devices aren’t the cause of your network’s slow speeds, it might be a single device.

There are many applications that hog bandwidth. This means they take up too much bandwidth. As a result, other apps only get a scrap of what the network offers. Here’s an example to explain this.

Let’s say your WiFi network currently has only three connected devices. If one of those devices downloads large files, the other two devices might get slower speeds. That’s because the first device is taking up too much.

Now, the available bandwidth will depend on your Internet plan. Therefore, make sure you have the best upload and download speeds.

6. The WiFi Standard You’re Using

WiFi is ever-evolving. Experts are constantly trying to maximize speed and quality. As a result, we see new standards every few years. If you have the latest technology, you might be using Wi-Fi 5, WiFi 6, or WiFi 7. Each of these offers different speeds and capabilities.

Therefore, your network’s speed will naturally depend on the standard you’re using. If you have WiFi 5, you might have read that it can provide up to 3.5 Gbps. But realistically, you’ll probably get more than 1 Gbps.

That’s because theoretical maximums aren’t realistic regarding WiFi speeds.

Similarly, the theoretical speed of WiFi 6 is 9.6 Gbps. But in the real world, it only provides around 4.8 Gbps. In short, the latest standards will provide you with more speeds but less than the numbers they claim.

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7. Frequency Bands

Frequency bands also play a role in WiFi speed. It’s common knowledge that there are two frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Usually, routers provide you the option to switch between them.

The band you choose will depend on your networking needs. The 5 GHz frequency band can cover larger areas at slower speeds. On the other hand, the 2.4 GHz provides faster speeds but can’t travel large distances.

Now, 2.4 GHz might seem like the logical choice to you since everyone wants fast speeds. If speed is your only concern, you should definitely go for it.

However, there are some cases where range is more important than speed. Let’s say the router is on the first floor of a building. However, if you want to use it on the second floor, 5 GHz will work better here.

Why Superb WiFi Speed Is Important for Local Businesses

So, as you can see, the max WiFi speed depends on several factors. These include distance from the router, number of connected devices, frequency bands, interference, hardware type, WiFi standard, and applications.

But why is it important to know these factors and work on improving speeds, especially for local businesses? Local businesses can use free WiFi to attract more customers, collect data, make more sales, etc.

Slow WiFi speeds might create a bad impression in customers’ minds. Therefore, it’s not wise to compromise on network quality. Beambox can help with connection security, authentication, and bandwidth management.

Do you want faster speeds? Try Beambox free today!

Grow your business and customer loyalty with guest WiFi!

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