Understanding and optimizing your Wi-Fi
Learn how to diagnose or solve your Wi-Fi coverage issues
What is Wi-Fi?
Wi-Fi is technology that connects your personal devices, such as your tablet, smartphone or laptop, to the Internet without a physical wired connection. This technology transmits radio signals to and from your modem so you can browse webpages, stream videos or play online games.
The difference between 2.4GHz and 5GHz
‘2.4G’ and ‘5G’ correspond to different Wi-Fi frequencies: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. 2.4 GHz offers speeds great for surfing and coverage for farther distances. 5 GHz offers faster speeds great for streaming in a closer range of the modem. Each network has its advantages and disadvantages. See the table below for more information:
|Criteria||2.4 GHz||5 GHz|
|Coverage||Covers a larger area and has further range than 5GHz||Covers a smaller area in your home and has less range than 2.4GHz|
|Interference||More susceptible to interference from microwaves, cordless phones, baby monitors and neighbours’ Wi-Fi.||Less susceptible to interference than 2.4GHz. Ideal for apartments with interference from neighbours’ Wi-Fi.|
|Type of usage||Email, instant messaging, web browsing||Streaming video, video games|
What are some factors that affect Wi-Fi?
The speed and reliability of your Wi-Fi connection can be impacted by a range of factors, including:
- Interference from radio devices
- Wi-Fi interference
- Bandwidth sharing
- The specification of your device
- The size and building material of your home
Try the below initial steps to see if your performance improves before progressing:
- Disconnect and reconnect to your Wi-Fi on your devices.
Pro tip: Wi-Fi speeds may be slower on older devices, such as early generation smartphones, tablets and iPads. These same devices may also be impacting the performance of your whole Wi-Fi network, slowing down other devices in your home. To learn how to optimize your devices, visit our device performance page.
If you are operating older devices consider disconnecting these devices when not in use or upgrading these devices.
- Restart your modem. This will prompt the modem to find the optimal signal to use for your situation
Note: Restarting or resetting your modem may only provide a temporary fix to your problem. If you find the issue reoccurs contact us in order for us to find and fix the root cause of your problem.
Positioning your modem
- Your TELUS technician installed your modem in the best possible location at the time of installation. As time goes on, changes may occur within or around the home that could impact the performance of the modem. Check that your modem is at the same location where your TELUS technician installed it. If it has been moved, put it back in its original location
- Move your modem off the floor
- Avoid placing the modem near windows, in cabinets, mirrored objects, fish tanks or objects that may obstruct the signal
TELUS Boost Wi-Fi
When listening to music on the radio, the sound quality not only depends on how close your radio is to the transmitter, but also on the number of walls the radio waves must pass through. Wi-Fi acts in a similar way. In order for Wi-Fi signals to travel from your modem to your device, they must pass through your walls and floors. Building materials, such as concrete and brick, reduce your Wi-Fi signal strength. If you have a large home and would like additional coverage, TELUS offers Boost Wi-Fi to extend your Wi-Fi network.
Learn more about Boost Wi-Fi.
Minimize radio interference
Some devices may cause interference with your Wi-Fi signal if they are within close proximity to your modem. If possible, try removing or turning off the sources of potential interference. Try to relocate the following away from your modem and Wi-Fi devices:
- Baby monitors
- Wireless security cameras
- Cordless telephone base stations
- Wireless speaker systems
- Certain monitors and LCD displays
To improve performance, try moving those devices away from your modem. If the interference persists, contact the device manufacturer for additional troubleshooting.
Installing Boost Wi-Fi can help with Wi-Fi congestion. Learn more about Boost Wi-Fi.
Sharing your Wi-Fi bandwidth
The number of devices, the age of your devices and what you do on your devices also impact performance. If you have multiple Wi-Fi devices operating at the same time, each device must wait its turn to communicate through your home internet.
- Some devices connected to your Wi-Fi may automatically use bandwidth. If you do not require your device to be connected, turn it off and this should help free up some bandwidth
- If you find you are consistently using more than what your plan allows, consider upgrading your plan
Wi-Fi signals operate only on certain radio frequencies. Congestion on these frequencies are problematic due to high-density living. Wi-Fi networks can become overcrowded, just like traffic on highways. The number of neighbouring Wi-Fi networks around your home can have a negative impact on your Wi-Fi performance.
Pro tip: Our advanced Wi-Fi modem offers smart Wi-Fi to select the optimum frequency for your home, so you don’t have to.
- Restart your modem in order to rescan the area to find the best settings for your home
If you continue to experience congestion issues contact us to discuss other solutions.
Want professionals to optimize your Wi-Fi?
At TELUS, we offer professional installation services to make sure that your modem is placed in an ideal area for optimal performance. For large homes, we offer Boost Wi-Fi to extend your Wi-Fi coverage further. Our technicians are equipped with tools to optimize your Wi-Fi and leave you with peace of mind to connect to the Internet.
Did you find this article helpful today? We greatly appreciate your feedback.
Still have questions? Ask the TELUS community
Connect with the TELUS community and get answers from other customers on our forum, the TELUS Neighbourhood.