Understanding the difference between internet speed and Wi-Fi speed is important. Internet speed is the upload and download speed that is stated on your internet speed plan on your bill — this is what you pay for. Think of internet speed as the “pipe” that enters your home. Once inside the home, all your personal devices that need to access the internet are connected to the modem either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi.
Ethernet connected devices perform the best and offer the maximum speed of your internet plan.
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.
For Wi-Fi connected devices, your internet gets distributed and shared amongst all your Wi-Fi personal devices that you use. The Wi-Fi speeds that you can attain depend on various factors that are explained in this article.
What is Wi-Fi coverage?
Wi-Fi coverage is the quality of your signal over a certain distance that enables you to connect your personal devices to the internet seamlessly.
Wi-Fi coverage behaves similarly to music playing from a speaker. The closer you are to the speaker, the better quality and clearer you can hear the music. Like listening to music, your Wi-Fi signal is stronger (and faster) the closer you are to your modem. As you move farther away from your modem, Wi-Fi signals lose intensity, which is why the quality of your connection decreases. At some point, you might move far enough that you will simply be out of range and have no Wi-Fi signal at all.
There is no simple rule to calculate the amount of coverage your modem will offer. For everyday use, like surfing websites, streaming videos or sharing photos, your Wi-Fi network will provide great coverage throughout your home.
The speeds you can achieve within various coverage areas varies with distance from the modem along with other factors.
Your modem will be able to provide coverage throughout your home. On average, maximum speeds and best coverage are achievable within 2000 sq ft
around your modem. As you move into further coverage zones, your speeds will slow down.
As illustrated below, the darkest green coverage zone represents the area that you enjoy the best speeds for applications that require intensive internet connectivity; such as watching high definition and 4K videos on Netflix or YouTube. Farther out, you can enjoy standard definition videos, sharing photos and more. Finally, the farther out you go (represented by the lightest green coverage zone), you will be able to browse and respond to emails, along with activities that do not require high internet speeds.
The size of each coverage zone depends on your usage and home’s unique characteristics. Here are some of the key factors that impact your Wi-Fi coverage and speeds:
: The 2000 sq ft radius is based on testing conducted in real homes on the TELUS Advanced Wi-Fi modem. Individual results may vary depending on the construction materials of your home, location and configuration of your Wi-Fi modem, location and capabilities of Wi-Fi devices, number of nearby Wi-Fi networks, number of active Wi-Fi devices or other factors. For a description of Wi-Fi performance, please read the
The speed and reliability of your Wi-Fi connection can be impacted by a range of factors, including:
Interference from radio devices
The specification of your device
The size and building material of your home
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:
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 Wi-Fi Plus can help with Wi-Fi congestion. Learn more about
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
How does your personal device impact Wi-Fi performance?
Even though you may subscribe to a high speed TELUS Internet plan, your Wi-Fi device may only achieve a portion of the maximum speed of your plan.
Newer or higher-end devices are more likely to outperform older or lower-end devices. Since not all devices are created equal, you might notice that some of your devices perform faster when connected to your Wi-Fi network.
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. All Wi-Fi devices have to communicate with your modem, the legacy devices communicates slowly with the modem and every other device will have to wait longer until this device finishes thus slowing the experience on the newer devices.
Wi-Fi can propagate on 2 different frequency bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Wi-Fi on 2.4GHz travels farther but slower than 5GHz. Older devices mostly operate on 2.4GHz band, while newer devices operate on either 2.4GHz or 5GHz. If a device is capable of 2.4GHz and 5GHz, this is considered a dual band device. To learn more about dual band Wi-Fi networks, read the related article on
Pro tip: Wi-Fi operating on 2.4GHz band provides coverage over a larger area, while 5GHz covers a smaller area but can provide faster Wi-Fi speeds.
‘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:
What are examples of maximum speeds my personal devices can achieve?
You might be wondering how fast your smartphone, tablet or laptop are over Wi-Fi. We ran some real life tests* with a few popular devices to provide some examples:
Device Wi-Fi speeds are dependent on the supported Wi-Fi technology standard (ex. 802.11n, 802.11ac), the number of antennas in your personal device and other factors found within your device specifications.
to check your device's wired or wireless internet performance.
*Tested with the TELUS Advanced Wi-Fi modem on 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands in real homes on Gigabit Internet (which was validated to achieve 950 Mbps download speed tests using wired connection). The results in this table were measured using speedtest.net over Wi-Fi. Individual results may vary depending on the construction materials of your home, location and configuration of your Wi-Fi modem, location and capabilities of Wi-Fi devices, number of nearby Wi-Fi networks, number of active Wi-Fi devices or other factors.
How to improve your device performance
For help with complex fixes, updates, advanced settings and security issues on your devices, please visit the manufacturer's website.
Newer Wi-Fi adapters are capable of delivering improved performance. If you are tech-savvy, you may want to upgrade your computer’s Wi-Fi adapter.
Here are some other ways to improve your device performance:
Watch a video about why your Wi-Fi may sometimes disconnect.
Try the initial steps below to see if your performance improves before progressing:
Disconnect and reconnect to your Wi-Fi on your devices.
: 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, refer to the