What are the factors that go into the speed and consistency of WiFi?

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What are the factors that go into the speed and consistency of WiFi?

In: Technology

The strength of the signal and how much noise/congestion there is on the frequency you are operating. Strength of signal is based on your antennas (their power, gain and the pattern they send signal) , distance, and objects like walls in the way that block and bounce signal. Congestion is caused by many things. Common examples are multiple users in the area, microwave ovens, bluetooth devices, and devices tuned to nonstandard channels causing issues in multiple adjacent channels.

Also, what ‘standard’ you are running at. 5G runs at a higher frequency and at close range is faster, but can’t penetrate walls and other obstacles as good as 2.4. 2.4 might actually be faster at the the edge of where 5G can reach like at 100 feet away, for example.

There also are some tricks like channel bonding which will give you multiple “pipes” of bandwidth using 2 or more channels to double your bandwidth or more.

In wifi signals, data is not a constant stream of information. Though it is very fast, data is transmitted in a series of data packets. Think of shipping a package in the mail. You receive that package. You open it. You verify its contents. You then store it in a location while the rest of the packages you’re expecting are shipped. Then all those pieces are assembled to form the complete message.

When things like interference are an issue some of those data packets are lost on route or become corrupted. In some instances the data lost is minimal so the gaps can be filled in without too much degradation.

But in most cases your device says, “hey I’m missing this data, send it again”. Keep in mind this is all happening either at or very near the speed of light, super fast. But if you have frequent loss of data packets it’s one thing that slows down the connection speed because it has to keep requesting the same data.

Another issue is bandwidth, which is how many data packets can be sent at one time. Think of it as lanes on a highway. Too many cars and the highway clogs up.

There are many different factors that go into wifi speed.

To access a website you type in the website in your browser and hit enter. Your computer then sends a request to access that website. Signal goes from your computer over wifi to your router. Then typically over cable to your modem, unless you have a combo unit. Then from there it goes to your internet service provider (ISP). Then it goes to a domain name server (DNS) where the domain is saved in a database connected to a specific IP address indicating the server the website is located. The request may go through a dozen DNS before it hits the right one, may even be bounced off a satellite if needed. The IP address is owned by an ISP. So it goes to that ISP who then redirects it to the designated computer storing the desired information. Once the request is received the data is transferred back to the requesting computer in the same manner though not always along the same path. Any hiccup along this path could slow down your connection speed.

So the next time you’re complaining about your internet lagging, understand what it actually takes for you to be able to watch that free porn.