There are many factors can contribute to slow wireless Internet speeds. This article defines potential contributing factors, suggests additional resources and recommends troubleshooting steps to improve your wireless performance. After each step, be sure to run a speed test to check your troubleshooting efforts at speedtest.charter.com.
Troubleshooting Slow Wireless Speeds
Determine if your slow speeds are an issue with a wired or wireless connection:
- Run a wired speed test. Use an Ethernet cord to connect your computer to your gateway and then click here to run a speed test. If your wired speed test results are also slow (below 70% of what you're subscribed to), click here to troubleshoot your wired connection first. If your wired speed test results are good, then you've isolated that it's a potential issue with your wireless performance or device instead of an issue with your Internet service in general.
Power Cycle Your Device
If you're experiencing slow speeds on one device, try power-cycling your device
- Unplug the power cord or remove the battery from the wireless device that is experiencing slow connection issues. Leave the power cord unplugged for about 30 seconds and then reconnect the power and reboot the device.
- If you are using a wireless adapter on a device, such as a USB adapter for Ethernet or WiFi, unplug the adapter, wait approximately 10 seconds, and then plug it back in.
- For further instructions, please see our instructional video
Reset your WiFi Connection
- Apple AirPort: Click the AirPort icon and select Turn AirPort Off. Wait approximately 10 seconds and then select AirPort: On.
- Right-click on the Internet icon in the lower right-hand task bar and select Disconnect from and then select your wireless network. Wait approximately 10 seconds, and then right-click on the icon and select Connect to a network. Select your wireless network name to reconnect.
Windows 7 and Vista:
- Right click on your connection in the task bar and select Diagnose and repair. Windows will then walk you through several troubleshooting steps.
- Software issues
- Operating System: Make sure your operating system is updated to the latest version.
- Firewalls and Anti-Virus software: Try disabling or turning down the scanning level of the program to see if that improves performance.
- Virus/Adware/Malware: These are programs that could on your computer without your knowledge. You may have accidentally downloaded one of these by opening attached files from your email or going to unsecured websites To check your computer, download the Charter Security Suite here.
- VPN (Virtual Private Network): if you are using a VPN, it may be scanning your connection for security reasons. Try disconnecting from your VPN session and using your computer without it to see if your VPN is causing the issue.
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Older devices use older wireless technology. What you may not realize is that the older technology may actually affect the performance of all of your devices on your network. Examples of common older devices are older generation iPods and Windows versions prior to XP.
We advise you to leave these devices off of your home network, but if you choose to keep them connected, realize that all of your devices are going to be slower.
The more devices that are sharing your Internet connection, the more bandwidth each is competing to use. One or two devices may be 'hogging' your bandwidth.
Try disconnecting some of your devices that aren't in use to improve performance on other devices.
If all of your devices are experiencing slowness, check your Environmental Factors
Distance from Your Gateway
How far away from your gateway are you trying to use your device? You may be out of reach of a good signal. Your best signal is within about 125 feet within line of sight. Try moving your device closer to see if your speeds improve.
Gateway Location / Signal Obstacles
Check the location and surroundings of your gateway.
Your gateway needs to be in the most central spot in your home, and away from anything that might block its signal.
Metal objects, bodies of water, plaster walls and other similar construction materials may severely limit a wireless signal from passing through.
If you can, move your gateway to a better location away from such obstacles.
Other Sources of Interference
All devices with an antenna are trying to send data over the air. Cordless phones, baby monitors, Bluetooth devices and neighboring wireless networks are all competing with your wireless network.
If you can, move your WiFi devices away from the other transmitting devices, or turn them off when not in use.
Try changing the channel that your router/gateway is broadcasting at. Common channels are 1, 6, and 11
Right-click on the Internet icon in the lower right-hand task bar and select Connect to a network. A list of available networks will come up – the more networks listed, the more networks that are competing for wireless bandwidth.
Find your gateway model here and follow the instructions to change the channel.
Time of Day
If you're experiencing slow speeds during peak use times, or "rush hour", (generally 5-9pm), you're competing with everyone else in your area for Internet speeds. Check your speeds during a non-peak hour to see if they improve without the traffic.
If all of your devices are experiencing slowness, check your network's security settings:
- Check your wireless security settings: WPA2 security is required to achieve the fastest speeds.
- Check your network's security type, right-click on the Internet icon in the lower right-hand task bar and select Network and Sharing Center
- Select Manage wireless networks
- Find your network name in the list, and the security type is listed next to its name
- If your network is not WPA2, click here for instructions on how to update it.
If you continue to experience slow speeds at this point, contact us.
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Ultra 100 Speed Tier with a Wireless Connection
The high level of speed on our Ultra 100 tier combined with all of the factors noted above that affect wireless speed performance means that most wireless networks and devices will not support 100Mbps speed over a wireless connection.
To achieve this speed, a wired connection is highly recommended.
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