How to Increase Wi-Fi Speed

Networking is complicated. Businesses often spend a great deal of their available revenue on their IT department in order to keep their various systems talking to each other. At home, small and medium sized networks are becoming more and more common as our devices begin to integrate the net in to what they do.

In the past, you would connect a modem to your computer and that was the extent of your networking needs. If you had multiple computers, you may have invested in a second network card and switch, hub, or even a full-on router if you really wanted to go all out. Now, having a router in your home is as common as having a television set.

What happens when you want to utilize your router’s Wi-Fi capabilities, but the signal degrades between the upstairs and downstairs areas of your home? My solution to this problem was to set up two base stations with default settings and it appeared to work. Unfortunately, we experienced serious packet loss as a result.

Brandon and Jake tackled this problem at my home office and their solution was to set up a Wireless Distribution System (WDS) which used one of the base stations as a primary and the other as a remote. This creates a unified operation between the two base stations which helps manage and improve the flow of traffic between my wireless devices.

They recommend using two matching routers (in brand at least) for this setup in order to be sure that they are using the same variation of the WDS standard. You also want to make sure that they are using the same wireless channel. In addition, it would be a good idea to avoid the default channel (whatever it may be) on your device as most users keep their devices on default which may cause interference.

6 thoughts on “How to Increase Wi-Fi Speed”

  1. I wonder if it makes sense (or at least is possible) to use 2 stations which are both connected via  ethernet. I’ve the situation that one AirPort Express sits in the living room and is connected via ethernet. That is the main station. The other one is one floor above in my home office. I could attach an ethernet cable to this, too. Doing this in “extend wireless network” creates a loopback. I wonder if it’s possible to “boost” the speed doing so in a WDS setup.

    1. That’s a good question. I might give ‘er a shot in a few minutes.

      This weekend, I spent a fair amount of time on the network – and ultimately decided to drop the WDS / repeater and found insanely better throughput.

      1. Hey Chris,

        I’ve invested 6h’s now in trying to setup my 3 AirPort Express via WDS – without a lot success. Unfortunately, at least one always drops out of the game. Anyway – I’m currently trying to improve my network speed by switching through different channels.

        One thing I wanted to note here; it seems to be impossible to use more than 1 “wired” access point with the regular extension neither with WDS. If you want to do this, the only way this seems to be possible is using a (Free) Radius server. This would allow you to use multiple wired access points. I’m personally not sure I want to go this route. I mean, I run a Solaris ZFS fileserver in the basement, but HAVING TO have it online 24/7 so that the network works perfect – not sure I want to do so.

        1. Yeah, it proved fruitless for me, too. 😉 I just ordered a couple of new Airport Extremes last night, and might try again – but, for now, it seems to be just as easy to have one access point in my home.

Comments are closed.