Jun 30, 2022

Does Your WiFi Slow Down With More Users?

A slow internet connection isn’t pleasant - apart from affecting one’s productivity and lowering the quality of their online experience, having to deal with a low internet speed can be quite frustrating, to say the least.

That being said, many people are often unsure about the cause of their connectivity issues, even though they may have suspicions. For instance, you may notice a dip in your network speed when you connect multiple devices but still be unable to identify the source of your slow internet connection.

Luckily, this article covers how your WiFi functions, factors that affect your internet speed, and how to speed up your network. So, if you are still wondering, ‘does internet slow down with more users?’, continue reading to find out if this suspicion is true or not.

How Does Your WiFi Work?

Does WiFi slow down with more users? Before we can adequately answer this question, it is imperative that we have a look at how your WiFi router functions. 

A WiFi router is an essential component of a wireless network. It works by transmitting and receiving data within your local wireless network, enabling connected devices to communicate with one another. 

A wireless router broadcasts signals on specific frequencies, depending on the type of WiFi used. The two major frequencies on which your WiFi transmits information include the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands.

Furthermore, a connected device must be on the same frequency as the router for them to be able to send and receive data from each other. However, only one user can be on the same frequency as the router at any given time. 

For instance, if your router transmits a signal through the 2.4 GHz frequency - the most common band for standard WiFi connections - only your smartphone must be on the same frequency to receive the signal.

Your WiFi network sends data packets labeled with specific addresses, each belonging to a unique device. The movement of these packets of data is referred to as traffic. Now, because two different devices cannot be on the same frequency simultaneously, the traffic can become congested when you have more than one device on your WiFi network.

Does Your WiFi Slow Down With Multiple Connected Devices?

Having taken a look at how your WiFi router works, it is time to find an answer to the question - ‘does internet slow down with more users?’. The answer is ‘yes, your internet speed can decline with an increase in the number of users.’

Basically, your WiFi router cannot communicate with all connected devices simultaneously because it has to be on the same frequency with each device. As a result, there will be an increase in traffic on the router’s frequency, as each device takes turns sending its data packets across that same frequency.

Even though it depends on the type of WiFi router, a slowdown occurs when four or more users are connected to a typical home network. And with an increase in the number of connected devices, the network congestion also increases.

Ordinarily, this congestion has no direct relationship with the internet speed being delivered by your service provider. In fact, you may receive a fast internet speed from your internet service provider and experience a slow WiFi network at the same time. 

This decline in internet speed you endure is only due to the number of users on the network and the volume of data being consumed.

Factors That Can Affect Your WiFi Speed

We think the answer to the question, ‘does internet speed slow down with more users?’ should be clear now. Having said that, let’s look at other factors affecting your internet speed. They include:

  1. WiFi Signal Strength

The strength of the signal being broadcasted by your router plays a role in your internet speed. If your WiFi transmits a weak signal, it is more likely that your network will slow down after a few devices are connected to it.

  1. Obstacles

Obstacles are capable of reducing the strength of your WiFi signals. So, you should consider how many walls are between your router and the devices you are trying to connect. To avoid obstacle obstruction, it is best to position your WiFi router centrally or move the connected devices closer to it.

  1. The Age of the Router

The WiFi signals that old routers produce are relatively weaker and slower than the newer ones. 

  1. Old Firmware

A firmware is an integral software that controls the essential functions of a router. It regulates the quality of the WiFi signals, operates frequency allocation, and so on. 

If there is an issue with your router’s firmware or it is due for an update, your internet connection may experience a slowdown. 

How to Improve Your Internet Speed

Clearly, reducing the number of users on your network should speed up your internet speed. But, what do you do when limiting the number of devices connected to your network is not an option? The following are a few other ways to enhance your internet connection:

  1. Position your router

The position of your WiFi router can influence the network speed. So, it would help if you moved your devices closer to the router.

  1. Use an Ethernet cable

Does fiber internet slow down with more users? No, it doesn’t. So, if possible, you can connect your device to the WiFi with an Ethernet cable.

Plugging in a fiber cable to your WiFi ensures you enjoy maximum internet speed.

  1. Upgrade your router 

If you have been using your WiFi for some time and notice a decline in the network speed, perhaps that’s your cue to invest in a newer, better router

Ultimately, this hardware upgrade should help speed up your internet.

Final thoughts

This piece comprehensively answers your ‘does internet slow down with more users?’ query. Slowdowns are somewhat inevitable on your WiFi, especially when there are so many devices connected to it at the same time.

Rango has the best HiFi plans to satisfy your internet connection needs - no matter the number of devices you use simultaneously.

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