Spring is in the air (finally!), which means a return to fun, outdoor activities like concerts, festivals and ballgames. Some of these events can get pretty packed and today, everyone has a device…or two.
So in addition to jockeying for the best seat in the house, people also find themselves competing for the best Wi-Fi signal to upload a pic to Instagram, post a selfie on Twitter or share a moment on Snapchat.
When the crowds swell and Wi-Fi seems non-existent, here are five things you can do to get the most out of your connection:
1. Turn off apps that you don’t need. Your Internet connection will feel particularly slow if your phone is trying to sync a bunch of photos or update all your apps. Check what apps are running and force them to quit to ensure nothing is hogging your bandwidth.
2. Don't obstruct your antenna. Many cell phone cases, particularly those that contain metal, could make your Wi-Fi reception worse by blocking the phones antenna. To see if your case is affecting your Wi-Fi speed, you can do a Comcast speed test at http://speedtest.comcast.net with the case both on and off to see if there's a difference.
3. Avoid poor Wi-Fi connections. This tip is just for you Android users out there. Deep in the Android Wi-Fi settings menu there is an option to "avoid poor connections." This setting tells your phone not to connect to Wi-Fi networks that don't have very strong signal strength, saving you from that hassle of thinking you're connected only to find that you're still unable to connect.
4. Watch where you stand. It's a simple tip but it's probably the most important -- where you stand makes a big difference for your connection. Try to stay in one place rather than moving around, which might move you farther away from a Wi-Fi router or require you to transfer between hotspots. If you're indoors, try to get a clearer signal by being near a window or going outside. And, if you are in a crowd, chances are you’re competing with others for a signal, so find a spot farther away from the masses where you can have more bandwidth for yourself.
5. Set your Wi-Fi to use the 5 Ghz connection instead of 2.4 Ghz. Most devices connect to 2.4 Ghz by default, meaning that the 5 Ghz spectrum is generally less crowded. There are disadvantages to being on 5 Ghz all the time, including the fact that it covers a smaller area, so you may want to switch back to 2.4 Ghz after leaving the event. You can change this option in your Wi-Fi Settings menu on your device.
If none of these techniques work for you, it may simply be time to upgrade your device so you can take advantage of the latest Wi-Fi technology.
Don’t let big crowds (or older equipment) stop you from getting online and getting the most out of the best moments Spring has to offer…after all, it’s only 270 days until winter!