How to speed up your home internet

Step 1: Test your internet speed

If you’re looking to optimize your home Wi-Fi® connection, the first step you might take is testing your internet speed. There are two things you will want to test: your device speed and your gateway speed. The device speed test checks the speed between your smartphone, tablet, computer, or other device and the internet. A gateway speed test checks the speed between your modem or Wi-Fi gateway and your network.

It's important to understand that the difference between your device internet speed and your gateway internet speed may be substantial. This could be for a variety of reasons, including the strength of your Wi-Fi connection, the quality of your equipment, and the number of devices on your network.

Check the upload and download speeds of your connected devices or home Wi-Fi gateway

Step 3: Test your Wi-Fi signal strength

If you feel your connectivity is lacking, you might want to check the location of your router. To help you do this, here are a few questions to ask yourself.

  • Is my router in a central location? If you plan on using your Wi-Fi all throughout your home, you’ll likely want to place your router in a central location. That way, no part of your home is too far from the router.
  • Are there any obstacles between my router and my devices? Anything that gets between your devices and your router can potentially cause issues for the signal, so you’ll want to place it somewhere with as few obstacles as possible. For example, you should avoid placing your router in a cabinet or another enclosed space. Also, try to keep your router away from heat sources, excessive dust, extreme cold and large metal objects.
  • Where do I use my internet most frequently? Generally, the closer you are to your router or gateway, the more likely it is you will have a good connection. That’s why it might be wise to keep your router close to where you use your internet most frequently. For example, if you frequently use the internet to work from home, your home office might be a good location for your router. If you have a stationary device, like a PC or Smart TV, you could connect directly to your Wi-Fi gateway via an ethernet cable. Direct wired connections provide the fastest internet speeds and free up Wi-Fi bandwidth.

If you’re an AT&T Internet customer, you can download the Smart Home Manager app to manage your home Wi-Fi network and all your devices.1 The app enables you to test signal strength with augmented reality2, which can help you identify dead zones and choose the ideal place to put your Wi-Fi gateway.

1AT&T Smart Home Manager is available to AT&T Internet service customers with a compatible AT&T Wi-Fi Gateway. Limited to home Wi-Fi network.
2Wi-Fi Coverage Test feature must use AR capable mobile device and be connected to the network.

Step 4: Determine if you need internet equipment


Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, the signal from your router or Wi-Fi gateway won’t be strong enough to provide a solid Wi-Fi connection across your entire home. For example, if you live in a large house, the signal might have to travel too far of a distance. Another possible issue is there are obstacles between your various connected devices and your gateway.

Step 5: Get help from an internet technician


If you have an internet plan that should cover your needs, your router is properly located and you have tried a Wi-Fi extender, you can also find tips for optimizing your home Wi-Fi . If you are still struggling, you may find you need the help of an internet technician.

While there are some third-party technicians who might be able to help, a good place to start would be to reach out to your current internet service provider to see if they provide any support options. If you are an AT&T customer, for example, you can contact AT&T Support for more help.