Fix slow WiFi connection on your laptop in 9 easy steps

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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  • The slow WiFi connection on laptops is very common and can be caused by a myriad of issues.
  • The router, your device, or even your service provider can be the culprits but this guide will tackle all the possible problems.
  • For any other networking problems explore our Network and Internet section.
  • If you have any other issues with your PC, visit our Tech Troubleshooting Hub for solutions.
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Slow WiFi connection is not an uncommon problem on laptop computers. In most cases, the problem lies with your Internet service provider.

Sometimes it can be caused by technical glitches with your device or router. While the former is something you can’t exactly fix, the latter involves issues that you can solve yourself.

Here, we offer some of the common practices and workarounds to help you fix slow WiFi on your laptop.

Why is my internet so slow only on my laptop? Your laptop’s WiFi speed is slow because it’s too far from the router. Usually, walls, big objects, and other things that use radio frequencies can mess with WiFi.

If that doesn’t solve the problem, update your driver software and reset router configuration to factory default.

How can I fix the slow WiFi speed on my laptop?

  1. Place your laptop near the router
  2. Shut down programs or devices that consume large bandwidth
  3. Boost your Wi-fi signal
  4. Restart your device and router
  5. Make sure no energy saving settings are imposed on the wireless card
  6. Use a new Wi-fi extender
  7. Reset router configuration to factory default
  8. Check if your devices are connected to the same band
  9. Start thinking about investing in a new WiFi card

1. Place your laptop near the router

You might not have noticed that your laptop has gone far beyond the reach of your WiFi network. In this case, you only have to move your device closer to the router.

Also, make sure that there is no barrier between your PC and the router such as a wall. Obstacles like that significantly reduce WiFi signals.

For instance, your connection may greatly diminish if you are browsing upstairs while your router is located downstairs.

Solving the problem requires that you move to a place where there is an unimpeded line of sight with your router.

2. Shut down the programs or devices that consume large bandwidth

If the first recommendation does not work, try to look for programs and/or devices that use up large bandwidth.

These bandwidth hogs naturally cause the WiFi connection to go slow on your laptop, especially if someone else in your network is watching movies or downloading large media.

Some applications can also take up a lot of bandwidth, including Dropbox and other cloud services that work in the background.

That is why you might not notice them sometimes, and you are left wondering about what causes your slow WiFi.

Quick Tip:

The Network limiter in the Opera GX browser tackles this issue by allowing you to set maximum limits on how much bandwidth you wish to assign to your browser.

Because of the additional network bandwidth available, Opera GX will stick to that limit, which means that your Wi-fi connection outside of the browser will run more smoothly. 

Opera GX

Limit network usage with many preset values to optimize the quality of your wireless connection.

3. Boost your Wi-Fi signal

Don’t worry because we’re not going to perform any modifications to your router. It’s much more simple than that because you can boost your Wi-Fi signal using an awesome software called Connectify Hotspot.

This program allows you to transform your PC into a Wi-Fi hotspot just like with a router only that it’s a lot easier to work with because it has a very comprehensive user interface and menus.

And if you choose the Hotspot PRO or MAX versions you will also be able to share your 3G or 4G LTE networks, too. Yes, you will also be allowed to share the Internet connection via wired Ethernet.

The best part is that the signal will be boosted so you will have to say goodbye to the slow Internet connection on your laptop.

It’s also good to mention that you can limit the bandwidth for other devices so you can enjoy using the Internet as you please.

4. Restart your device and router

If, after seeing to it that there’s no issue with your ISP or that no bandwidth hog is consuming your bandwidth, you still haven’t fixed your slow WiFi, try to reboot your laptop and router.

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We highly recommend that you troubleshoot the device that you are using. It usually solves the connection problem.

Rebooting your device in effect resets the WiFi, and hopefully solves the issue. Processes that clog up your laptop can sometimes cause a slow WiFi connection.

Programs that run either in the background or foreground can affect WiFi performance sometimes.

In the case of the router, turn it off for at least 30 seconds, and switch it back on. This popular fix works in many cases.

5. Make sure no energy-saving settings are imposed on the wireless card

It might have slipped your attention, but you might have accidentally enforced the energy-saving option on the wireless card.

You can check this by clicking the battery icon in the lower-right corner of the taskbar.

Make sure your laptop did not enforce a Balanced or Power saver mode on your wireless card. This mode greatly affects your WiFi performance.

6. Use a new WiFi Extender

The problems with your slow Internet connection might be caused by a blind spot or a fluctuating signal. You can fix that by using a Wi-Fi range extender.

We recommend NETGEAR Nighthawk because it creates a strong and steady Wi-Fi signal, exactly what you’re looking for.

It’s easy to set up and connect it to your router using the WPS button or its designated app. Moreover, it’s a really small device that won’t interfere with any of your other setups.

NETGEAR Nighthawk has Wi-Fi coverage of up to 2500 square feet and can connect to more than 30 devices, including laptops, phones, tablets, or IP cameras.

Its AX6000 Wi-Fi speed and smart roaming function recommend it as a professional device.

7. Reset router configuration to factory default

You can reset your router settings to factory default by following your manual, which varies from one device to another. It is not a bad idea to do so.

However, it would also be helpful to enter its menu and take down any settings for later use.

8. Check if your devices are connected to the same band

Depending on your router, there are different ways you can connect to your wireless network. Sometimes you can have a 2.4 GHz band and a 5 GHz band.

The 2.4 one is slower but it has a bigger range, while the 5 GHz one has a limited range but much faster speeds.

If your laptop is connected to the 2.4 GHz band and your other devices are connected to 5 GHz, you will notice a pretty big difference in speed.

Try to connect your laptop to the same band as your other devices and see if that changes things.

9. Start thinking about investing in a new WiFi card

In this day and age, laptops are too expensive or too cheap. If you’re lucky enough and you have a pretty well-made device, your laptop has a good wireless network adapter.

In the case that you have WiFi problems on multiple networks, the issue can be with your wireless card. Sometimes, manufacturers cut corners to save a dime or two, and use a less powerful WiFi adapter.

If you have the means, think about buying a new, more powerful, and stable wireless network adapter to solve all your problems.

These simple steps for fixing slow WiFi on laptops serve as first-aid to your connection problems. If there are other methods you know, drop us a comment below.

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