Troubleshooting

How to troubleshoot slow SmartWiFi speeds

Learn how to troubleshoot slow WiFi speeds using these tips and tricks to find out what is slowing down your SmartWiFi wireless network. Click on the relevant link below for more details.

Troubleshoot slow SmartWiFi speeds

ComplexityMedium

Checking speeds

Windows and Mac computers can check speeds by going to Shaw Speed Test, and phones and tablets can download a free Speed Test app from Ookla to find out the same information. This will test the ping, download, and upload numbers to show you how the connection is running. You can compare your results to what your private and guest networks have been set up to provide.

  • Ping: How quick the response is for a connection request. Lower numbers are better, preferably below 30 ms.
  • Download: How fast information comes in to your device from the Internet, which depends on your plan and any speed limit settings you’ve applied to each network.
  • Upload: How fast you send information from your device out to the Internet, which depends on your plan and any speed limit settings you’ve applied to each network.

Checking speeds

Windows and Mac computers can check speeds by going to Shaw Speed Test, and phones and tablets can download a free Speed Test app from Ookla to find out the same information. This will test the ping, download, and upload numbers to show you how the connection is running. You can compare your results to what your private and guest networks have been set up to provide.

  • Ping: How quick the response is for a connection request. Lower numbers are better, preferably below 30 ms.
  • Download: How fast information comes in to your device from the Internet, which depends on your plan and any speed limit settings you’ve applied to each network.
  • Upload: How fast you send information from your device out to the Internet, which depends on your plan and any speed limit settings you’ve applied to each network.

Speed limited settings

SmartWiFi plans can be managed to limit wireless speeds, as discussed in How to manage your SmartWiFi speed limits. These speed limits don’t apply to wired devices on the network; they only apply to wireless devices. It’s important to remember what speed limits you set on both your private network and guest network.
Setting speed limits can be a great way to manage expectations and provide balance. If you know what speeds you’ve set for your private and guest networks, you can test those speeds to confirm how things are working. More usage examples are provided on How to manage your SmartWiFi speed limits.



Device capability

Some wireless devices are more capable and faster than others. Just as any brand new high-end device will make a five-year-old model feel painfully slow, so too do WiFi capabilities grow in leaps and bounds with each passing year.

Newer devices that are listed as AC-capable have the best chance of allowing for longer ranges and full use at the highest speeds on our SmartWiFi plans. If you encounter speed complaints, check to see if all devices get slow speeds when running a speed test. If newer, high-end devices get full speeds but older or more basic devices run slower, it may be time to upgrade if high speeds are vital to the affected users.

Pro tip: Look at getting the newest models when upgrading your devices if speed and performance are really important to you. For example, an iPhone 5 or Galaxy 4 will be much cheaper than the latest model, but they also won’t be as capable.



Network compatibility mode

Some older wireless devices like printers, music playing equipment, and others may not connect to WiFi until your wireless network’s compatibility is changed to allow them to connect. This can cause newer devices to not work as fast as they normally could. Connecting older network devices via Ethernet rather than wireless will allow them to continue to be used without affecting wireless performance.



Network use

Heavy use on your network by many users will cause speeds to seem slow for each individual device. By logging in to your Meraki Dashboard, you can check what the current usage is and see who the heavy users might be. It’s also helpful to check if the hardwired computers on your internal network feel slow, or if it’s only the WiFi devices that are running slow.



More about WiFi speed issues

See Why does my wireless internet keep dropping? for more information about degraded WiFi performance.



SmartWiFi connection settings

Some settings can only be viewed and managed by Business Technical Support agents. If the above troubleshooting steps have been attempted and speeds still feel slow, contact Technical Support to troubleshoot further.

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