Slow Office Wi-Fi? 5 Common Office Network Problems

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The office is where millions of people gather every day to work on numbers, generate spreadsheets, and craft professional emails.

In such an environment, Wi-Fi access is a necessity, not a luxury.

Everything from planning and communication to data management depends on a reliable office network. You might even wonder how offices were ever efficient without Wi-Fi!

It is for this reason that your office Wi-Fi should always be reliable. Read on to find out some things that may cause the slow Wi-Fi speeds you are experiencing and what to do.

Using too much bandwidth for your internet plan?

Internet bandwidth is the amount of data that is transferable over an internet connection in a second. Most connections used in homes and offices provide bandwidth in the megabits per second.

Every internet plan has a specific maximum bandwidth, but several factors may combine to limit this. Some of your employees might use much more bandwidth than is required to carry out their jobs.

Some of the most common bandwidth hogs in the office are the following:

High upstream requirements

The typical internet communication process involves more data coming into your devices (downstream) than data flowing out (upstream). However, you use up more upstream bandwidth when transferring large files, running video chat applications, making voice-over IP calls, and using remote access tools. Fortunately, most modern internet routers feature Quality of Service (QoS) settings that help prioritize bandwidth usage in case of increased demand for upstream flow.

General internet use

If you’re wondering “Why is my download speed so low?”, this could be the reason.

Too many simultaneous internet tasks being carried out can cause the speed of each task to decrease.

This usually happens when the downstream usage requirements near the maximum allowed by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Instead of carrying out the tasks at once, consider serializing them, so each process consumes as much of the bandwidth as possible.

Background internet use

Something else that could affect your internet connection is uploads and downloads occurring in the background on computers. This is often because of automatic updates by the operating system or anti-virus software. If this is interfering with the workflow, you can turn off the automatic update processes of individual programs.

Your office router can’t accommodate the bandwidth you’re paying for

Outdated routers are a common cause of Wi-Fi connectivity problems and the slowing down of internet speed.

Your old router most likely uses old wireless standards. Upgrading to a newer model may improve your Wi-Fi efficiency.

Often, your old router may not be suitable for handling your growing work needs, even after upgrading your bandwidth package.

How can you tell if you have an old or new router? Check for numbers on the router that look something like:

  • 11g—a dated router that should be replaced
  • 11n—while old, this router is still functional
  • 11ac or 11ax—such a router runs the latest standards and is good for office use

Your wireless router is a critical component of the network, and it requires regular upgrading, especially when you get a new internet plan.

There are several networks nearby that are causing interference

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At certain ranges, Wi-Fi becomes like a congested highway.

If your office is in a densely populated area, the Wi-Fi networks of neighboring businesses can easily interfere with yours. This is because your signal is fighting for a place amongst all the other signals, all vying for speed.

Many routers are pre-programmed to broadcast at a specific channel and frequency. Use your router’s manual or refer to the manufacturer’s website on how to select a Wi-Fi channel on your device that neighbors are not on.

It is advisable to use channels 1, 6, or 11 if you are using a 2.4 GHz-band router. Any other channel will probably lead to poor performance.

New router models have built-in capability to switch to the 5 GHz band that experiences less congestion. If you are unsure of the band on your router, check the specifications.

You’re not conducting regular speed tests

Speed tests are a quick way to see how fast your internet is.

While ISPs promise high speeds in optimal conditions, speed tests confirm how fast or slow your connection is. Some of the most popular speed test sites are:

Some ISPs also provide speed test tools.

To understand the value of these internet speed tools, look at the following benefits:

  • Regular speed tests provide an accurate picture of how much internet speed your provider is giving you.
  • Many tests note errors that you can forward to your ISP when requesting some fixes to make sure you are receiving the speed you are paying for.
  • Constant internet speed testing helps ensure that none of your equipment is slowing down the network, and some tools provide tips for internet speed improvement and maintenance.

There are rogue Wi-Fi users connecting to your network

These are users connecting to your Wi-Fi network with the help of a rogue access point—without your knowledge.

Such access points are usually installed in their default mode, with encryption and authentication disabled—creating a huge security threat for your business network. These wireless access points negatively impact the overall performance of your network because:

  • They impose unmanaged network interference or contention.
  • They can flood your entire network with useless data, leading to a denial of service.
  • If someone plugs in the rogue access point into your LAN port, it can inject DHCP into your network, causing further connectivity problems.
  • They allow hackers to carry out “man-in-the-middle” attacks, which allows the attacker to control communication.
  • They provide a conduit for carrying out the theft of information from your company.

There are several processes you can use to detect rogue access points, including physical inspection of network components, wireless intrusion detection systems (IDS), and commercial scanning tools.

Scanning technologies create an initial database of access points in an environment, including their MAC and IP addresses. During the scan, the software identifies, compares, and flags points not on the master list.

If there is one thing you can trust about hackers, it is that they are constantly working hard to chip away at your walls. Your business is never too small for a hacker to care about, so run regular scans for wireless access points.

How is slow Wi-Fi affecting your workplace?

When the internet is slow, it can damage a business’s operations.

Because perception is everything, a bad internet experience for your consumers will hurt your business.

If nothing else convinces you, a faster connection can also take your business to a new level!

So, how does slow internet speed harm your workplace?

Decreases your productivity

Because many tasks around the office require internet connectivity, a poor Wi-Fi network impacts employee productivity. Sometimes, industries that depend on cloud-based tools for quality outcomes can grind to a halt.

Even more disturbing is that productivity slowdown also affects the overall morale in a company negatively. About 22 million disengaged employees with low morale cost the economy close to $350 million annually!

Affects your customer service

When resolving customer issues as quickly as possible, internet speed plays a vital role. Modern businesses look to connectivity to provide better customer service.

You need a reliable connection if you depend on streaming video to make a “house call” on your customers, screen sharing, and other modern forms of customer service.

Slows down your video usage and file sharing

Video technologies are fast taking the place of phone meetings. If you are going to connect to clients and employees all over the world, you need to provide them with a flawless, stutter-free experience.

A slow internet connection can make even a simple file share take too long. Plus, if you have several people in the office sending files, this will amplify the effect and cause more frustration.

Processes your online transactions slowly

Your customers should not have to wait to pay for a product or service they want to purchase.

While the traditional dial-up terminal processing takes 25 seconds, modern IP versions take only about three seconds. This translates to plenty of valuable time that your team, your customers, and you have saved within a month!

Should you hire IT support for your office?

The technology revolution is making it possible for your business to compete with larger enterprises.

However, you also need the support of IT professionals that know how to manage business networks smartly. Hiring an IT support in New York is your best resource for making sure that your network is protected and working efficiently and smoothly.

An IT professional from a company such as Triada Networks will troubleshoot, update, and protect desktops and servers on your network from data intrusions.

Other benefits of bringing an expert on board include:

  • Introducing alternative systems to improve network speeds
  • Updating outdated firmware on your network devices
  • Improving employee productivity by ensuring you experience little to no network downtime
  • Monitoring and addressing network issues before they become problems that cripple your operations


As basic office functions and workplace productivity depend on having reliable internet connectivity, investing in business-grade devices and working with professionals ensures uninterrupted access. Whether you are looking to set up a new network or want to upgrade, professionals can help configure devices, troubleshoot issues, and solve problems associated with slow Wi-Fi connections.

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