Your home networking might have been enough when you were mostly streaming Netflix. But with so many families working and learning from home full time, internet speeds (and productivity) can suffer. Here’s how to help your Wi-Fi work harder for you.


Service provider:

The first thing to consider when it comes to your home internet speed is your service provider. Start your research online and reach out to neighbors to see if they are happy with their provider. Check if your current service will cut it with a download speed test (read this article for more details).


Download speeds reflect how quickly you can access files online.

Upload speeds tell you how quickly you can put files on the internet. Here’s how much you’ll need:

  • 1 person WFH (not requiring video conferencing or streaming): 25 Mbps
  • 2 people WFH: 50 Mbps
  • Family WFH & LFH: 100 Mbps
  • Family always online (smart home system): 200 Mbps

Modems and Router:

A modem and router work together to make Wi-Fi. Before looking into modem and router specs, make sure your provider speeds (above), match the speed capabilities of your hardware (cable and modem). You need both a premium service plan and high-speed hardware to get a quality connection.


Modem — Brings your internet plan physically into your home. Most modems you can buy from a retailer will be compatible with your provider, perform better and save you monthly rental fees.

Router — Device needed that connects to the modem, translating the internet into Wi-Fi for multiple wireless connected devices. You will usually see a router’s speed measured as Mbps or Gbps, 1200Mbps = 1.2Gbps. The greater the speed, the faster your Wi-Fi and the more devices it can handle.

  • 1–2 people: 8x4 Modem + AC1200/1200 Mbps Router
  • 3–4 people: 16x4 Modem + AC2400/2400 Mbps Router
  • 5+ people: 24x8 Modem + AC3200/3200 Mbps Router

Tips for Better Internet Connection:

  • Use a long ethernet cord between your modem and router to get your router as close to the center of your home as possible.
  • Don’t tuck your router inside anything with thick material (drawer, cabinet, near dense walls or appliances). They make it difficult for Wi-Fi to pass through, resulting in a poor signal.
  • Plug your computer into the router directly with an ethernet cable to get a dedicated feed of fast internet, avoiding congestion from other Wi-Fi devices slowing your speed.


After you’ve considered all the internet basics above, consider these extra items to boost your signal.

All-in-one cable modem gateway — Includes a cable modem and Wi-Fi router in one box, saving yourself the hassle of making sure everything is compatible.

Wi-fi range extender — Connects to your router and enables your Wi-Fi to reach farther, through thick walls and even outside.

Whole-home mesh Wi-Fi system — Covers your whole place with steady Wi-Fi allowing you to stream, work and learn wherever you want. Look for a system with extras like Smart Parental Controls and Tri-Band Mesh technology to make your life easier.

USB Wi-Fi adapters — Upgrade your older laptop or PC to today’s faster Wi-Fi and provide greater range.