I don’t think anyone should be judged for using the router and modem that their ISP gives them. You shouldn’t.You’re likely paying your ISP to “rent”, a device that’s not very good. However, not everyone has the time or the desire to learn the nuances of wireless networking or their monthly bills.
One day on Instagram, I saw a friend who was a teacher complaining about her Internet connection. She was frustrated by the drop in video chats and wanted to know what troubleshooting tips the Insta-masses could offer her. Although she admitted that she didn’t know much about wifi, she assumed that this was the problem.
We started to talk and she showed me her gear. It included, yes, a Motorola cable modem/router that she received from Xfinity (a “freebie” she claimed). She gave me the following details as we spoke more:
- Her internet connection is slow and inconsistent on both her phone and laptop.
- Her Motorola router/modem is only 15 feet away, so her laptop is not in range.
That’s it. Although it didn’t leave me with much to work with, it did give me some ideas. With one caveat, the settings I am referring to may not be available on your particular modem/router combination or might be in a different location. Although I cannot troubleshoot all devices, these generalities should suffice to assist you if you are also experiencing shitty WiFi with Xfinity.
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Be sure that your preferred device doesn’t slow you down
You should test your wireless connection on another device in the same area if you experience a slow connection or drop in connection speed. This will help you pinpoint the problem and give you an indication of whether it is your router or your wireless setup.
You should ensure that you are running the same speed test on every device. You can always verify that there is a problem downstream by connecting your device (such as a desktop computer or laptop) to your modem/router, and running speed tests there. If the results are drastically different between wired and wireless devices and the latter are slower than the former, then there is a problem.
You might have a problem with your modem/router, or your connection to your home. Maybe you didn’t realize you were paying for an extremely slow internet plan. This is especially true if you use apps like video chat that require more speed. All of this can be checked by calling your ISP to discuss the problem. They can also run tests on your end to confirm the strength and quality the connection is making into your home.
You should also perform basic troubleshooting: Turn your cable modem/router off and on. If this doesn’t solve the problem, turn the modem/router off. Unplug all network cables and disconnect the coaxial cable. Then plug everything back in. Restart the cable modem/router. Check to see if this improves your situation.
Apps that simplify troubleshooting are available.
My usual method of troubleshooting routers–jumping into the web-based configuration screen if it has one- if not, was not going to work. These web-based interfaces can be confusing and complicated for those who don’t know router-speak. Although apps are better than the web, they often have too many settings for an average person to understand. You can create a password to protect your wireless network, but that’s it.
It hurts me to say it but I’d suggest that you download Xfinity’s My account app to simplify router management. It doesn’t give you full access to your router’s settings–unfortunately, we’ll have to dig through that web-based UI for that–but it’ll get you started with simpler troubleshooting (and it looks a lot prettier).
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