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Check for Wi-Fi dead zones in your home

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you have Wi-Fi in your home, it's possible you may deal with something a lot of us do: slow speeds -- particularly if you are streaming something.

Slow Wi-Fi can be frustrating when you pay for what you expect is a lightning-fast Internet connection, but it's slow or just buffering when you need it most.

An expert on Wi-Fi connections tells Channel 4's Scott Johnson this issue is more of a problem for people who live in the middle of the city or in an apartment complex.

"Especially in a larger city where the Wi-Fi density is greater, you’re going to have difficulty getting your Wi-Fi to reach that maximum speed or work at all," explained Jim Scalise from StarTech Group -- a small tech consulting business.

There is a website that can help you find your dead zones: Speedtest.net. Consumer Reports says with sites like this, you can get a quick read of your speed at various times. It's a free service and is also available on the iPhone and Android mobile platforms.

How to use Speedtest.net:

  • Start testing your speed in seconds by using the Begin Test button on the front page map. This will find a server near you, and test the ping, download speed, and upload speed of your Internet connection.
  • If you'd like more data, you can repeat the test, either to the same server or to a new one in a different location. The site has more than 2,700 hosts worldwide, so there are plenty of options for you to manually select from the map. These servers are used for the testing and measuring alone; they do not control your Internet performance.
  • If you have additional questions about Speedtest.net or for a step-by-step tutorial, visit speedtest.net.

    Consumer Reports says, the problem might be with the modem -- which brings the signal into your home. If you have an older one, replacing it with a newer model can help improve speeds. If you rent your modem, you can ask your Internet provider to replace it with a newer model. 

    As for newer routers and devices, Scalise says you can switch your router from 2.4 gigahertz to 5 gigahertz.. You will also have to switch that on all your devices in the settings. This frequency can be a lot better when everything from simple navigation online to streaming leaves you wanting more speed.