Slow wifi on Windows 8 and how to solve it

SpeedTest.net Result

It can happen that after installing Windows 8 and connecting to WiFi your internet will result painfully slow. A trip to speedtest.net will show that your WiFi is actually traveling at around 1mbit/s. How can you solve this? Follow these steps!

SpeedTest.net WiFi speed Result

The desired speed. My subscription is for 8Mbit.

Slow WiFi: What is the Issue?

Bare in mind: the causes could be others (WiFi drivers, broken router, etc.) but this trick fixed my internet with two different providers and different modems. In this specific case the issue is that, for some strange reason, windows 8 doesn’t like WPA2 security protocol. I am unable to explain technicalities, but simply: Internet used to work fine with that WPA2 protocol on Windows 7, but as soon as I installed Windows 8, internet slowed down. This tricked fixed it.

Assessing actual internet speed

First things first: make sure that your connection doesn’t actually go at 1mbit/s tops:

  1. Disconnect from WiFi
  2. Connect an Ethernet cable from your WiFi router to your PC.
  3. Connect to internet (usually happens automatically). If not, Google: Connect to internet via Ethernet.
  4. Run SpeedTest again. You should see a much faster speed.

Solving the Issue

  1. Connect to your router.

  • The address to this can vary: In my case it is 192.168.2.254, but try also 192.168.1.1, or Google the name of your provider, plus the modem address.

  1. Change your WLAN security settings:

  2. Switch from WPA/WPA2 PSK to WPA only

  • The way this is done varies from router to router, but is always possible to be done. If you can’t find the setting right away, just go through every tab. You will find it!

  • Do not use WEP. Even my imaginary friend can break into that.

Assessing the Results

  1. Disconnect your cable from your PC.
  2. Connect to your WiFi.
  3. Run SpeedTest and check if the issue is solved.

Important notice!

You will have to “forget” the connection and then reconnect by re-entering you password.

You router has changed, but windows still wants to connect to a router that has the old settings. When it sees that it is WPA only, it will refuse to connect.

  1. Left click on the WiFi-indicator in the windows bar.
  2. Right click on your connection.
  3. Forget this network.
  4. Connect Again.

I hope this helps!

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Giulio Menna

ICT Manager
Lover of: all things digital, humanities, and medieval manuscripts. I created Sexy Codicology and the DMMmaps Project and run them both with passion and love in my free time. I am an MA graduate in Book and Digital Media Studies at Leiden University. Still happily living in the Netherlands.

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