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Security is key, cuts out network hijackers
Living in a populated neighborhood can increase your chance of having unauthorized users on your wi-fi network. Adding WPA2 security to your network (with a strong password) will reduce the chances of people using your wi-fi for streaming and downloading. This will overall improve your own speeds.
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Wi-Fi quality-of-service to limit bandwidth hogging apps
Quality-of-service (QoS) allows you to limit the amount of bandwidth certain apps can use, which can be handy if you stream a lot of video or TV content. This means certain apps and services can be dedicated with the greatest speeds and lowest lag, while other apps — such as downloaders — can be limited at certain times of the day.
Image: CNET/CBS Interactive
Wi-Fi channels can reduce interference
Having your Wi-FI network on the same "channel" as other devices in your neighborhood can cause interference with your network. You can use third-party Wi-Fi scanners to determine which channel networks around you are on. Picking one that isn't in use can increase the performance of your Wi-Fi network.
Image: Newcastle University