In today’s day and age, there is nothing worse than a lethargic Internet connection. We’ve all been there. Whether it is a slow as molasses web browsing experience or the dreaded “buffering” notification when trying to stream video, slow Internet speed is the bane of modern life. If you’re wondering how to speed up internet, this guide can help.
While throwing your remote at the TV or smashing your computer’s keyboard may provide a momentary release of frustration, chances are you’ll still be stuck with speeds reminiscent of 56k dial-up. But before you let your rage get the best of you, there are simple ways that you can increase your Internet speed. Read on to find out our top tips on how to speed up Internet so you can get back to binge watching Game of Thrones.
How to Speed Up Internet Step #1: Check your Speed
Before you do anything too drastic, head to a speed checker like Ookla’s speedtest or Netflix’s super simple Fast website to find out what sort of Internet speed you’re getting. To get a better idea of what sort of Internet speeds you need to stream video from the likes of Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or SlingTV, be sure to check out our guide on Internet streaming speeds.
Now that you have a good idea of what sort of Internet speed you’re getting, check it against the Broadband plan that you have. If the numbers match up, you’re paying for slow Internet, and it may be time to consider upgrading to a faster plan. Head on over to our handy Internet Service Provider comparison tool to see other, potentially better, plans in your area.
Turn It Off, Then Back On
This may seem like a ridiculous suggestion, but trust us, it works. The first step if anyone asks you how to speed up internet is to switch your router off and on again. If you’re experiencing slow speeds, turn off the device that you’re currently using and turn it back on again to improve your Internet speed. If you’re still stuck at a standstill, head to your router and do the same. When the router boots up again, see if your Internet speed has increased. Sometimes all that’s needed is a simple refresher to get things moving speedily again.
Since we’re on the subject of Internet routers, ensure that yours is password protected. Most modern routers employ WPA2, which is a security protocol that not only secures your personal information from tech savvy bad guys, but also prevents people from connecting their machines to your Internet. If you fail to have your Internet password protected, virtually anyone within range of your router can connect, and leech your Internet speed.
Move Your Router
We know that Internet routers aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing, but whatever you do, refrain from hiding it in a cupboard or sticking it in a back corner. Lots of things can impact a wireless routers performance, namely walls, doors, and ceilings. Pretty much anything solid presents a barrier that your router has to push through, often at the expense of a reliable signal and speed.
The ideal place for a router is some place central in relation to the floor plan of your house, and just like your TV antenna, remember to get it up high!
Consider A Wired Connection
Sure, Wi-Fi is convenient, however it can be finicky and susceptible to interference. One way you can increase Internet speed is by connecting your devices to your router with an Ethernet cable. This direct connection bypasses any potential interference a wireless connection might run into, meaning faster speeds and a more reliable connection.
If you don’t like the idea of running cables all over your house, take a look at powerline adapters. They use the electrical wiring already present in your house to deliver the Internet from your router to your device. They’re not exactly cheap, but it’s a one time expense that can deliver faster Internet.
Before you go out and buy spools of Ethernet cable, remember to stick to Cat6 cables over Cat5. Cat6 is better at reducing interference offering a more stable connection over long distances, just like the RG6 coaxial cable versus the RG5 for your TV antenna.
Schedule Heavy Network Usage
Downloading or uploading large amounts of data can serious suck the wind out of your broadband connection’s sails. Whenever possible, schedule these tasks to occur when you’re not using the Internet, like when you’re sleeping. This way you can increase your Internet speed and ensure that all of your bandwidth can go towards watching videos of cats instead of being productive.
Kill Bandwidth Hogs
Obviously torrent clients and video chatting applications like Skype require a lot of bandwidth to run, but virtually all of the programs you have installed on your computer can chew up little bits of data as they do their thing. To make Internet faster, check which of your applications are using up your bandwidth and if you don’t need them, give ’em the axe.
Call Your ISP
If you’re consistently getting slower speeds compared to what you pay for, it may be time to pick up the phone and call your ISP. Ask them how to speed up internet, and if there’s anything wrong with your current setup. There could be a legitimate reason for the slow speeds, but if you’re not happy with the answer they give you, it may be time to consider a new provider – or to ask to increase internet speed through your current provider. You may also be able to negotiate a lower internet price with your provider, especially if you have a good reason like not being happy with your internet speed!
Check out our Internet Service Provider comparison tool to check out the different ISPs in your area.
Do you have any other tips to help increase Internet speed? Let us know in the comments!