Having slow internet speed is a drag.
Delayed loading pages make shopping online a slow-motion nightmare.
Slow internet speed makes participating in live chats and webinars nearly impossible.
And the lag—oh, the lag!—in an online game guarantees ultimate humiliation and defeat.
So is there anything you can do to improve your internet speed?
From improving your ISP connection to clearing out malware, there are several steps you can take to increase internet speed.
Let’s get into them!
First, is it the Speed?
Let’s get some key terms down:
Internet data delivery speed is also called your bandwidth, or your data transfer rate.
Usually, your internet speed will be expressed as either megabits per second (Mbps), or gigabits per second (Gbps).
Still following along?
Good. You also have an internet bandwidth allowance that’s already been determined by the plan you purchased through your internet service provider (ISP). Different ISPs connect your home to the internet using different methods. A dial-up connection is never going to hit the same speeds as a DSL. The method of delivery along with your purchased plan will affect your final bandwidth rates.
Start with an in-house speed test.
You can’t always blame your provider for slow internet speed. It could also be a hardware issue. And that’s why we’re going to check the internet speed using a real-time speed test like Speedtest.net.
Compare the Mbps rate from your speed test to the Mbps rate that your ISP plan promises. Is there a major difference between these numbers? If there is, it’s time to move forward with the next steps:
Follow up with your ISP.
If the speed test showed a big gap between your ISP plan’s promised and delivered bandwidths, then contact your ISP to begin troubleshooting.
Ask your provider to check your connection with its own test.
The ISP speed test is slightly different than the speed test you just ran. The ISP’s test will measure the speed of the connection to you home. This test can help identify whether something outside your home is causing your internet slow down.
Each type of internet connection comes with its own potential problems. For example, squirrels can cause damage to incoming internet cables. Extreme weather or bad antenna alignment can impact a satellite connection. Confirming that your provider to house connection is working will eliminate your ISP as a possible cause of your speed issues.
If your internet connection is fine and you still feel a need for speed, check out the New Life Hacks tips below.
10 Tips to Increase Internet Speed:
1. Buy the best ISP plan you can afford.
If there is only a small difference in your promised bandwidth and the speed test results, then there’s not much tweaking you can do. Your best option is to upgrade to a faster service plan. Contact your ISP and ask if any other service packages would better suit your needs. Do some comparison shopping before you call and let your provider know that you are looking for the best speed for the dollar.
2. Check your limits.
If your internet service plan includes a monthly data cap, you may have your speed cut once you exceed it. If you’ve noticed a sudden drop in performance at the end of your ISP’s billing cycle, see about raising that cap. Or adjust your usage so there’s still some speed left for important projects at the end of the month.
3. Inspect your hardware.
What type of router are you using? If you are using a wireless router, there will be more things that you can do to try to increase your speed. But, using a wireless router may be the reason your speeds are down. A wired connection will work faster in most circumstances.
For either type of system, do a quick visual check to ensure that the connecting wires are clean and intact. Also, make sure the device you are using can actually handle the full bandwidth provided by your ISP. A 10 Mbps can’t provide top speed if it is delivered to a 5 Mbps router.
4. Flip the switch for a reset.
It may not make sense, but sometimes, a simple reset solves your internet speed problem. Try turning your modem or router off and back on again. Just make sure you know your login and password before you shut things down.
Don’t just flip the system on and off again without a break. Allow a few seconds between turning the system off and on to ensure that everything completely powered down.
5. Change the channel.
If you are using a wi-fi system, try switching to a different channel. Follow your router’s instructions to make the change. Also, make sure that you aren’t trying to operate your wi-fi router on a channel already being used by other devices, such as baby monitors, in your home.
6. Get rid of the bloat.
Your computer may have automatically installed programs that tend to use up a lot of your bandwidth. Take a look at your programs file and start removing unnecessary bandwidth hogs. Caution: before you decide to delete a program you don’t recognize, do a quick check online to make sure your computer can live without it.
7. Kill the viruses.
While you’re checking for speed eating programs, also run a virus-scan. Make sure malware isn’t taking up the bandwidth that belongs to you. A program such as Kaspersky can help you identify and eliminate computer viruses that may be slowing you down.
8. Update your browser and toolbars.
Browsers regularly release new versions. Choose a browser that offers the best performance for your needs and keep it updated. Also, if you’ve installed extra toolbars in your browser, consider whether or not they are worth keeping. All those toolbar apps and icons can slow you down.
9. Prioritize your usage.
Sure, you can watch three different live streams on three different devices in theory. But that kind of usage comes at a cost. If you need to download a large file for a work project, your kids may need to pick another time to download the latest upgrade to their favorite MMORPG.
Use an internet download manager to schedule large data downloads at low-usage times to avoid bandwidth shortages.
10. Enjoy the forced upgrade.
You need speed? You need upgrades. If your router or computer are more than a few years old, then you can improve your overall speed and performance by upgrading your systems. Choose a router and computer that can process the data at the rate your ISP delivers it. Then enjoy an integrated high-speed experience.
Your life is busy and full of challenges. Use your improved internet speed to browse all our latest tips and tricks. Make your life easier with New Life Hacks.