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How to Speed Up Your Internet Connection

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Internet access could always be faster. Whether your downloads are stuttering, streaming feels like a slideshow, or you simply want to boost your speeds, here’s how to do it.

You can often get faster speeds by calling your Internet Service Provider (ISP) (or visiting their website) and upgrading to a more expensive plan. Your monthly bill will rise, but so will your internet speed. But, before you do that, here are some free ways to speed up your internet connection.

Optimize Your Wi-Fi and Local Network

Poor Internet speeds are caused by a variety of issues with local networks, particularly those that use Wi-Fi. Before you look at your Internet connection, make sure your local network is in good working order.

Turning off your router (and modem, if separate), counting to ten, and then turning it back on is the most basic solution for poor network performance. This is known as “power-cycling” your router, and it can often improve performance.

Related: 10 Quick Ways to Speed Up a Slow PC Running Windows 7, 8, 10, or 11

It’s a good idea to minimize interference from nearby networks if you use Wi-Fi instead of wired Ethernet, as this can cause speed dips and network drop-outs. If you see a lot of other networks when connecting to your home Wi-Fi, you’ll probably benefit from selecting a Wi-Fi channel with the least interference.

You should use a modern router that supports the 5 GHz band whenever possible. When using the 5 GHz band, you get faster speeds and less interference. When connecting to an 802.11ac compatible dual-band router, you will see two networks appear. You can name them appropriately in your router configuration. The instructions for accessing this interface are usually printed on the side of most routers. of the device

While you’re logged in, it’s a good idea to download and install any new firmware for your router. This varies depending on the manufacturer and model, so look for “Software Update” or something similar.

You should never connect to an unsecured wireless network. If your network is open to the public, anyone can connect to it and consume your bandwidth. Whenever possible, secure your network with WPA2 (AES). When this is enabled, all devices must enter a password to connect.

Using a wired Ethernet connection instead of wireless provides the best local network performance. You can also try moving your router to a more convenient location, closer to where you use your wireless devices the most.

Finally, if your router is more than two to five years old, you should consider purchasing a new wireless router. Network equipment rarely gets a break, and issues can arise depending on how frequently you use it. Faster Wi-Fi standards, such as 802.11ac, are supported by newer routers. Consider using a mesh Wi-Fi system for the best coverage.

Your speed issue could also be caused by an old modem. If you’re not getting the speeds you pay for and you bought your modem outright a long time ago, it’s time to upgrade.

Test Your Speed

When your local network is up and running smoothly, it’s time to test your Internet speed. You can accomplish this by using a service such as Speedtest.net, Fast.com, or even Google. Run the test from a laptop with a wired Ethernet connection if possible, or move the device under test as close to the router as possible.

Make sure to run the speed test while your connection is not in use. If you’re streaming or downloading at the same time, your results will most likely be lower.

You can repeat the test several times to obtain the most consistent set of results. Now, compare your current speed to the speed you should be getting. Real-world Internet speeds rarely match those advertised by your service provider, but you should get close during off-peak hours.

Poor speeds can sometimes indicate a problem that can only be resolved by your service provider. This could entail replacing cables or setting up new access points. However, before you call, you should try the procedures listed below. This way, you can tell your service provider that you’ve tried everything you can think of to solve the problem.

Limit How Much Bandwidth You’re Using

Your Internet connection has a limited amount of bandwidth that must be shared by all devices on your network. The more devices that connect to the Internet at the same time, the less bandwidth is available. Limiting how much you do at once can improve your Internet speed significantly.

Certain activities, for example, consume a lot of bandwidth:

Massive downloads
Streaming video, especially 4K or 1080p video
Wi-Fi doorbells and cameras
Transfers via BitTorrent, including upstream traffic on some connections (ADSL, for example)

Isolate any devices that may be using more than their fair share of bandwidth. Inquire with other family members or housemates if they frequently stream video or download files via BitTorrent. It’s possible that you’re getting the Internet speed you pay for, but you’re trying to do too much on your current plan at once.

If you feel this is the case, you can try to help by changing a few habits. Save huge downloads for late at night when no one is awake (you can schedule most BitTorrent clients). Set your smartphones and tablets to automatically update so they can download the files they require while charging at night.

Enable Quality of Service (QoS) on your router’s control panel if it supports it. This feature more efficiently distributes bandwidth and prevents certain activities (such as torrent downloads) from bringing everything to a halt.

Change Your DNS Servers

The domain name system (DNS) functions similarly to the Internet’s address book. DNS converts domain names (such as howtogeek.com) into server IP addresses where data is stored. The pace at which DNS servers function varies greatly. When visiting websites, a sluggish DNS server causes longer waits (latency).

Your DNS server selection might sometimes influence which IP addresses you receive, especially when websites distribute their traffic via content delivery networks (CDNs).

By default, you use your service provider’s DNS servers. These are unlikely to be the fastest options accessible to you. It is preferable to utilize Google DNS servers (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) or CloudFlare (1.1.1.1). Run a simple test to find the best DNS servers based on your geographic location for the best results.

The best place to make DNS changes is on your router. By changing the DNS server on your network hardware, you will notice an improvement in every device that connects to it. The option is to update the DNS servers on each device you use.

Be Mindful of Software

Issues with Internet speed can also be caused by software. Something could be heavily using your connection while running in the background. To view a list of running processes, Windows users can launch Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del). Sort by the “Network” column to see which processes are using your network connection. Get rid of anything unnecessary.

On a Mac, launch Activity Monitor, navigate to the “Network” tab, and then sort by “Sent Bytes” for upstream or “Rcvd Bytes” for downstream. It is critical to identify the processes on both Windows and Mac systems so that you can understand why the software is using your connection. Search the Internet for any process names that aren’t immediately obvious and decide whether you need that app or not.

Software can also contribute to Internet speed issues. Something in the background might be severely utilizing your connection. Windows users may use Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) to see a list of currently executing tasks. To view which processes are utilizing your network connection, sort by the “Network” column. Get rid of anything that isn’t absolutely required.

Launch Activity Monitor on a Mac, then browse to the “Network” tab and sort by “Sent Bytes” for upstream or “Rcvd Bytes” for downstream. It is critical to identify the processes on both Windows and Mac systems in order to understand why the software is using your internet connection. Search the Internet for any process names that aren’t obvious and decide whether or not you need that app.

ISP Throttling You? Use a VPN

Throttling occurs when your ISP restricts specific types of traffic. For example, it may aim to limit data-intensive activities such as file sharing and video streaming. It can also limit certain types of traffic (such as BitTorrent transfers) or whole domains (like youtube.com).

If your performance is exceptionally poor when doing certain tasks online but not others, your ISP may be limiting your connection. For example, you may have delayed streaming when trying to view movies, yet web searches will load in a flash. You may simply test whether you’re being throttled by utilizing a virtual private network (VPN) to mask your internet behavior.

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When you connect to a VPN, your Internet speed will be somewhat slowed. How much depends on your distance from the server. You may fix this by selecting a VPN service with servers near your location.

Determine which activities are causing the lag. Connect to your VPN before attempting those actions again. If you can’t tell the difference, you’re probably not being throttled. However, if you notice that things are running much more smoothly behind a VPN, you should speak with your ISP.
When Should You Contact Your Service Provider?

If you’re confident that poor Internet connections aren’t your fault and that the speed you’re receiving is far lower than what you’re paying for, it’s time to contact your ISP. Similarly, if you feel you are being throttled, you should notify them.

Inform your ISP that you are dissatisfied with the level of service you are receiving. If they are unresponsive, threatening to leave may compel them to address the problem. However, if you don’t get anywhere and have the option of switching providers, consider doing so.

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Hi, I'm John, a BS.marine engineering student. I am a Video Editor at Manila Shaker, where I shoot video clips and edit them for our YouTube content.

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