There is no such thing as too much bandwidth, no matter you are streaming on Twitch, watching Netflix, or attending a Zoom meeting at home. It does not matter if your router has gigabyte fiber mainlined into it; we all need help getting faster internet at home.
The best wires outside your house do not guarantee optimal speeds, so getting rid of dead zones and slow connections is largely your responsibility. Here is how you can troubleshoot your Wi-Fi and, hopefully, improve its quality.
But before that, find out your internet speed.
How fast is your internet?
Test your internet speed before getting started. Although it is not on our official list of seven things, it is useful for context. As you proceed through each step, compare the results with your first-speed test result, so you can see if it is helping you.
You may also want to compare the results to the maximum speed advertised by your internet provider. This way, you can tell if your speeds are actually slower than they should be or if an upgrade is necessary.
Keep in mind that most ISPs only guarantee speed over a wired Ethernet connection. If your advertised maximum speed is lower than your actual speed, it’s totally acceptable, even expected. The most important thing is that your browsing experience is smooth.
If your internet speed is near what it should be but is sluggish, it indicates that you are overloading your current connection and need a faster connection.
7 Ways to Speed up the Internet Connection
Be aware of your data cap
One of the biggest reasons for slow internet speed is data caps. Data caps are not advertised by ISPs for obvious reasons, but they can cause serious problems with your connection.
Data caps limit the amount of data you can use each month-from a few hundred megabytes to hundreds of gigabytes. Your ISP will slow down your internet speed if you exceed your data limit. That will be noticeable to you.
If you are not sure whether your account has a data limit, check your bill right away. It is likely that you do, and it will be stated in the fine print. Get a plan with a higher data limit if you tend to exceed your monthly data cap every month.
And if you wish to get rid of this permanently, get an internet connection that does not have data caps. For instance, Spectrum does not have a data cap, so you do not have to worry about bandwidth throttling and slower internet speeds with it. Does this mean the deals are pretty expensive? Not at all. They have affordable deals with the option to bundle with phone and cable to save some extra bucks. Best part is their customer service, which is in English and Spanish. Hispanic speakers can find out more about Internet Spectrum Precio and get exciting offers.
This is just one provider, and if it is not available in your area, you can always go with another one. Just make sure to do some research before relying on one.
Reposition your router
Is your router in one of your drawers? That is a bad idea. The Wi-Fi signal can be dampened by walls, cupboards, and even bookshelves. Changing the physical location of your router can have a really big impact on the speed and range of your wireless transmissions. Choosing the perfect location for your router will depend on your home, but try not to tuck it away in a corner or underneath a cabinet or inside a drawer-the more central and obvious it is, the better.
Even if it takes some innovative cabling to move your router, it will value the effort in the end. If possible, locate your devices as nearby as possible to your router, such as consoles, laptops, and so on. Physical proximity does not have to be the main concern for devices that do not require much bandwidth, like smart thermostats. It is best to keep it away from other devices that emit electromagnetic waves, such as wireless keyboards, baby monitors, and microwaves.
Optimize your router settings
Changing your router settings could improve your home’s signal strength and speed.
Many routers provide entertainment settings, prioritizing bandwidth when playing video games or streaming content. Turning off the entertainment settings can be useful when multiple users are sharing a Wi-Fi connection simultaneously.
On your router, reset the thresholds for Request to Send (RTS). A data transmission channel is cleared by using the RTS threshold protocol before data packets are sent. A low RTS threshold could help improve Wi-Fi performance in crowded Wi-Fi networks, like an apartment complex.
In the router’s settings, you can also play with fragmentation and RTS thresholds. Data packets can be transferred more efficiently, and network reliability can be improved by lowering the fragmentation threshold. However, changing the threshold to a smaller size can reduce network performance if your network is already reliable.
Shut down all background applications
Some computer programs, such as Skype and Spotify, can automatically start when your computer is turned on by default. Many of them are silently using up your internet (and thus slowing it down for you) without you even knowing. Be sure to shut down any unnecessary applications to avoid this.
Having multiple tabs and windows open that you are not using can also potentially affect your speed. If you are not using any windows, close them.
Do not forget about other devices in your house that might be consuming lots of data without you even realizing it! Various devices like game consoles, skyboxes, and so on can cause significant slowdowns in connections while they are downloading updates, movies, and shows.
Changing your DNS servers
Domain name systems (DNS) function like the address book of the internet. DNS translates domain names (like howtogeek.com) into server IP addresses, where data is stored. Speeds of DNS servers differ significantly. Accessing websites takes longer (there is more latency) when a DNS server is slow.
As a default, you use the DNS servers assigned to your service provider. The DNS servers of your service provider are unusually slow. The best DNS servers to use are those provided by Google (18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124) or CloudFlare (126.96.36.199). To determine which DNS servers are best for you, run a simple test based on your location.
Your router is the best place to make DNS changes. You will see an improvement on every device connected to your network hardware after changing the DNS server. Another option is to change DNS servers for all devices.
Make sure your computer is virus-free
The installation of decent anti-virus software has become practically a prerequisite for operating a computer, but did you know that viruses, trojans, and worms could infect and corrupt your computer in addition to slowing it down?
A virus or adware can also slow down your computer, effectively slowing down your broadband connection. So make sure your system is virus-free.
Did you try turning it off and on again?
A foolproof solution! What is the first thing we are told to do if something IT-related will not work? The first thing we are told to do is turn it off and on again. But why is that so?
Broadband connections can be slowed down by interference, as we mentioned above. In general, interference happens when something physically blocks your signal or when there are too many devices sharing the same bandwidth.
If you turn your router off and on again, it will locate the best channel for your broadband connection, hence why it can often fix speed issues when you turn the router off and on again.
It can be physically painful to have slow internet speeds, especially when you deal with high priorities and a slow connection every day. The aforementioned tips will increase your server speed without requiring you to wade through too much technical detail, and do not worry – you will certainly be back to uninterrupted binging in no time.