How to Increase Your Internet Speed

So you want to learn how to increase your internet speed? If your area got an upgrade you must’ve seen an increase in your internet speed.

6th Dec 2018
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An increase in your internet speed means you can get a lot of work done whether it was sending files, downloading and uploading images to your social media or just loading new pages to read. But did you know you can get extra speed through your line by tweaking a few things around your house, computer and the modem or router itself?

This post will show you how you can increase your download speed effectively. Hopefully, you’ll find this article helpful.


Do a Current Speed Test

First and foremost, conduct a speed test. When you conduct a speed test you’ll know if you’re getting a lower rate than what you’re paying for. Go to SpeedTest.net and run a test. Here are my results.

Internet speed is tested in measured in Megabytes (Mbps) and Megabits (Mbps). What do Mbps and Mbps mean, you’ll ask?

People often confuse megabytes and megabits. There is a big difference, though.

Say, when you carry out a speed test you will get something like 11.53 Mbps. To find out how many megabytes that is simply divided by 8 which comes to 1.44 Mbps.

Keep in mind, 1 MB is equal to 1024 KB (kilobytes). When you download a song or movie it’s measured in KB or MB per second. For instance, a 50 MB file download at 1 MB per second should just take under 50 seconds.

So how do you speed up your internet?

Let’s jump straight into how you can improve your internet speed.

Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) advertise lightning-fast speeds but in reality, you never get those speeds. Contact your ISP and ask them what speed you’re getting in your area to save you time and effort in trying to get the speed that isn’t possible.


Test another Modem/Router

Check your modem or router to see if it’s configured correctly for the plan you’re on. Speeds will drop if you’re using a modem that’s not configured with your ISP’s settings. If your modem or router is configured correctly to your plan you’ll get less frequent internet dropouts. So before blaming your ISP do this. Failing which you can change to a faster modem and see if your internet became lightning-fast and the dropouts stopped. An important tip: Use the default modem provided by your ISP because it will be automatically configured to work on their system. Again, make sure that your router is compatible with your plan.


Run a Virus Scan

Viruses are also one of the main reasons for a slow internet speed. They can live on your computer undetected using up resources that may be needed to complete important tasks that you might need to do, thus slowing down your speeds. Run a virus detector program every once in a while on all your systems. Some of them are very efficient and extremely accurate and will help in upping not you’re your internet speed but your computer, laptop, etc., as well. 


Update your Browser

If you’re using an out-of-date browser you’ll suffer slow webpage load times, video buffering, and many other symptoms commonly associated with old browsers. You can Google instructions on how to do so.


Clear Browser's Cached Files

Another area to check is your browser cache. Cached websites load faster but also return errors and connection issues if the website's cache doesn't match the browser's records. Websites load slower first time after clearing the cache, which is normal.


Remove Toolbars from Your Browser

If you have several toolbars or add-ons in your browser, removing them will speed it up.


Use Google Chrome or Firefox

These two browsers are generally faster than others and are available for Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android.


Try VPN

Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) use external servers to bypass ISP restrictions. While this is not a promise to improve your internet speed, using a VPN will prevent your ISP from throttling your network.


How Old is Your Hardware?

Old routers, modems, computers, smartphones, and tablets all become obsolete after a few years. If any of your devices is more than four or more years older, you will inevitably encounter some problems such as depreciation and the item becoming outdated with little or no updates. In such cases, you’re left with investing in new technology. Also, if you recently installed a brand-new operating system on an old computer or mobile system it’s time to upgrade to the latest model, especially if your modem or router is more than three years old.


Identify System Interference

System interference is another problem you may encounter. Software and programs such as virus scanners can interfere with your internet speed. The tried and tested trick is to simply switch off everything one at a time and then run a speed test again. But be careful about picking up viruses or spyware while going through the process. A word of advice. Always deploy good virus protection.


Check Your Filters

Filters are little plugs attached to your phone line to help keep out disturbances and interferences. Most homes have ADSL2+ or cable running, which means that their internet is connected to a phone line. In case that’s the situation, you will need to make sure you have good quality filters installed on your line. Check to see which is compatible with your internet. Just make sure you have the appropriate filter.


Try Replacing Your Cordless Phone

Cordless phones may slow down or interfere with your internet even when filters are attached to your phone line. Try removing your phone and replacing it with a different one and see if your speed gets better. If not, connect your phone back again.


Plug Directly into Your Modem

With all the internet technology in place today plugging into your modem is still faster than wireless internet. Try plugging straight into the modem with the chord that came with it. This will especially be helpful if you use your desktop more often and you don’t need to move it around very often.

Install a Wi-Fi Range Extender

Another technique is to get a Wi-Fi range extender. These are small gadgets that amplify your router's Wi-Fi signal allowing them to reach in places that it previously couldn't. With a cost upward of $50, they're still a cheaper option than paying for a new router. You also have the option of making your own range extender. All you need is a spare aluminum can. When you get a range extender to make sure that it will work with your modem or router before making the decision to buy.

Look for External Interference

Electromagnetic interference can be another factor for your slow internet speed. All households today have electronic devices like baby monitors, microwaves, tablets, smartphones, sound system, etc., which are within close proximity to your modem. If that’s the case, then you need to check to see whether these things are causing any interference or disturbance generating from these devices. Move speakers out of the way and get other electronic devices away from your modem. Hopefully, that should help a little.

Do Away with Old Cable TV Boxes

Look for old cable boxes left over from a past installation. They can also be a major cause of interference for your internet, even if they’re just sitting there. Call the concerned cable company and ask them to remove them. Usually, they’ll oblige. Then check if your internet speed has gone up or is it still the same. If you’re looking for great TV entertainment get Mediacom Cable.

Shorten and Replace Cables

Signals deteriorate over long cable lengths. Ever heard of attenuation? The length of your cables and their structure can affect your internet speed immensely. Replace old phone cables, sockets, and lines and instead install shorter and newer ones. It should improve your net speed.

Turn Your Modem Off and On Again

If nothing else works to try something that really works. You can “power cycle” your modem. That is, switching it off for a minute and then turning it back on again. This process can often flush out all those issues that may be affecting your speed. If you’re tech-savvy you can even try to reconfigure your modem with a new password. This little trick will often refresh your settings at your ISP end and refresh connections.

Update Modem/Router Firmware and Software

Updating firmware of your modem or router can actually help. The modem or router that come with your internet installation has their own software that you need to update on a regular basis. Follow the instructions it came with and log in to your modem by following your brand’s instructions. Next, update and tweak your settings to your liking. You’ll have to the same for your desktop, operating system, etc. because wireless settings start having compatible issues over time.

Configure Modem/Router/ISP’s Optimal Settings

Sometimes your modem/router won’t come with optimized settings. Log in to your modem/router for settings relating to channels, etc. Their default option is not optimal and you’ll need to update them based on the types of devices you use, etc. For that, you’ll have to go on your router and ISP’s website to follow instructions to configure the settings from there.

Check Your Cables and do a Line Test

Lastly, ask your ISP to carry out a line test. They’ll send a technician to your house to conduct the test. But beware your ISP may charge you a fee for the service. So call and ask them if there is a charge for carrying out a test like this. The representative or technician will identify the problem and come up with a solution to increase your net speed.

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