How to Fix Slow Internet Speeds
How to Fix Slow Internet Speeds?The coronavirus pandemic has forced people globally to stay indoors, increasing the dependency on the internet, especially home broadband and Wi-Fi. With everyone sitting at home and utilizing the internet for work, streaming movies and shows, playing games, and more, there’s a chance you might see your internet speeds drop significantly correlated to the last few weeks, given the strain on networks.
So what should you do to fix the speed? Giving people can’t stop using the internet, given it is the only means of entertainment right now, we describe what steps you can take should the problem arise.
How to Check Internet Speed
To check the internet speed of your broadband connection, you can download the SpeedTest application on your Android phone or iPhone. Or you can move to the Speedtest website on your desktop as well. Open the app after it has been installed and hit on the Go option shown in the middle of the phone screen. The app will take a few seconds to test and present the results of the internet speed of your broadband connection.
We tested the speed of the broadband connection we are applying a couple of times, and mostly the download and upload speeds were at par. However, compared to last week, the speed level has fallen significantly. If you’re using mobile internet, you can follow the same method to test the data speed. However, we would suggest using a stable broadband connection if working from home given mobile data can finish in a day or two, leaving you with no internet connection at all.
How to fix slow internet speeds (and why they work)
Before we dive in, catch an internet speed test. Measuring your internet speed and knowing how it compares to the speeds you pay for is an essential part of diagnosing a slow connection.
Unplug your modem and router, and plug them in again
Your home networking equipment runs hard, and sometimes it needs a break. Unplugging your modem and router, waiting a minute, and plugging them back in gives these vital pieces of your network an opportunity to clear their working memory and get a fresh start on tasks that may have been bogging them down before.
It may seem too simple to be true, but turning things off and on again can give your internet speeds a boost.
Put your router somewhere else
Many people hide their routers or gateways in closets or (heaven forbid) the basement, but that’s not great for Wi-Fi.
You need to put as few physical barriers between your router and your devices as possible. Things like walls, floors/ceilings, doors, and large furniture can weaken your Wi-Fi signals, particularly at longer distances. Signals, like those from microwaves, Bluetooth speakers, baby monitors, and cordless phones, can also create slow Wi-Fi signals.
For the best Wi-Fi coverage in your home, fix your router in a central location. Or you can put it near where you most usually use the internet, like in a home office.
You can also make use of any outside antennas on your router to get better Wi-Fi coverage. Most router antennas are omnidirectional, so they spread Wi-Fi signals in all directions in an outer circle. That’s excellent if your whole house is one story, but for multistory homes, lay one antenna horizontally, so the Wi-Fi signals spread up and down as well.
Use the internet during off-peak hours
If you know there’s a big download in your future—like your MacBook has to upgrade to the latest OSX or a new patch for Overwatch is dropping—you might want to download it when you don’t require to do anything else online, like in the middle of the night.
If your internet gets too slow to stream during some peak hours, download episodes of your shows earlier in the day (or again, in the middle of the night), so you’ll be willing to binge-watch all of Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix without any buffering interruptions.
Upgrade your internet plan
Of course, your internet speeds might not be up to snuff. If you haven’t upgraded your internet plan in several years, have more people living with you now, have transitioned to working from home, or generally use the internet more now, it might be time to look for a faster plan.
Give your hardware the universal fix
Before you go cursing your internet provider, give your modem and router a fast reset (i.e., turn them off and on again) and see if that helps. Check the other systems in your house to see if their internet is slow, too. If the problem only happens on one computer, the computer is not your router or modem.
Turn off or limit bandwidth-hogging apps
If your hardware seems to be in working order, notice if any other programs are hogging the connection. For example, if you’re downloading files with BitTorrent, regular web browsing will be slower. It would be best if you also tried installing extensions like AdBlock Plus and Privacy Badger, which will block some bandwidth-hogging ads, animations, and videos that can use up your connection.
Try a new DNS server
When you type an address into your browser, your system uses something called DNS to look up and translate that into a computer-friendly IP address. Sometimes, though, the servers your system uses to look up that information can have issues or go down entirely. Thankfully, you have lots of faster, free options to use, like Google DNS or Cloudflare (to name two of our favorites). Or you can use a utility like Namebench to test what’s the speediest for your location and go with that.
A more reliable DNS might not speed up average webpage loading time enough for you to notice, but you never know—milliseconds are milliseconds.
Call your internet provider
If you’ve gone through all the required troubleshooting steps and your internet is still slow, then it’s time to call your internet provider and see if the problem is on their end. Remember: don’t just think they’ve done something wrong, and treat your customer service representative with respect. You’re much more likely to get good results.